Govt picks 25 cities for 3-yr initiative aimed at supporting early childhood-friendly neighbourhoods

·1-min read

New Delhi, Feb 18 (PTI) Twenty-five cities, including Agartala, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, Vadodara and Ujjain, have been selected for the government's 'Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge' to develop and implement initiatives to improve the quality of life of young children, caregivers and families.

The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry, in a statement on Thursday, said these cities would receive technical assistance, capacity building and scale-up support to experiment and implement trials and pilots over the next six months to demonstrate early wins, solicit citizen participation, and build consensus around their proposals.

It stated that the challenge is a three-year initiative aimed at supporting early childhood-friendly neighbourhoods under the government's Smart Cities Mission.

Agartala, Bengaluru, Coimbatore, Dharamshala, Erode, Hubballi-Dharwad, Hyderabad, Indore, Jabalpur, Kakinada, Kochi, Kohima, Kota, Nagpur, Rajkot, Ranchi, Rohtak, Rourkela, Salem, Surat, Thiruvananthapuram, Tiruppur, Ujjain, Vadodara, and Warangal have been selected for the challenge.

In the statement, the ministry said that over time, the programme will enable city leaders, managers, staff, engineers, urban planners, and architects to incorporate a focus on early childhood development into planning and management.

'By engaging cities to shape healthier urban environments for early childhood, the Challenge has refocused attention on the importance of neighbourhood-level interventions.

'This approach is well-aligned with the strategy of the Smart Cities Mission to promote inclusive, people-oriented development in compact, local areas towards scaling city-wide solutions that enhance our citizens' quality of life,' Smart Cities Mission director Kunal Kumar said in the statement.

Proud to see cities across India are stepping up to the challenge and demonstrating their commitment to adopt more sensitive urban planning and design that addresses the needs and aspirations of millions of young children and their families, Kumar said. PTI BUN IJT