Children are the barometer of a society’s wellbeing. A child’s wellbeing in all aspects of her/his life, reflects the overall health and development of the family, community and the society they live in.
A nation and states’ far reaching impact is seen very often from a child’s wellbeing and the health index. But due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, children are being impacted adversely, both directly and indirectly due to COVID.
“There are reports of children losing either one or both of their parents due to COVID-19. Their education is interrupted. Their mental well-being is affected. Keeping this in mind, we organized a virtual webinar with honorable MLAs so that children can be protected, and some actions can be taken.
The health systems have been under tremendous strain and though the number of cases may be dropping, we need to exercise caution and think how we can keep children safe. Essential health services need to resume so that children and women in need of treatment for non-communicable diseases don’t suffer. I am confident that with the support of Legislators and with the leadership of Joba Majhi and the Chief Minister, the children of Jharkhand will benefit,” said Mr. Prasanta Dash, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Jharkhand.
Speaking on this occasion, Joba Majhi, Minister, Department of Women & Child Development & Social Welfare said, “Children are a priority, and the Government is committed to take actions for their welfare and safety. It is unfortunate that in the second wave, children are impacted. We must take actions and I requested the respected MLAs monitor the situation in shelter homes, spread awareness about the Child Line number – 1098 and a helpline which Govt of Jharkhand has set up 181.”
Purnima Singh, MLA fom Jharia said she has organized a van in her constituency to increase the vaccination uptake and stressed upon data collection of children impacted. She expressed the importance of continued engagement on such issues for the benefit of the most vulnerable child.
Dr. Irfan Ansari, MLA from Jamtara said, “It is very important that we plan and create separate pediatric COVID wards for children so that they can receive proper treatment. Such Paediatric Covid care centres can be set up in all districts to help treat children.”
Sita Soren, MLA, from Jama, Sudivya Kumar, MA from Giridih, Rajesh Kachhap, MLA from Khijri, and Sanjib Sardar, MLA from Potka, Niral Purty, MLA from Majhgaon and Anup Singh, MLA from Bermo also participated in the webinar and gave their valuable inputs.
Ms. Astha Alang, Communication officer of UNICEF Jharkhand said, “We need to stop the spread of misleading information on adoption of children who have lost their parents and instead they need to be guided about proper procedures of adoption.”
Ms Priti Srivastava, Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF Jharkhand, presented on the Protection Measures for Children Affected due to COVID and said, “Initiatives such as making Child Friendly constituencies where all children are cared for, educated and protected will really benefit children.”
Dr. Rahul Kapse, Health Specialist, at UNICEF Jharkhand said, “During this pandemic, both children and parents are very anxious. We need to remove this anxiety from their minds. Awareness about safe behaviour such as wearing masks, maintaining distance and washing hands with soap needs to be spread.”