Sunday, July 4, 2021

DCPUs and CWCs hold the key to India protecting children left alone in COVID pandemic – Express Healthcare

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The action plan aims at identifying, linking and referring all cases of a child in need of care and protection to relevant government authorities and statutory structures

As India continues to witness a surge in COVID-19 cases, this has impacted children the most who have either lost a parent or have their primary caregivers in the hospital.

To cover all aspects of the impact of COVID-19 on children, Save the Children has launched an immediate response to reach 10 lakh children and caregivers in 57 districts across 12 states and two Union Territories (UT)s and have launched a website to raise awareness and funds for this critical response.

Though there is no accurate data available for the impact on children, the number of daily deaths indicates an increasing number of children have lost their immediate parent, guardian or families. This is validated by a surge in SOS calls/appeals made to the teams of Save the Children, other government helplines and social media.

Talking about this rise, Prabhat Kumar, Deputy Director- Child Protection, Save the Children, India, said, “While we all want to help and contribute towards the rehabilitation of the child, we must refrain from posting any specific details like the child’s name, photo, contact number or location on social media. Posting these details would allow rogue elements to access information to carry forward detrimental actions towards the child. We must immediately call childline 1098 and register; we can also inform the local police by calling 100 or the district Child Welfare Committees (CWC)s. Our one and single action should be ensuring institutional reporting of the case, even if we find something similar on social media.”

Further, to tackle child protection issues on the ground, they have adopted a comprehensive action plan that involves various District Child Protection Units (DCPU)s and district CWCs that Save the Children regularly engages with and supports in handholding and training. They will also activate children’s groups at the village level who emerge as young warriors and raise children’s issues during such crisis.

“We must build support and work with various State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR)s, Children Welfare Committees (CWC)s, DCPUs and children’s groups as these committees and groups can reach the most disadvantaged communities and hold the key to ensuring India can protect the last child,” Kumar added.

The action plan aims at identifying, linking and referring all cases of a child in need of care and protection to relevant government authorities and statutory structures such as CHILDLINE- 1098, National/State Commission for Protection of Child Rights-18001212830, Police-100 and DCPUs.

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