Srinagar: Asserting “adolescent drug abuse” is one of the major areas of concern, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday called upon the public representatives, NGOs, community elders, religious leaders and youth clubs to join the fight against the menace.
“We have adopted zero tolerance policy against drugs and it is our collective responsibility to raise awareness and strengthen action to realise the vision of drug-free J&K,” he said.
The Lieutenant Governor, who inaugurated a two-day workshop on sensitisation-cum-training programme for the representatives of panchayati raj institutions, urban local bodies and police on ‘Child Rights and Protection’ here, said “childhood blossoms in a vibrant environment of home”.
“Hence, institutional care should be the last option,” he added.
Sinha said that the government has taken several rehabilitation and child care initiatives, adding adoption through joint efforts of the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) and the State Adoption Resource Agency (SARA) has started that will promote family-based non-institutional care of the children.
Social Welfare Department Commissioner-Secretary Sheetal Nanda, who was also present on the occasion, said the Ministry of Women and Child Development has always made efforts that all judicial acts, the POCSO and the Child Marriage Act etc. should reach out to everyone at the grass root level.
“Now a number of mechanisms have been established in this regard for the awareness and knowledge to reach the public. This is the first of its kind workshop and many more are coming,” said Nanda.
“The department has targeted to cover 15,000 people in order to create an awareness about children’s rights, management and dealing with children if any untoward incident occurs,” she added.
Baramulla Municipal Council chairman Umer Kakru said four things are important to a child — the right to survival, protection, participation and development.
“District court judges, police, PRIs have participated and all of them have to make sure that not any child should deprive from all these rights, schemes that are provided by the government,” he said.
Srinagar Child Welfare Committee chairperson Dr Khair un Nisa said the workshop has been conducted for strengthening the juvenile justice mechanism in Jammu and Kashmir.
“All the stakeholders are participating in this programme. This is to work at the grass root level on how to safeguard rights of children,” she added.