Orientation programme for nodal officers on Youth Connect Programme in Smart City

Bhubaneswar: In order to make the city youth socially smart and provide a safe, secured and liveable city, an orientation programme for nodal officers of various educational institutions was held here at Institute on Management of Agricultural Extension (IMAGE) near the campus of Orissa University of Agriculture Technology.
Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) organised this mega event in which 65 institutions of Bhubaneswar participated through their representatives.
In the orientation program there were representatives from Commissionerate Police, Women’s Commission, District Child Protection Unit and Women and Child Welfare Department. These officials talked about the current crime scenario with specific reference to violence against women and the various steps the State Government is taking to address the same.
Resource persons like Bijayjani Malla, sub-inspector Mahila Police Station and Snehanjali Mohanty, Member Women’s Commission spoke at the event. The experts shared various types of crimes being reported in the society. They also spoke about the legal provisions to safeguard the rights of girls and women. Information on “Mo Saathi App’’, Helpline Numbers (women and children), Sakhi Centre and role of Mahila Commission etc. were also shared in details.
The police official said that every police station has a Women and Child Desk to enable girls/women to share their complaints. She also talked about “Madhyam’’, the Counseling Centre being run at DCP offices of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. Participants also informed of the initiatives being undertaken to protect senior citizens. They were told about the Senior Citizen Cell. Member, Mahila Commission talked about selected legal provisions including sexual harassment at workplace.
Experts also discussed about various commissions set up to protect rights of vulnerable groups including children and Persons with Disabilities and PD Act.
This was followed by a group activity wherein the participants came up with their planning for the coming years. BSCL has been working to strengthen the social components of Smart City in association with UNFPA. The project aims to reach out to youths in a big way to create awareness on various aspects of gender based violence both at the level of slums of Bhubaneswar Town Centre District (BTCD) area and educational institutes of the city.
Last year the Youth Connect Program reached out to 77 educational institutes including private colleges, universalities, engineering, medical and MBA institutes. Each of the institutes had organised two events on the themes – “Safe City Safe Campus’’ and “Better Style Better Life’’.
This year the intervention is making an attempt to involve 26 numbers of schools, both private and government in the Youth Connect Program. The nodal officers of these institutes after the orientation program will go on to organise programmes to create awareness amongst the students on aspects of gender-based violence, support services and legal provisions.

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