Roundtable discussion on "Child Rights” by XISS and Bal Raksha Bharat

Xavier Institute of Social Service (XISS), Ranchi, its Rural Management Programme, and Bal Raksha Bharat, globally known as Save the Children organized a Roundtable discussion on "Child Rights with a special focus on Mental Health and coping with learning difficulties in Fr Michael Van den Bogaert Auditorium in the campus. 

Dr Joseph Marianus Kujur SJ, Director XISS in his welcome address said that when we think of child rights, what comes in our mind is rationale for a human and a child. Children in rural areas have no access to gadgets to facilitate the online learning process which deprives them of their right to education. We should help these children with mental, emotional, and moral support. We also need to engage in research and training with our stakeholders for policy advocacy. He further urged to make it a campaign- Hum Andolan Layenge.

Mr Mahadev Hansda, State Programme Manager, Save the children, India highlighted the significance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the goals for children's development. He stated the importance of this event and said that post COVID, the mental health of children has been adversely affected. It is the role and responsibility of various stakeholders to safeguard the vulnerable section of society - “A CHILD”. He hoped that this discussion of the round table will lead to a framework for policy advocacy which will be helpful for children. He further mentioned that we have only 7 years to reach the target by 2030, and the only way to achieve this is by setting this as our mission. The child should be viewed as a subject with rights rather than as an object of legal protection. They should be acknowledged as full human beings with rights rather than being seen as "something" to be safeguarded.

It was followed by the panel discussion, moderated by Madhukar ji, a senior Journalist, who underscored the intersectionality of the discussion in areas that were revolutionary from a child rights perspective. Mr Ujjwal Prakash Tiwary, Member, JSCPCR, highlighted that proper care and protection can help a child flourish in the changing world when support is provided to their family in terms of employment. 

Dr Anant Kumar, Head of Programme, Rural Management Programme, XISS highlighted the aspects of mental health and the situation of policies for a child in the State. He said that due to the use of mobile, aggression in children is on the rise, due to which ‘Nature Deficit disorder’ is increasing in the children. Moreover, the state has an acute shortage of psychologists and psychiatrists. Malnutrition also plays a significant factor in improper mental development.

Dr Kaninika Mitra, Chief of UNICEF, Jharkhand talked about mental health and psychosocial support and also coping mechanisms with learning difficulties. She also emphasized Mental illness, which is becoming a ‘Silent killer’. It was estimated that nearly one in ten children in the world had mental or reading difficulties.

Ms. Jayita Sen, Save the Children (STC), emphasized more on prevention and identification. As this is the major concern for all of us, to know the issue; if identified at the early stage, can be easily cured.

An interactive session was also conducted for the audience which was attended by all the Heads of Programmes, Faculty, and Students of Rural Management. The Charter of demand was also handed over to the JSCPCR member by a delegation of children. The day event concluded with a vote of thanks by Dr Sanjay Kumar Verma, Assistant Program Coordinator, XISS, and Program Head Childline, Ranchi.