Ranchi, Jharkhand | November | 30, 2016 :: To commemorate UNICEF’s 70th anniversary, the ‘Jharkhand Development Dialogue’ lecture was organized here today as a part of the ‘UNICEF on Campus Knowledge Initiative’. The theme of the lecture was “Reaching the Unreached : A March Towards SDGs 2030”. The lecture series seeks to increase awareness around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and child rights in Jharkhand.
The Chief Guest & keynote speaker of the programme, Hon’ble Governor of Jharkhand, Smt Droupadi Murmu said, “In 2015, governments came together to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. The goals envisage the eradication of extreme poverty, hunger and avoidable child deaths. The goals and targets that the world’s governments have committed to achieving are universal, linked to a pledge that all children have a fair chance in life especially the most vulnerable and marginalized. When children start life on an unequal playing field, significant differences emerge between those who have the most and those who have the least. These inequalities affect their right to survival, health, education and nutrition.”
“There are two unique windows of opportunity provided to us during a child’s lifetime. The first window of opportunity is provided by the first 1,000 days of life – the time spanning roughly between conception and one’s second birthday. Adolescence provides us with a second window of opportunity for a positive and holist development of every child. The government, donors, businesses, families, communities, NGOs/CSOs, the media and international organizations together can accelerate efforts to address the needs of the most disadvantages children.”, She added.
Dr. Madhulika Jonathan, Chief UNICEF Jharkhand said, “UNICEF believes that there is hope for every child. The conviction that every child is born with the same inalienable right to a healthy, safe childhood is a constant thread through the history of the organization. Its continued viability depends on applying past lessons learned to the challenges ahead, and harnessing the power of innovation to solve tomorrow’s problems.”
She said, “UNICEF’s mission focuses on the whole child – including that child’s mental and physical health, and his or her access to education, legal and social protection, safe water and sanitation, and more. UNICEF understands that the spiral of poverty, disease and hunger stifles global development and leads to violations of children’s human rights. Those rights guide UNICEF’s work towards a world where every child has a fair chance in life. As an emergency responder, a champion of child rights and a force for equitable development, UNICEF has a long record of success. Its results are qualitative: UNICEF believes that children should not only survive but also thrive in their households, classrooms and communities.”
Ms. Mridula Sinha, Director General, Nutrition Mission, Govt. of Jharkhand said, “Adolescents are often forgotten in the development dialogue. There is a need to invest in expanding opportunities for every child – shifting policies, programming and public spending priorities so the most disadvantaged have a chance to catch up with the most advantaged. We must respect and recognize the aspirations and abilities of every child. Specific programmes and interventions of the Government of Jharkhand such as Tejawani and the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) seek to create an enabling environment for these adolescents. I urge all youngsters to be sensitive to these adolescents which will be reflected in the classroom and in yur day to day life.”
Dr. Deepak Gupta, senior UN professional and communication expert said, “In ensuring relentless commitment to SDGs’ and to achieve the given 169 targets of the 17 goals, ‘connecting dots’ in applying strategic communication to our development programming is the key”. Dr. Gupta while illustrating the examples of Agriculture-Extension strategies and the famous red-Triangle brand-communication of the Family Planning programme of the 50s, emphasized that in truly working with the communities in finding local innovative solutions, development partners need to devise: tailor-made, community-owned, research-driven, cost-effective, socially-inclusive and results-based communication & advocacy interventions.
S. Satapathy, Principal Secretary to the Governor said, “There is a need to develop schools and educational institutions as Centres of Excellence. Education is the most effective driver of development and the greatest equalizer of opportunity. Investing in education is extremely critical to promoting equity in the long term.”
The programme was attended by over 200 NGO partners, government officials, faculty and students of XISS.