Bhubaneswar: 18/11/22:The State Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday approved the ‘Prarambh — The Odisha State Policy for Children 2022’.
Through the formation and implementation of state-specific policies, schemes and programmes, Odisha, in the past few decades, has made significant progress in ensuring and fulfilling the rights of children, particularly in the areas of protection, survival and health, education and development. It is being realized that, a policy for children is further expected to bring a paradigm shift in the discourse and work related to children across the State.
The Department of Women and Child Development, in collaboration with other State departments and organizations has brought about a policy document for children in the State called “PRARAMBH- the Odisha State Policy for Children, 2022”.
The policy envisions the best interest of children by means of a blueprint which focuses on children’s right to survival, protection, physical health, including mental health, upholding the right to education, participation and other milestones required to achieve their optimal development. For this policy, and in line with UNCRC, childhood includes the period from conception till 18 years of age.
The policy will further strengthen the state’s commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by ensuring rights of children in the state and will significantly improve the overall wellbeing of children. The Policy for Children will stimulate, systematize and coordinate actions between the related departments and organizations working for children, The policy has seven focus areas: such as:
1) Survival: Health, Nutrition, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.
2) Education and Holistic Development.
3) Child Protection: Child Abuse, Exploitation, Neglect, Maltreatment, Violence, Child Labour, Child Marriage, Child Trafficking, Drugs/Substance abuse, Online Abuse and other hardship.
4) Identity, Family/Alternative Care, Birth Registration, Quality of Life.
5) Special Measures for the Vulnerable children.
6) Dispensation of Justice and Legal Provisions for Children.
7) Children’s Participation.
One of the guiding principles of the policy also emphasizes the protection and wellbeing of children from adverse or exceptional circumstances, affected by climateinduced natural disasters, orphaned, disabled, or with special needs, require additional protection, care and support from the state and society to lead a dignified life and to realise their full potential I Desk reviews, field visits and a series of consultations with various stakeholders and experts provided insights for the formulation of this policy. Subsequently, in 2021, the policy was further reviewed in the context of children’s vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic and the policy measures needed.
A plan of action and major interventions required to implement the provisions of this policy will be initiated within a year of the notification of this policy. All Departments and organizations working for children shall develop the state action plan through a convergence approach which will enable them translate their commitments in to actions for holistic development of children in the state. The Women and Child Development Department will be the Nodal Department in facilitating the process of convergence and coordination to bring synergy among all stakeholders involved in the process.