Training Program on Child Rights for DANICS Probationers

-The training was organised in collaboration with the Union Territory Civil Services Institute

New Delhi: Continuing its efforts to build systemic capacity on the issues related to children and bringing focus on child centric governance, the Commission organised one-day training on child rights for the 58th and 59th batch of 30 DANICS probationary officers. The training was organised in collaboration with the Union Territory Civil Services Institute.

These officers will play critical role as Sub-Divisional Magistrates, and District Magistrates in conducting rescue operations for child labour issues, review the functioning of Child Welfare Committees and act as grievance redressal authority in certain matters among other things. The training session was facilitated by Anurag Kundu (Chairperson, DCPCR), Bharti Ali (Co-Founder, HAQ Centre for Child Rights) and Anant Asthana (Eminent Child Rights Advocate).

The training focused on the functioning of various institutions such as Child Welfare Committees, role of district administration especially SDMs and DCPUs (District Child Protection Units). It also helped probationers in building legal understanding of child rights laws such as the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015, Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 etc. Rigorous discussions were held on topics such as the rescue and rehabilitation operations for vulnerable child labourers, process of age determination, powers of CWC and SDMs etc. The facilitators used case studies, group work and role playing to make the program engaging and enriching for the probationers.

Of particular highlight was the discussion led by Bharti Ali on the planning of child labour rescue operations and associated complexities. Advocate Anant Asthana delved deep into the nuances of Juvenile Justice Act through a series of real-life based mock activities. This helped probationers develop an understanding of not only statute and role of various stakeholders but also the role of ethics and compassion while applying the law.

The probationers also had a chance to learn from the experiences of Chief Guest Vijay Kumar Dev, Chief Secretary, GNCTD; Guest of Honour Bhupinder S Bhalla, Additional Chief Secretary, GNCTD and Dr. S. B Deepak Kumar, Secretary Services cum Director UTCS, GNCTD.

Highlighting the importance of child rights and child protection as sectors, in his inaugural addres, Vijay Kumar Dev, Chief Secretary, GNCTD stated that, “Usually, infrastructure, law, revenue etc are considered more important sectors than women and child development. This shouldn’t be the case as children should always be our main concern. Empathy is very very important. We don’t require sheer brilliance. The brilliance needs to be polished further with empathy towards children, especially the vulnerable children. It is my expectation that all child related laws and policies should be on your tips. Learn them like you have to clear an exam based on just these.”

Anurag Kundu, Chairperson, DCPCR in his concluding remarks advised all the probationers that, “All of you need to observe the functionalities. Visit the children’s homes and institutions and get to live the JJ act. Be a part of rescue operations and live the reality. Visit the CWC and silently from a corner observe all that takes place on an everyday basis and then take note of one practice that you probably like and one practice that you would like to change as the DM.”

Post the training session, probationers felt a sense of clarity about their knowledge of laws related to children and more empathetic towards the cause. According to one of the probationers, ‘’At no other place were we taught legal provisions with this kind of depth. It was a great learning experience since we also came to know about what child welfare committees can do and how to behave on ground.” Another probationer remarked, ‘’Inputs from DCPCR gave me a practical and comprehensive approach towards the issues of today. The session was extremely interactive rather than a lecture.This session will help me take forward the idea that each child is a life in itself.“

Bhupinder S Bhalla, Additional Chief Secretary, GNCTD concluded the days with the following, “As public servants, you will face a unique set of challenges. The district administration today is wider and bigger than what it was 25 years back. Things have changed and Covid 19 has itself brought along its own set of challenges. It has fortified the importance of the positions you will hold. The basic aspirations of the people have changed, they are much higher today than what they were. You need to rise to their expectations from the very first day. If you are entering the sphere of government service, society and its people should be your primary focus.’’

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