To provide safe environment to children, the government three years back came up with anintegrated child protection scheme (ICPS). The motive of coming up with this scheme was to ensure a safe environment to them.
The scheme which was announced in 2012 is unique in a way as it brings all child protection programmes under its ambit. The central government had sanctioned Rs 818.22 lakh to Punjab for the said scheme.
Since the implementation of the scheme there has been a considerable improvement in the standard of living of children and also it has been able to generate awareness among the people about child rights, their importance and consequences of their violation. The scheme has helped in reducing their vulnerability to child abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
The Punjab government has constituted child welfare committees under the scheme and Juvenile Justice Board in each district. Further District Social Security Officers have been designated as Child Protection Officers.
The government had also reocognised NGOs as license adoption placement agencies in different districts. These included Nari Niketan Trust, Jalandhar, Swami Ganga Nand Bhuriwale International Foundation, Ludhiana, Yadwindera Puran Bal Niketan, Patiala, Pingla Ghar, Jalandhar, All India Pingalwara Charitable Society, Amritsar, Sh. Radha Krishan Dham Samiti, Faaridkot and Bhai Ghaneya ji Charitable Trust, Jalandhar.
The government had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Union Ministry of Women and Child Development.
There are 10 schemes for children which are being funded by the state government. In addition to this the government has been already working for children rights and welfare through seven children homes, four observation homes, 2 special homes, and 2 state after care home.
The state government is working closely with families and guardians of children to ensure positive parenting and also to make them understand the causes and effects of violence against children. This in a way is helping the government in its commitment to tackle violence against children.
An international organisation for children, Save the Children is also working in the state to safeguard the rights of the children. It is working in most of the districts of Punjab to make sure there is enough awareness on the subject and also to check if it finds violation of child rights anywhere.
District Child Protection Officers (DCPOs) had recently undergone training in Zirakpur jointly by Social Security and Women and Child Development (DSSWCD) and Save the Children. The main objective of the training workshop was to update the officers with recent changes in laws and legistations related to children since they play a vital role in protecting child rights.
The Deputy Director of DSSWCD had during the training pointed out that India has the highest population of children hence there was a need to have a protected environment by all governments. Jatin Mondar, Project Director for Save the Children said it was the duty of government, civil society and community to jointly ensure protection of child rights and their vision is to change ways in which people treat children.