SIVASAGAR, June 4: The Chief of Communication for Development Programmes, UNICEF India country office, Siddhartha Shrestha along with C4D team, UNICEF Assam led by Veena Kumari, C4D officer, visited Sivasagar recently to witness the adolescent empowerment programmes in the district. Shrestha first visited Darbar field LP School to have an overview of the Adolescent Empowerment Programme implemented in Sivasagar by District Children and Adolescent Cell (DCAC), Deputy Commissioner’s office, Sivasagar. Priyanku Jyoti Sharma, Assistant Commissioner, Sivasagar along with staff of DCAC, local NGO members of SAVED, Nava Uddit Samaj, Sonapur Social Development Society and KIRAN were also present.
DCAC, supported by UNICEF, Assam aims to work for ensuring child protection and rights of children and in achieving this, it has been working with different line departments like District Child and Protection Unit, Child Welfare Committee, Education, Labour department, Health and Public Health and Engineering department in the district while in the village and tea gardens, three pillars have been identified as adolescents, parents and community as well as the Child Protection Committees. Child Protection Committees are formed in each village and tea garden with a motive to ensure protection of the children and adolescents.
Shrestha then interacted with 40 adolescents, including eight young reporters of adolescent newsletter Mukta Akash who had gathered to watch an Adhafull episode on gender equality and asked them their areas of interest for writing news and stories. This was followed by two folklore performances of adolescents from Hahchara GP and Baghjan Tea Estate. The adolescents of Hahchara performed Bihu on themes like child marriage and school drop-out. Bihu was followed by a jhummur performance on the themes of education, child marriage and child labour. The adolescent facilitators of the folklore performances facilitated the programme and later interacted with the audience on the issue of child marriage. The chief’s visit ended with an interaction with the Child Protection Committees and members of parents groups who had come to watch Facts for Life video show. Shrestha interacted with them and appreciated the initiatives taken up the District Children and Adolescent Cell under the district administration of Sivasagar.