DIMAPUR, NOVEMBER 20: In a shocking disclosure, Commissioner & Secretary, Sarah R Ritse, who is also the administrator of Nagaland State Social Welfare Board (NSSWB), has revealed that cases of negligence and abandonment of children in Nagaland is on the rise, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic, cases of children being abandoned and neglected has risen at an alarming rate,” she said in her keynote address at a State level consultative webinar on the issue of ‘Negligence and Abandonment of Children’ on the occasion of World Children’s Day 2020 organized by the Department of Social Welfare, Child Protection Service (CPS) and the State Resource Centre for Women (SRCW) Nagaland for district functionaries on November 20.
Ritse disclosed that 5 cases of children abandonment/neglect were reported in the State during the lockdown period.
Stating that mothers/women in the society are often blamed or accused of not taking the responsibility, more so in the case of unwed mothers, she urged all to acknowledge that both men and women, father and mother or guardians in general, are equally responsible for taking care of the child.
Ritse underlined the importance of strengthening convergence strategies both at the State and District level, and requested everyone in the field to focus on prevention, to continue working for children’s welfare and uphold their rights, and to make Nagaland a safer place for children by giving the best possible services.
Ritse further called upon all key stakeholders, Government, NGOs, civil societies, community-based organizations, including churches, village leaders and concerned citizens to collectively collaborate together to sensitize the masses about the issue and on services available.
Highlighting some statistics on the CPS record from 2010-2020, she informed that there have been 6490 sponsorship beneficiaries, 638 foster care beneficiaries, 476 aftercare beneficiaries and 137 surrendered, abandoned, orphaned children who has gone for legal adoption in-country as well as inter-country.
A video “Deafening Silence” produced by the Child Protection Services, Nagaland, to sensitize the public about the issue of children in need of care and protection and services available was launched by Ritse on the occasion.
Meneno V, Research Officer, SRCW, presented a situational analysis from the gender perspective, while Renchumi Imti, Programme Manager, CPS, spoke on intervention strategies under Child Protection Services. In cases of child abandonment or negligence, she informed that one can inform the nearest Special Juvenile Police Units (SJPU), the 181, 1098, District Child Protection Units (DCPU), the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), or the Juvenile Justice Boards (JJB).
The webinar closed with the way forward for convergence to protect child rights proposed by Tosheli Zhimomi, Joint Director, Social Welfare & Director, CPS.
(Page News Service)