Nagaland reports alarming rise in child abandonment cases during Covid-19 lockdown
Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Nagaland reports alarming rise in child abandonment cases during Covid-19 lockdown

By EMN Updated: Nov 20, 2020 7:06 pm

Dimapur, Nov. 20 (EMN): Cases of children being abandoned and neglected rose at an alarming rate in Nagaland during the Covid-19 induced lockdown, recording a total of five such cases during the period, according to Sarah R Ritse, Commissioner and Secretary to the government of Nagaland, department of Social Welfare, and Administrator, Nagaland State Social Welfare Board (NSSWB).

Ritse was speaking at the state-level consultative webinar on the issue of ‘Negligence and Abandonment of Children’ on the occasion of World Children’s Day 2020 on Friday. The programme was organised by the department of Social Welfare, Government of Nagaland, Child Protection Service (CPS) and the State Resource Centre for Women (SRCW) Nagaland for their district functionaries.

Pointing out the seriousness of negligence and abandonment of children issue, Ritse lamented that ‘mothers and women in our society are often blamed or accused of not taking the responsibility, more so in the case of unwed mothers’ and stressed on the need to acknowledge that both men and women, father and mother or guardians in general are equally responsible for taking care of the child, according to an update from SRCW Nagaland.

She underlined “the importance of strengthening the convergence strategies both at the state and district level, and requested everyone in the field to focus on prevention, and reaffirm the functionaries to continue working for children’s welfare and in upholding their rights, to make our state a safer place for our children by giving the best possible services”.

She further called upon all the key stakeholders, government, NGOs, civil societies, community-based organisations, including churches, village leaders and concerned citizens to collectively collaborate to sensitise the masses about the issue and services available. She highlighted that from 2010 to 2020, CPS recorded “6490 sponsorship beneficiaries, 638 foster care beneficiaries, 476 aftercare beneficiaries and 137 surrendered, abandoned, orphaned children who have gone for legal adoption in-country as well as inter-country”.

The officer als9o launched a video titled “Deafening Silence” produced by the Child Protection Services, Nagaland to sensitise the public about the issue of children in need of care and protection, and services available.

Presenting situational analysis from the gender perspective, SRCW Research Officer, Meneno V mentioned several cases besides sharing some of the challenges faced and recommendations.

Renchumi Imti, Programme Manager CPS, Child Protection Services, shared about the services, activities, intervention strategies and preventative mechanisms, and some of the success stories of the CPS while speaking on ‘Intervention Strategies under Child Protection Services’.

She informed that people can report child abandonment or negligence cases to the “nearest Special Juvenile Police Units (SJPU), the 181, 1098, District Child Protection Units (DCPU), the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), or the Juvenile Justice Boards (JJB)”.

Sekho Dawhuo, District Child Protection Officer, Wokha; and Weri-u Mero, Centre Administrator, Sakhi-One Stop Centre, Dimapur, also shared their experiences at the grassroots level, citing cases of abandonment of children registered at the centre.

Tosheli Zhimomi, Joint Director of Social Welfare and Director CPS, proposed “Way Forward for Convergence to Protect Child Rights” at the webinar moderated by SRCW State Coordinator, Gracy Ayee, and stressed on the importance of good co-ordination among stakeholders, the need to create awareness at the community level, considering the rise in child abandonment cases during the lockdown. She also emphasised on various upcoming visual projects on child rights which can be promoted or circulated during awareness programmes and encouraged to organise more review consultative meets in the future.

By EMN Updated: Nov 20, 2020 7:06:14 pm