Our efforts to help children living in street situations have reached West Bengal, a state level roll out of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Care and Protection of Children in Street Situation was held on 13th of September, 2017. The programme was organized by Bal Raksha Bharat’s Kolkata State Programme Office, West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights (WBCPCR), Department of Child Development and Department of Women Development and Social Welfare.
Bal Raksha Bharat along with National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has drafted this SOP which serves as a guiding document on ‘How to provide care and protection to the children living in street situation’. Dr. Shashi Panja, Hon’ble Minister of State, Ministry of Women and Child Development graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Ms. Ananya Chakraborty, Chairperson WBCPCR and Mr Biswanath Chakraborty and Jt Secretary, Vagrancy, Controller of Vagrancy, Department of Women & Child Development and Social Welfare were present as Special Guests. Other participants included representatives from Police, Sarva Siksha Mission, Kolkata Municipal Corporation and members of civil society organizations working on child rights issues.
Mr Chittapriyo Sadhu, General Manager-State Programme, in his welcome address, shared about the study on children in street situations conducted across 5 cities of India including Kolkata and Howrah and how it provided a glimpse of the magnitude of the problem affecting the lives of an increasing population of children in the face of rapid urbanization. Referring to the initiative of the Government of West Bengal of conducting a census study in the city, he mentioned how the SOP which was developed by NCPCR with support from Bal Raksha Bharat, can act as a reference document to take the process of addressing the issues of the children.