Focus on childhood care a must: UoM VC
Mysuru: The Vice-Chancellor of University of Mysore, Prof. G. Hemantha Kumar has urged the policy-makers and experts involved in child-care development initiatives to give more thrust to early childhood care and development as children constitute 39 per cent of population of the nation.
He was speaking after inaugurating a one-day programme on Mysuru Divisional-level Consultation on Early Childhood Care and Development organised jointly by Karnataka Child Rights Observatory, Bengaluru, Human Development wing of Department of Studies in Food Science & Nutrition, University of Mysore and Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement, Mysuru, at Department of Studies in Food Science & Nutrition in Manasagangothri Campus here yesterday.
He said that 29 per cent of the population of the country are children below 5 years. Shockingly, over 1.25 million (12.5 lakh) children are dying from malnutrition, underweight related problems every year across the nation according to Government reports. Child-care experts must discuss, throw light and come up with solutions to tackle this problem, he added.
Taking cognisance of shortage of staff in Food Science and Nutrition Department, the VC said that he will fill up all posts vacant in the Department soon.
In his address, Secretary of Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement, Saragur, Dr. M.A. Balasubramanya said that UNO and UNICEF have directed all its member countries to give utmost interest for implementation of all 16 sustainable development challenges including early childhood care and development as children are the future of the world.
Apart from concentrating on poverty alleviation, health, education, agriculture and energy, gender equality and social inclusion, the world bodies have asked the governments to make concerted efforts for overall development of children and their rights, he said.
Dr. Balasubramanya said that health and education activities of the children of 466 Jenu Kuruba families of H.D.Kote taluk had improved a lot after health, hygiene and sanitation facilities were given by his NGO. Malnutrition and underweight problems of Jenu Kuruba children were addressed by providing milk and eggs apart from regular food.
The governments at the Centre and State must also give top priority for health and sanitation issues of children apart from implementing Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) effectively to bring down child mortality rate in the country.
Prosun Sen, Communication Advocacy and Partnership Specialist, UNICEF Office for Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka, asked the implementing agencies to ensure quality food to children and pregnant women through ICDS programme, Anganwadis and Balawadis to address malnutrition related deaths and problems in the country.
Over 70 delegates from various Universities, Department of Women and Child Development, ICDS and NGOs involved in the districts of Mysuru Division including Mysuru, Mandya, Chamarajanagar and Kodagu took part in the event.
Organising Chairperson Prof. Asna Urooj and Trustee of Child Rights Trust, Bengaluru, Dr. Padmini were present.