Shillong March 10: The Department of English and Communication, Martin Luther Chirstian Univeirsty (MLCU) and the fil semester postgraduate students of the Department of Counselling Psychology, MLCU, along with IMPULSE NGO Network, Shillong and the State Resource Centre for Women, Department of Social Welfare, Government of Meghalaya came together to address the issue of child trafficking in Meghalaya and the rest of Northeast India in a semir titled “Voice of the Voiceless” in the MLCU hall on Saturday. The objective of the semir was to eble the students of the Department of Counselling Psychology, MLCU to identify ways of providing support through rehabilitation to survivors of child trafficking/ trafficked children by linking it to the field of counseling psychology.
Semir raises trafficking concerns
Parallel sessions were held to discuss conditions where children can be very vulnerable to being trafficked. The discussions also focussed on the kind of support the counselling psychology students and the social work students can render to children in areas where they can be most vulnerable to trafficiking within families where child support is lacking, in disturbed areas, and in areas where there is tural disaster. Further discussions were held on how students can support community and family of stigmatised families, especially children, and how counselling psychology can provide support, through rehabilitation, to the survivors of trafficking. Among the participants were students and faculty members of MLCU, William Carey University, Shillong, and Women’s College, Shillong.
Speaking in the sessions were Dr Manobi Borooah, psychologist, Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, Department of Neotology; Dr Sangeeta Goswami, psychologist & president, MIND INDIA, Institute of Positive Mental Health & Research; Dr Soli Shinde Tesia , psychologist; Gayatri Choudhury, secretary, Women Empowerment Centre; Miguel Queah, founder, UTSAH – Universal Team for Social Action & Help; and Dr Neel Konwar, critical psychologist on strategy, policy and learning development.
The keynote addresses were delivered by Mee Kharkongor, chairperson, State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Government of Meghalaya and Ivyreen Warjri, Mission Director, State Resource Centre for Women, Government of Meghalaya.
While giving the keynote address, Mee Kharkongor said child trafficking in the northeastern region is very common and so far the government’s lack of priority on this is one of the biggest challenges to curb the crime, adding even when children are rescued, there is lack of proper rehabilitation where they do not receive proper physical healthcare and hardly any mental healthcare.
The session was concluded by a special address by Hasi Kharbhih, Chair, IMPULSE NGO Network on the Relevance of Child Trafficking with Special Context to the North East.