Friday, October 13, 2017

BIS #5234 TOWARDS THE BETTERMENT OF DESTITUTE CHILDREN

by Mukesh Garasiya

MUMBAI, OCT 13, 2017: Twenty-six social workers from various NGOs working with children attended a seminar entitled, 'Residential Issues and Challenges Faced by NGOs while dealing with Children from Destitute Backgrounds' on October 11 at Bosco Boys Home (BBH), Borivli.

The seminar was focused not just on residential issues and challenges of NGO's, but also on bringing together like-minded NGOs on one platform for experience-sharing, to build up a strong 'network web' for support and collaboration in the future.

Father Solomon Rapol, Rector of BBH, led the group in prayer at the onset. He then introduced the work done at BBH and also introduced the staff. Datta Gade, assistant coordinator at BBH initiated the introduction of the participants.

Mayuri Raj, coordinator at BBH, underlined the purpose of the seminar. Eustace Fernandes then did a presentation, highlighting the vision, mission and the various activities and courses conducted at BBH. Pramod Nigudkar, Chief Executive Officer, MELJOL  addressed the gathering about the 'Issues and challenges faced by residential institutions while dealing with children from destitute backgrounds'. In the session, he highlighted on a few questions like: "Why do we do what we do?", "How we do what we do?" and, "what are the issues and challenges of institutions at the macro level?"

One of the statements he stressed upon was, "Children are the main stakeholders and so we need to give their opinion importance in policy making." In a discussion that followed, it emerged that government interference led to institutions closing down.

Father Rapol took charge and spoke about the 'Concerns and Challenges in YaR (Young at Risk) work today'. He based his talk on three main elements, namely, compliance, care plus and professionalism in light of the Juvenile Justice Act (JJ Act). He highlighted the need to respond to the needs of the present day YaR and stated, "…we need to respond to the needs of today not rely on old methods".  

In the post-lunch session, Mayuri Raj presented the findings of the pilot study conducted on the perception of residential children towards service providers. Father Rapol then introduced Shriram Gorude, PSI, MHB police station who spoke about the work load of the police force and how NGO's could assist in issues like tracing missing children.

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