J&K Govt to set up juvenile homes: Minister

Jammu, Oct 2: Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs and Information, Choudhary Zulfkar Ali today said that the Government will soon establish juvenile homes in each district of the State to effectively rehabilitate the children detained for anti-social activities. While addressing the valedictory function of child protection campaign organized by National Development Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organiz-ation, for protection of children and to sensitize the participants about the juvenile justice and child protection.
He impressed upon the district administration to take up the implementation of various provisions of the Jammu And Kashmir Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2013, in the district on a mission mode.
He informed the gathering that the Government will soon establish juvenile homes in each district of the State to expedite protection, rehabilitation and restoration of juveniles into the mainstream society.
The event witnessed a significant participation of people from different fields including Anganwari workers and helpers, civil society members, students, officials of Health, Education and Social Welfare Departments.
Deliberating on the importance of Juvenile Justice System, Zulfkar highlighted various issues that children had to confront on day to day basis and how the turmoil has exasperated the already grim situation regarding better development of children.
Reflecting on various problems that children face, not only within the protective confines of their homes but also at schools, workplaces etc the Minister asserted that unfavourable circumstance often end up making children vulnerable to various misdoings and crimes.
He said the children who witness and suffer abuse, domestic violence, broken families in their early years of life are more likely to grow with fragile and often disturbing and anti-social personal traits, adding that many a time children who lack primary support system end up working in unorganized sectors providing cheap labour, making them vulnerable to abuse.
The Minister also deliberated on how the absence of proper and effective institutional system of guidance often leads children to drug abuse and crimes.
He further affirmed that law and legislation alone can’t help us to improve the situation.
“Change can only be envisaged with our commitment towards ensuring overall welfare of children,” he said.
The Minister further instructed the officials to gear up their efforts for eradicating the menace of drug abuse, which can have detrimental effect on the growth and personality of the children.
He also called for coordination and collaborative approach among the field agencies in the matter so that the menace is rooted out from the district.
MLA Qammar Chowdhary who was also present on the occasion spoke for concerted efforts to ensure overall development of the children.
District Development Commissioner, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary called for a sensitized and empathetic approach towards children both in conflict with the law and for children in need of care and protection. He also highlighted the importance of a contextual approach for dealing with sensitivities of children.
Among others, Chairman Board for Development of Pahari Speaking People, Kuldeep Raj Gupta, SSP Yougal Manhas, Chairman National Development Foundation, Rajeev Khajuria and officers of district administration attended the function.