Kokrajhar, Sept. 4: A three-member team of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), led by chairperson Shanta Sinha, is on a three-day visit to the riot-affected districts of Kokrajhar, Dhubri and Chirang to assess the situation of children affected by violence.
Sinha was accompanied by Dipa Dixit, member of the commission, Sanjay Kuma Tiwari, senior consultant and Suchitra Kakoty, chairperson, Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights. They toured two relief camps at Gambaribil and Tulsibil in Kokrajhar today. From Kokrajhar, the team will head to Chirang and visit a few more camps.
The team had visited a few relief camps at Bilasipara in Dhubri yesterday.
Sinha, while visiting the camps today, said, “We want to know whether children are getting adequate nutrition, education and also the kind of facilities provided to them in the camp.” She said the team found there were efforts to provide education and proper security in some camps.
“I think in terms of health and nutrition, there has been greater effort put in by the administration. We found better supply of food items for children in some camps. However, there is still a sense of fear and anxiety among inmates. It will take some time to bring back stability in their lives,” Sinha said.
“Our focus must be on children. There are camp committees everywhere but matters related to children were never discussed. We felt the committees should work together and ensure that children are taken care of. Many children have to sleep on the floor and it makes them vulnerable to diseases. One has to think seriously about them, otherwise the scars of the trauma may have long-term effect on children,” the NCPCR chairperson said.
Sinha said they would send an expert team next week.
“We came to look at the situation in the camps. We will send a team of experts next week who will camp in the area for around 10 days and provide durable solutions in consultation with officials and camp inmates. It is unfair to give recommendations based on a quick visit. We will gather all details about the conditions in the camps for children after the expert team visits and subsequently consult people who are involved in the decision-making process. People who are affected and officials should be involved in the measures to be taken for rehabilitation,” she said.
Sinha also spoke of the need for greater coordination between the state government and the NGOs.
“There have been some consultations about the relief and rehabilitation process but I wish there was greater coordination between the government and NGOs. We will bring up the issue during discussions with officials and people. We all have to take up responsibilities in this kind of situation and work together to find a lasting solution. Everybody has to look beyond politics and work in a coordinated manner to ensure children are taken care of properly,” she said.