Guwahati, Friday, August 26, 2016
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‘Child Friendly Space’ in flood-hit Dhemaji
 SILAPATHAR, Aug 25 - ‘Save the Children’ initiated the first ‘Child Friendly Space’ at Janumguri village of Jonai Murkongselek block of Dhemaji district in cooperation with Rural Volunteers’ Centre (RVC) on Wednesday under ‘Humanitarian Response: Assam Floods 2016’.

Assistant Commissioner of Dhemaji district Arundhati Narah Mipun, and district Child Protection Officer Alex Doley were present on the occasion to mark the formal launch of the initiative.

Mothers of the flood-affected village of Jamuguri explained that children experience the worst phase of their lives during such disasters as they get exposed to an unsafe environment in which their basic rights are at stake. They miss school, fail to meet their friends to play together.

“Often our children are left at home alone as the schools are yet to function in a normal way and they have lost all their education materials in the aftermath of the floods,” said one village woman.

A Child Friendly Space (CFS) can be a safer place to provide children a protected environment in which they can participate in organised activities to play, socialise, learn and express themselves as they rebuild their lives.

The spaces are run under supervised environment where the parents and care-givers can leave their children while going out for collecting food and water, rebuilding homes or seeking new income-generating activities.

‘Save the Children’ has already distributed a lot of tarpaulins first as part of relief distribution and will shortly be launching the distribution of hygiene kit, cotton blankets, floor mats, education and school kits, water purification sachets, solar lamps for 3,000 adults and 1,200 children from families affected by the floods.

According to Chittapriyo Sadhu, general manager (State Programmes) of ‘Save the Children’, Children are worst affected in any disaster. Apart from being distressed without their normal routine of being cared by family members, education in schools and recreation with their peers, they often face threats of being abused and exploited.

Arundhati Narah Mipun, assistant commissioner of Dhemaji district, appreciated the objectives and efforts of ‘Save the Children’. Such initiatives will definitely bring positive changes in Dhemaji district, he said. This ‘Child Friendly Space’ will help children to participate in various extracurricular activities such as singing, dancing, storytelling, lessons on child rights etc.

Alex Doley, district Child Protection Officer, spoke on various issues related to child protection such as child marriage, trafficking and labour, which are among the most committed crimes during flood situations.

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