Delhi govt formulates policy for welfare of street children in view of pandemic

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New Delhi, Jul 6 (PTI) The Delhi government has framed a policy for the welfare of street children in view of the pandemic situation which stresses on the role of various stakeholders in promoting Covid-appropriate behaviour and generating awareness about the infection.

Prepared by the Delhi government's Women and Child Development Department (WCD), the policy encourages a direct participation of civil society organisations and highlights their role in identifying hotspot areas and distributing masks among them.

It also suggests that district administration could consider training the children rescued from streets (on attaining the age of 18 years) as Civil Defense Volunteer, since it will provide them respectable employment, and they, owing to their own experience, can also assist many other children who come from a similar background.

The policy also proposes the composition of District Child Protection Convergence Committee (DCPCC) over and above the District Task Force (DTF) for rescuing children.

The DCPCC will have the district magistrate as chairperson alongwith other members, including two from NGOs and the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) representatives.

The scope of the work of NGOs shall include bringing all cases of children identified by them to their respective Child Welfare Committee and work with departments concerned for their rehabilitation.

The policy also talks about informal interactive sessions to be organised by Community Based Organisations (CBOs) for imparting Covid-related awareness among these children along with the distribution of masks and sanitizers/soaps.

There is also a need to adopt novel and practical ways of identification and enrolment through the distribution of 'badges' or 'wrist bands' with unique numbers, so that these children can be tracked and monitored for aid distribution and linkage to various services, it says.

'Further, efforts will be made to document, adopt and promote the good practices by any NGOs or Department concerned,' it says.

The policy also lays down 15 criteria for determining the vulnerability status of the child.

These include conditions related to safety and security, status of education, state of hunger and malnutrition among others.

Talking about the role of the Health Department, the policy says the department will be required to provide health education and cover families and children who otherwise lack access to appropriate health information.

'Distribution of health-related posters and leaflets across markets and other public places targeting health education of the most vulnerable people would be key to this effort. The area SDMs can also play a significant role in this sphere,' it says.

The WCD has also issued a notice inviting application for declaration of fit person to foster a child in family environment and a notice for recognition of fit facility or group foster care.

“A very critical area of concern amongst children living in street situations is the children addicted to drugs and substance abuse. The Department has established a model Wellness Centre at Sultanpuri, which is proposed to be further replicated across all districts of Delhi under project Suryodaya,” it said.

Talking about the role of the Education Department, it says that district education officers should be in active contact with the WCD and proactively procure the details of children orphaned due to COVID-19 or such children whose family have lost the breadwinner, so that their educational need are taken care of. PTI SLB TIR TIR

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