Shillong: Access to education is the best preventive strategy for children against falling victim to violence in conflict zones like Northeast and Maoist-hit areas of the country, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has observed.
Education is the strongest preventive strategy for
children in conflict situations, chairperson of the commission
Shantha Sinha said here last evening.
Emphasising that in a conflict situation a child
needed to be in a safe zone like schools, Sinha said.
Pointing out that Parliament had passed the bill
providing for free and compulsory education to children, Sinha
said the right to education, now being a fundamental right,
state governments would have to work towards making basic
education accessible to all children.
Observing that child rights was yet to take a centre
stage in the realm of public debate in the country, the
chairperson expressed concern that 47 per cent of the children
in the country were undernourished. The lack of access to
education and nutrition is alarming, she said.
Besides Sinha, members of the commission, including
former chief election commissioner JM Lyngdoh, toured parts of
Assam, Manipur and Meghalaya to study the plight of children
working in the conflict zones.
"We found many issues which need a lot of attention
from the governments," Sinha said.
During its visit to some of the coal mines in the
state, commission found that children, including those from
Nepal, Bangladesh, Assam and Bihar, were working as labourers
under difficult conditions.
The commission sought a report from the government on
the implementation of the mid-day meal scheme in Meghalaya,
regarding which it had received several complaints.
It further asked the state government to ensure that
vaccination against meningitis was administered to all
children, including those who have migrated to the state from