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“Call to NGOs to be active in Protection of Child Rights” By Mrs. Menaka Gandhi

New Delhi Mar. 7: As the invitation from National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), New Delhi, Fr. Sudhakar Bellamkonda, Director, Don Bosco Navajeevan and Mr. Raja Reddy, Program Manager attended the said meeting on 5th March, 2015 at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi on the occasion of its 8th Foundation Day. The theme of the Foundation day is “Securing Destitute Children in Contact with Railways”. Smt. Menaka Sanjay Gandhi, Hon’ble Central Minister for Women & Child Development was the Chief Guest for the programme.

After the registration, the programme started at 9.30am in Vigyan Bhavan as the chief guest arrived and other distinguished guests i.e. Sri. Asheem Srivastav, Member Secretary, NCPCR, Sri. Anirudh Mishra, Member, NCPCR

The programme began with a prayer song by children of Salaam Baalak Trust, Delhi followed by welcome address by Sri. Asheem Srivastav, Member Secretary, NCPCR. In the address, he welcomed all the participants from all over India and gave a brief note on the importance of the day. He said that the NCPCR is working its best to rescue and to provide care and protection. And as part of this, they have prepared a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) with Railways in order to protect the destitute children and to rehabilitate them.

Later, different Board members of Railways spoke the importantance of protecting destitute and needy children and to provide different mechanisms to save the children with support from Railways.  They have also quoted different recent incidents that happened to children and their situation.

Smt. Menaka Gandhi, Hon’ble Minister spoke the efforts of NCPCR that they have taken in order to protect the needy children. She also thanked the members of NCPCR and Railway as they have prepared SOP for care and protection of Children. She said that they have identified different NGOs working actively in protecting children in need and requested to collaborate with the Government and Railways so as to protect destitute children to provide care and protection. She also said the Government is ready to take any steps in order to provide protection and rehabilitation. She also asked the participant NGOs and other to send their own reports, suggestion and comments to NCPCR or directly to the Ministry to take preventive measures to save the children and to collaborate with Government.  She added saying that NCPCR along with Ministry is planned to have video conference on 9th March, 2015 at 10am and asked all the NGOs to take part in the conference to give their valuable suggestions and opinions.

In continuation of the programmes, Dr. Anup Dayanand, Sr. DRM and Fr. George of Bosco Mane Bengaluru gave a joint presentation on Collaborative Effort of Railway and Bosco in Bengaluru. They have presented with recent updates, their activities and rehabilitation process with statistics. The next presentation was also a joint presentation Ms. Shachi Singh, General Secretary of Ehssas and Mr. Ashwini Kumar, Sr. DRM of Northern Railway, Lucknow. After the presentation, CHETNA presented a short film on rescue and rehabilitation of children on platforms called Dreams on Wheels. Sri. Sanjay Bhatia, DCP (Railways & Crimes) Delhi presented Khoj – An initiative of GRP Delhi for rescue and rehabilitation of children. He presented his own experiences and present statistics of Delhi who are recued by GRP Delhi.

Mr. Suraj Kumar of India TV gave a presentation and in fact it was not a presentation but his own life story told by himself. He was a street child and worked in mechanic shops, server and cleaner in a hotel, had days where he did not have anything to eat etc. later with the help of Ehssas an NGO gave him a life to study and to meet his dreams. He was very much proud to say that with the help of NGO, he could achieve what he wanted and at present he is working in India TV as Editor and Technician.

Sri. Kumar Ranvijay Singh, Dy. S.P of Ghaziabad presented on learnings from Operation Smile and staff of CINI an NGO presented on CINI’s journey with children at Sealdah Railway Station, Kolkotta and beyond in West Bengal.  

After all the presentations, Smt. Menaka Gandhi, Hon’ble Central Minister asked all the participants to give their suggestions and queries regarding care and protection of children. She took note of all the suggestions and queries and said that they will take measures on better performance of the Government. Fr. Sudhakar spoke regarding Child Line and Home Integration.

Smt. Menaka Gaandhi, Hon’ble Central Minister released Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) officially and copy is given to all the participants. Sri. Anirudh Mishra, Director of NCPCR gave vote of thanks to all the personnel, representatives of NGOs, children and media. The programme concluded at 2pm followed by Lunch.