Sishu Sampark Yatra to be launched 20th January, 2020 at Puri

Puri: The State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (OSCPCR) with the support of ActionAid and Child Fund India organizing Sishu Sampark Yatra, a state level campaign to connect children in post COVID. The programme will be launched on 20th January at Puri.
Sandhyabati Pradhan, Chairperson of the Commission said that “the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has thrown lives out of gear for all of us. But the impact has been disproportionately felt by children from the vulnerable communities. All aspects of their life have taken a hit — their protection, nutrition as well as education”
Adding to the discussion she told that the socio-economic distress caused by the pandemic has made matters worse for children living in poverty. These include those at risk of child labour, early marriage and trafficking, children with special needs and those in care institutions. Besides, they are being exposed to increased exploitation and abuse. With the lockdown restricting their mobility and outdoor recreational activities, having to stay confined within deplorable housing conditions has led to increased levels of anxiety among them, adversely impacting their mental health. The pandemic, as we know, has hugely disrupted the schooling system for children since March. School closures have given way to the idea of online education. The access to digital tools is also increasing certain risks. For instance, children, especially girls, are becoming more vulnerable to cyber-bullying and sexual exploitation as their parents lack adequate knowledge on how to supervise children while using the internet.
The ongoing pandemic has adversely impacted the overall well-being and growth of children, affecting their health, nutrition, education, personality development and in the longer run, even their future livelihood prospects shared Ghasiram Panda, Programme Manager of ActionAid and the advisor to OSCPCR. In this context reaching out to these children and their families to understand the situation, provide necessary handholding support and to strengthen the care and protection mechanisms is extremely important he says.
In its first phase the commission will visits different blocks of Puri like Delanga, Kanasa and Pipili to attend grievances on violation of child rights. The campaign will continue throughout the year. In later phase the commission will also visit other different districts and municipal corporations.
The Commission has also instructed to the Child Welfare Committees of the state to take similar activities in their respective districts. The District Magistrate and Collectors has also been instructed to facilitate the process.

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