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SRINAGAR: World Vision India (WV India), a humanitarian organisation working for child protection in partnership with Humanity Welfare Organisation (HWO) launched a state-wide campaign , “It takes J and K to end child sexual abuse” in Srinagar today. It was followed by a panel discussion on ‘Ending Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation in India’, a presentation of a children’s manifesto, drafted by children themselves.  and a commitment to address issues of child protection collectively. 

The magnitude of sexual violence against children is huge, with more than one out of every two children in the country facing it, (MWCD 2007). To address the issue and to break the silence around child abuse World Vision India’s campaign ‘It takes every Indian to end child sexual abuse’, is expected to impact 10 million children (0 – 18 years). World Vision India urged civil society organisations and individuals to collaborate and work along with the government towards breaking the silence and ending child sexual abuse.  

Cherian Thomas, CEO and National Director - World Vision India said, “we believe that violence against children, especially sexual abuse, is a violation of basic human and child rights. This abuse affects their survival, health and education, and future. We believe we cannot do this alone, we will achieve far more, together, to build a nation that is fit for children.”

The Honorable Retd Justice Bilal Ahmad, Nazki-State Human Rights Commission, said, “As a society we have a collective responsibility to prevent child sexual abuse. We should initiate and support services that enhance children’s development and safety and we must advocate for policies and programs that can help meet the holistic needs of children”. Speaking at the event Hilal Bhat, UNICEF said “The face of abuse has changed drastically with technology, it’s not just physical abuse but online abuse too on the rise.  Both have a long term impact on the child’s life. It is important to sensitise children, parents, teachers and the public about child sexual abuse”

At the event children too shared their thoughts and put forward their demands. Speaking about the need for parents to listen to children, Wani Farkhan said “parents should be open to listening to children and encourage them to come forward and discuss their thoughts on abuse. Also rehabilitation of the perpetrators is much needed so that they understand the issue and not commit the crime again.”

Another child speaker, Israf Mustaq said ” The steps towards making Jammu and Kashmir a child friendly state has a long way to go. Our laws should not be just on paper we must ensure that they are implemented.”

The campaign will encourage the public to address values and attitudes, which condone sexual abuse and exploitation of children. World Vision India will also train parents on child protection, parenting and care at household level and within the community, facilitate school safety program, conduct comprehensive school safety measures for children, establish child protection policies and improve complaint mechanisms in schools. The campaign will focus on strengthening existing child protection programs through multi-stakeholder engagement. Additionally, it will work to strengthen coalitions of community, faith-based and civil society organizations to advocate for the protection of children and improve referral systems.

The consultation included the launch of a book on child Safety- ‘My body! What I say Goes! The book aims to teach children about respect, consent and body boundaries. It also explores safe and unsafe feelings, early warning signs, a safety network, safe and unsafe touch and the difference between secrets and surprises. It also provides information on where to report, how to report and seek help. The book will be shared with children in schools and educational institutions across the locations where WV India works.  

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JAMMU: Secretary, Tourism Rigzian Sampheal, today inspected conservation work at the Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex.  He inspected the works being executed for restoration of Royal Court Yard, Gadvai Khana, Badi Deodi and Royal Court which have been taken up under Mega Tourism Project, 13th Finance Commission and PMDP-I in and around the Heritage complex.

 

The Secretary asked Executive Director Mubarak Mandi Heritage Society to ensure that all works under progress are completed within the given time frame and strictly as per the approved design/DPRs.  He also assured that the requisite funds for completion of ongoing works shall be made available at appropriate point of time and it will be ensured that those works which have already been taken up for execution do not suffer for want of funds.  After detailed discussions with the Consultants, hired for the purpose, Secretary Tourism directed them to work out a plan in regard to optimum utilization of those buildings of Heritage Complex such as Foreign Office/Army Head Quarter & Royal Courts which have restored completely so that these are put to the best public use as soon as possible.

Executive Director, Mubarak Mandi Jammu Heritage Society,  Om Prakash Bhagat, Pawan  Gupta, Dy. Director Tourism (Maintenance & Works), Jammu and representatives of Consultancy Firm hired for the purpose also accompanied the Secretary Tourism during the site inspection.

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RAJOURI:  Jashn-E-Aman, an All India Poetry recitation/Mushaira/Kavi Sammelan is being organized in this border to mark Gandhi Jayanti Celebrations. The literary event will begin at 4:00pm   at Government PG College. The event is an initiative of District administration Rajouri in collaboration with Ayesha Charitable Trust. A popular TV channel has agreed to be media partner for the event.

 

Prominent poets from across the country are expected to participate in a first of its kind event in the Pir Panjal Region. Internationally Renowned poets like Mansoor Usmani, Iqbal Ashhar, Kunwar Ranjeet Chauhan, Shakeel Azmi, Nadeem Shad, Nusrat Mehdi, Alok Srivastav, Quaiser Khalid, Ateeq Anzar(from Qatar), among others, are likely to participate.

 

District administration Rajouri has extended warm invitation to the public for participation in Jashn-e-Aman. As per a district administration spokesperson, there will be no entry fee for the event being organised to celebrate peace, harmony and the spirit of universal brotherhood on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti.