Raipur, Chhattisgarh | May | 15, 2020 :: T S Singh Deo, Health minister of Chhattisgarh today highlighted the importance of protecting children from the impact of COVID and lockdown during an interaction here today. He added that children are not the direct victims of the pandemic, but they are vulnerable to child abuse and exploitation. The interaction was organized by UNICEF as part of the newly launched ‘Digital Townhall for Children’ with members of Media Collective for Child Rights.
He said that the government has initiated a number of steps like an online portal of the education department for continued learning of children at home, provision of dry rations for school children and children below 6 years. All pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are provided dry food rations at their doorsteps. The minister urged the parents to take a due care to protect their children from child sex abuse, online crimes against children, child labour and child marriage.
Job Zachariah, Chief of UNICEF Office for Chhattisgarh while applauding government efforts towards continued immunization services even during the pandemic, stressed the need for ensuring immunization especially for infants below one year. This will protect them from 15 diseases.
Mr Zachariah added that global evidence shows that children could fall into malnutrition during an emergency. “Therefore, it is important to ensure exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, initiating semi-solid food after six months three or four times a day and providing iron tablet every week to children and women” he added.
‘Digital Townhall for Children’ is an initiative by UNICEF to facilitate virtual dialogue between media, youth, parents, people of influence and experts. The initiative aims at protecting children from the impact of COVID19.
About Media Collective for Child Rights (MCCR)
Media Collective for Child Rights (MCCR) is an advocacy group to promote and advocate for child rights in the state of Chhattisgarh. Formed in 2016, MCCR strives to spread awareness, highlight, protect and promote child rights through meaningful and constructive engagement with all the relevant stakeholders.