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Bal Raksha Bharat Centenary Celebrations in Collaboration with ICMR-NIN


NIN, Hyderabad, September 4, 2019

The Right Start Summit on the eve of the Centenary Celebrations of Bal Raksha Bharat, in collaboration with ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition was conducted at NIN, Hyderabad. Etela Rajendra, Hon’ble Minister for Health was the Chief Guest.

Mr. Malla Reddy, Hon’ble Minister for Labour and WCD, Mr. B. Ram Mohan, Mayor of Hyderabad, Mr. Suresh Chukkapalli, Honorary Counsel General of The Republic of Korea, Mr. Tarun Joshi IPS, Joint Commissioner of Police – Special Branch Hyderabad, Dr. Hemalatha, Director National Institute of Nutrition, Vijay Kumar, IAS Commissioner, Dept of School Education were the Guests of Honor.

The one-day summit had representation from the children of the project villages, from various government departments, police, 59 NIN Scientists, civil society (Plan India & Action Aid), Child Welfare Committee – Ranga Reddy District and Hyderabad District, National Institute of Rural Development, BHAROSA Police Initiative, International Justice Mission, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, District Medical and Health Office, State Resource Group Members, Teachers, NGO NGO Partners (MARI, MAHITA, CONARE),  Municipal Commissioners, Central Censor Board Member and representatives from law and government schools and media participated.

Inaugural Session:
Mr. Etela Rajendra, Hon’ble Minister for Health stated that, “Telangana has people oriented policies and has always worked for the betterment of children. Various government schemes such as KCR Kits have helped to reach to the marginalized and poorest communities. There is a need to further address the root causes of poverty and make youth and children as productive citizens. I am glad that Bal Raksha Bharat is celebrating its 100 years which is a unique milestone of commitment and its reach of work in hundreds of villages is commendable.”

Dr. Hemalatha, Director NIN spoke on the need to further focus on anemia which is a silent killer and highlighted that stronger association She further highlighted that the two organizations which are celebrating its 100 years have done commendable work for children and that NIN will further work with Bal Raksha Bharat and will reach out to the vulnerable children, especially work in the area of anemia.

Tarun Joshi IPS Joint Commissioner of Police – Special Branch, spoke on the importance of child protection. There is a need to further build awareness on child sexual abuse. Police are trying to be citizen friendly, by bridging the gap through relationship building work. There are strong laws and systems, however there is a need to respect and follow them, especially to ensure that there is a bright future for children. There is a need to work in collaboration with organization such as Bal Raksha Bharat which have been doing great work on ground.

Suresh Chukkapalli highlighted the need to look critically look at nutritional aspects of mid-day meal scheme and the rations. He highlighted that corporates through their social responsibility initiatives should be doing more in this area. The loss of children is a crime and it is the responsibility of ours protect. He agreed to further work with Bal Raksha Bharat to realize its mission.

Mr. Vijay Kumar IAS, Director, Department of School Education, Telangana, highlighted the importance of quality education and joyful learning. He further stated that Bal Raksha Bharat and DSE association has been for over 10 years in the state of Telangana through various workbooks, curriculum efforts and facilitating education reform.

Mr. Anindit Roy, Director, Program and Policy, Bal Raksha Bharat highlighted the history of Bal Raksha Bharat globally and the Right Start as a movement to bring change. He shared that the organization is facilitating both online and on the ground conversations with multiple stakeholders to build further commitment for collective action.

Vikas Gora, General Manager of Bal Raksha Bharat highlighted the journey of Bal Raksha Bharat of 40 years in the state. He shared that symphony of efforts and collaboration with various government departments and civil society in the state. He also highlighted for a collective, collaborative and committed action to realize the rights of children.

Mr. Etela Rajendra, Hon’ble Minister for Health and Mr. Malla Reddy, Hon’ble Minister for Labour and WCD, released Bal Raksha Bharat – ICMR NIN Baseline Report Findings titled,Improving Anemia Micronutrient Status through a Community Based Convergent Approach. He also gave away Changemaker Award to National Institute of Nutrition, Director Dr. R. Hemalatha for Exceptional leadership to ensure nutrition and well-being of children and to Dr. Tarun Joshi IPS, Joint Commissioner of Police – Special Branch, Hyderabad for Inspiring children and Younger Generation.

Child Champions, individuals and institutions which have worked exceptionally for the betterment of children and their rights were felicitated through the CHANGEMAKERS Award. 165 people participated from across the state of Telangana. The child champions shared their stories of transformation and the impact Bal Raksha Bharat has created in their lives.

Afternoon Session
Post lunch videos on the Centenary Celebrations of Bal Raksha Bharat and the National Institute of Nutrition were played. Dr. Rajesh Khanna spoke on the nutritional status of Telangana and how Bal Raksha Bharat is committed to ensure change. Dr. Antaryami Dash and Dr. Sriswan, Scientist C, National Institute of Nutrition spoke on the partnership of SC-NIN in Andhra Pradesh GSK Project and highlighted the grassroots innovations and partnerships, which can act as a model for further replication. Ms. Pragya Vats, Head, Campaigns and Communication highlighted the important role child champions play in building the future. She shared the success stories of how children’s voices are heard in corridors of power nationally and internationally and envisioned that Telangana children have all that it takes to become role models. Mr. Nagesh Malladi gave the Vote of Thanks.

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