The apex body of child rights, National Commission on Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has been visiting Aspirational Districts (AD) in the country to hold public meetings regarding complaints affecting children, pertaining to education, health and nutrition as well as lack of infrastructure.
The AD programme focuses on five main themes to improve the socio-economic status which includes health, nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion and skill development. Out of these, three issues fall directly under the mandate of the commission and account for 70% of the total weight for ranking districts.
The complaints will be taken directly by the bench comprising of the members of the commission. The local district officials present will be the respective District Magistrate, SDMs, District Child Protection Officer, members of the Juvenile Justice Board and Child Welfare Committee, Special Juvenile Police Unit and Child Welfare police officers.
“This is the first time that a national level apex body will be hearing the grievances and issues related to children in the state, so this would a be a very good opportunity for the people of Sikkim to directly take their concerns before those who could change the course of action in the future”, says Roshnila Gurung, District Child Protection Officer (South Sikkim), Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), Social Justice, Empowerment & Welfare Department (SJE & WD).
The bench hearing of the NCPCR for Sikkim will hence be held at Zilla Bhawan Hall, Geyzing on 22 October, 2019 since the West district is one of the ADs of the country. Any and all issues pertaining to children can be brought before the bench on 22 October. Additionally, the same will take place in other districts in the state as well.
The NCPCR has time and again called the protection of child rights a ‘social responsibility’, which holds true in the current age. Active participation and vocalization of support by society towards children’s issues is something that needs to be taken seriously. Hearings such as this will elevate the need for spreading awareness about child rights.