Srinagar, Sep 14: In a resounding commitment to securing a brighter future for the children of Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha delivered an impassioned address at a two-day workshop titled "Sensitization, Training Programmes for Representatives of PRIs, ULBs, Police, and other stakeholders to strengthen the Child Protection System and Mechanism in the UT of Jammu Kashmir."
The event, held at the Convention Centre in Srinagar, showcased the UT administration's unwavering dedication to creating a nurturing environment for the region's children, who have long been denied their fundamental right to a proper childhood.
LG Sinha lamented the decades-long denial of a rightful childhood for these children, attributing their plight to the influence of conflict profiteers who had manipulated and even armed them with stones. He reassured the audience that the destructive ecosystem responsible for this had been dismantled, enabling the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to embrace laptops and tablets while actively contributing to the nation's progress.
Emphasising the significance of providing homes for children living in institutional care and on the streets, LG Sinha stressed that institutional care should be viewed as a last resort. He highlighted the government's ongoing efforts to launch various rehabilitation and child care initiatives.
LG Sinha also underscored the collaborative endeavors of the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) and the State Adoption Resource Agency (SARA) to promote family-based non-institutional care for children.
The inaugural session of the workshop saw participation from a diverse range of stakeholders, including PRIs, ULB members, police officials, resource persons, representatives of the Juvenile Justice Board, members of the judiciary, and various NGOs.
LG Sinha urged an alliance of stakeholders, including public representatives, NGOs, community elders, religious leaders, and youth clubs, to unite in combating the escalating problem of drug abuse. He advocated for the adoption of a zero-tolerance policy towards drugs, emphasising that it is the collective responsibility of all to raise awareness and collaborate in achieving a drug-free Jammu and Kashmir.
During the event, LG Sinha appealed to officials from the central government to explore the establishment of Vatsalya Sadan facilities in Jammu and Srinagar, as part of a comprehensive strategy to address and mitigate drug-related challenges in the region.
The workshop, organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, marked a significant milestone as the first of its kind in the country. LG Sinha expressed his gratitude to the Ministry and commended the Social Welfare Department for its innovative initiative, which aims to train 15,000 individuals in 2023-24.
Among others the event was attended by Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary of Jammu & Kashmir; Sanjeev Kumar Chadha, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development; Indra Mallo, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development; Sheetal Nanda, Commissioner Secretary of the Social Welfare Department, along with senior officers from the Central Government and UT Administration.