By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Jan 5: “Children are the resources of our state and they need to be cared for a better future of our society. This project will help children in this regard,” said Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi while launching the Mukhyamantrir Suli Saishab Prakalpa (MSSP), a state convergent plan of action for child welfare, at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) auditorium in the city today.
Launching the project, Gogoi said: “Because of various reasons like poverty, illiteracy of parents and lack of awareness, many children of the state can’t go to school. Some parents also force them to work for the family instead of taking to education. Such children work in tea stalls, tea gardens and do household chores. We, therefore, took an initiative in 2012 and banned child labour in houses of government employees. This ban has been successful. This convergent plan of action has been launched in every district of the state. This project will focus on helping children to enjoy their rights which are too important to be without for their development. We have taken plans to help the children suffering from trafficking, abusing and exploitation. We have also taken plans to help children who are victims insurgency. There are also children who were compelled to join insurgent groups. We are focusing on completing the project within 2021. UNICEF has also helped us in this regard, and we expect success in the project which include 23 government departments like Social Welfare, Education, Health and others.”
State Social Welfare Minister Gautam Roy said: “As per the Census of 2011, our state has 3,47,353 children who are of 5-14 years of age group who are engaged in some form of main or margil works. While 2,11,548 of such children are boys, 1,35,805 are girls. Child labour is a big and complex problem for which an executive plan is needed. However, the public have to cooperate with the administration to make it a success.”
The programme was also attended by Guwahati Mayor Abir Patra, country Field Services chief of UNICEF Foroogh Foyowzat, UNICEF Northeast field head Tushar Rane, commissioner of Social Eelfare Department Hemanga Kishore Sarma, Commissioner of Police Mukesh Agarwal, Kamrup (M) DC M Angamuthu and others.