JAMMU: Amid the emerging situation due to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), Social Welfare Department has geared up its efforts to keep the service delivery of child protection running for its large number of beneficiaries, mostly juveniles, who fall under the ambit of its care, and those who are in conflict with the law.
This was stated by Mission Director ICPS, Shabnam Shah Kamili who is also the UT level Nodal Officer from the Social Welfare Department, while briefing about the efforts underway for ensuring a protective environment for children in difficult circumstances as well as other vulnerable children here today. Kamili informed that as part of efforts, ICPS has recently released an amount of Rs 40 lakh for its District Child Protection Units in order to facilitate COVID- 19 related measures at the district levels. Besides, under its Scholarship scheme monetary grants of Rs 2000 per juvenile were also released among the 1267 beneficiaries.
Stressing on the need for keeping up kids’ mental health during coronavirus, Kamili said that a tele-counselling programme for children has been launched to help children and parents fight against the mental trauma caused due to the lockdown on impressionable minds of young children. “The department is taking all the necessary steps in making arrangements for the juveniles, while regular inspections are being carried out on a weekly basis in child care institutions. A mass outreach programme on raising awareness on measures to be taken to tackle the spread of coronavirus has also been started,” she added. She further said that on account of well-being of children in need of care and protection, they have been shifted into SOS facilities.
All Juveniles Justice Boards have been directed to process bail applications of inmates lodged at Observation Homes in J&K. Strict Instructions have been issued to all the Child Welfare Committees to follow the guidelines as issued by the Ministry of Women & Child Development in prevention and best interest of children lodged in various CCIs, she said. Elaborating on other actions taken by Social Welfare Department so far after lockdown, Kamili said that more than six lakh students have been awarded pre and post-matric scholarships.
While as more than six lakh old age persons/widows / persons with disabilities are being paid pensions of Rs 1000 have been issued in advance and approximately 6.5 lakh children in the age of 0–6 years, lactating and pregnant women and out of school adolescent girls have been provided supplementary nutrition. Besides, she said, funds for three months in advance have been placed at the disposal of CAPD/FCI to provide rice for the recipe under supplementary nutrition programme.
Further, six NGOs operating in child care have been provided grant in aid for one year on 31st March this year, she added. Besides, to bring relief to the families of healthcare personal and officials engaged in the COVID-19 management in Jammu & Kashmir, a mechanism has been set up at different structural levels to readdress any need for help from the families of COVID-19 warriors.