CRC emphasizes to build safe environment

Juvenile home in need of a counselor

Dimapur, May 9 (MExN): Exploring ways to build better network among non-governmental organizations and the state government to address the issue of child rights, the newly formed Child Rights Committee of Nagaland (CRC) paid a visit to the Juvenile Special Home and Observation Home in Piphema today. In their maiden visit to the home, officials of the CRC and of the department of social welfare exchanged views and ideas to build a safer and more adequate environment for juveniles put up in the homes. 

The juvenile home which currently holds six inmates below the age of 18 are said to be from economically poor backgrounds and broken families. Some of the children have been held on charges of petty crimes like theft and some for severe ones like murder. Most of the children are also said to be of mixed marriage or adopted and their families are also out of touch with most of them; some have even disowned them. 

Given the circumstances the children are living under, a quick observation made by the CRC was the immediate and crucial need for a trained counselor for the juvenile home. It was told by department officials that since its inception in 1990, the juvenile home has never had a professionally trained counselor. There is also no post creation for the post of a counselor in the department, it was informed. Counseling and moral education is therefore imparted by the caretakers of the juvenile home. 

Considering the nature of some cases for which some children are brought to the juvenile home, the visiting team also suggested ways get more personal with the inmates so as to transform their habits during their detention period. And for that, CRC observed, a counselor is the need of the hour. The visiting team also pondered on filling up those areas where there are gaps and lapses.  

Chairperson of the Nagaland Women Commission, Sano Vamuzo who also paid her maiden visit to the juvenile home raised concerns about increasing crimes across the state. Sano opined that networking among different NGOs working for child rights along with the government will enable children to secure a better future. Notwithstanding the problems being faced by the juvenile home, the chairperson also said that proper attention must be given to the background of the detained children. She further stressed the need for after-care organizations for children and setting up juvenile homes in all eleven districts of Nagaland. 

The Child Rights Guild of Dimapur, also part of the visiting team took note of ways to support and improve the juvenile home. The Special Home and Observation Home which was shifted to Piphema only in 2006 boasts of having rehabilitated over 150 children in various fields of work. The home provides formal education to interested children and vocational training to all inmates.