Amader Katha-making West Bengal Child Friendly State An initiative by CINI in collaboration with ITC Ltd. & WBCPCR

WBSCPCR in association with CINI and ITC organized a unique interactive session with hundreds of adolescent girls and boys from different parts of West Bengal. This initiative will help in identifying different good practices that the young people follow and the challenges that they face in their day to day life. A first of its kind live interaction between the Govt. and children focusing on Education, Protection, Health and Nutrition issues in the state.

CINI in partnership with Mission Sunehra Kal-Social Investment programme of ITC Limited has been working for creating enabling environment of adolescent to prevent early marriage trafficking. Thousands of girls have been benefited under this safety net. The initiative was to create a platform enabling greater opportunities to hear directly from children by the State Commission of Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR), which is an exclusive actor to protect, promote and defend child rights in the state.

Dignitaries like Ms. Ananya Chakraborti, Chairperson, West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights .Govt. of West Bengal, Mr. Santana Murmu, Citizen Journalist, WRAWB and Ms. Piyali Ghosh Banerjee from ITC , Dr. Indrani Bhattacharya were present to grace the occasion. Mr. Sujoy Roy State Programme Manager CINI was present to brief the media. Other eminent personalities from all Government department were present.

The event also highlighted some burning issues like child marriage, Trafficking, Violence related to children n the current status of the West Bengal, Gaps and Challenges from Centre to State in Hospitals, Service & Accountability in the sector, Identifying issues and its mitigation plan, Institutional mechanism having an interface platform between SCPCR, WB and the children in the state, Quality of Care in Maternal & Newborn Health Services in WB, Analysis on gaps and different good practices that the young people follow and the challenges that they face in their day to day life, etc.

First time in the country the event became an entry point to devise a State-level Platform led by Children. Child and adolescent representatives from different districts of West Bengal took part in that sharing event .All participating children in different groups expresses their views on all those matters that were affecting their lives. They also got a chance to articulate on those issues, on which they expect their wishes should be given due attention in accordance with age and maturity. Moreover, the same stage will be used for critical reflection from duty bearers and various actors working in the arena of Child Rights and Protection in West Bengal. CINI would extend all supports to facilitate the workshop in association with WBCPCR. CRY, SCF members and other development partners also present to take this issue forward.

Mr. Sujoy Roy said, “CINI’s present idea is to create a state level platform and facilitate the ‘children-led initiative’ to promote inclusion of children’s voices and participation in decision making processes.”

CINI’s one of the strategic priorities is to create and ensure Child Friendly Community (CFC). In alignment with the National Policy for Children (2013) CINI also identified four key priority areas: survival, health and nutrition; education and development; protection and participation, for focused attention. As children’s needs are multi-sectoral, interconnected and require collective action, CINI aims for a purposeful convergence and coordination across different sectors and levels of governance to build and sustain Child Friendly Communities (CFC).