By Chizokho Vero and Emilo Khuvung
The need to monitor, regulate and promote the concept and practice of ethical child adoption in the state has been felt today at the state level orientation programme on adoption and non –institutional care in Nagaland. Some adopted children are exploited/abused/trafficked or thrown out of the family as a result of fight over inheritance; it is learnt and stressed on the need to promote legal adoption in the state.
Speaking on the occasion, Parliamentary Secretary for Social Welfare and Women Development Chotisuh Sazo stressed on the urgent need for child protection “so that the rights of the children of India are well protected.” India is home to almost 19% of the world’s children. It is an estimated that around 170 million or 40% of India’s’ children are vulnerable to or experiencing difficult circumstances, he said adding “India’s children are India’s future as strength of the nation lies in a healthy, protected, educated and well-developed child population that will grow up to be productive citizens of the country.”
Sazo said the state government signed MoU with the Ministry of Women and Children Development in 2009 and consequently established State Child Protection Society.
Nagaland is the first in Northeast and forth in India to have launched Integrate Child Projection Scheme with its primary aim to establish a safety net for children. Sazo said that the ICPS is expected to significantly contribute to the realization of government/state responsibility and ensure that they develop in their full potential.
The parliamentary secretary said that Nagaland is the only state with the final draft on the Nagaland Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules 2010 completed and has been referred to the cabinet for approval. For further examination, the cabinet has referred to the House of Committee of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly, Sazo said.
Sazo said the Government of India recognizes that the welfare of society, its growth and development depends to a great extent on the health and well being of its children, adding that the national policy for children recognizes that the nation’s children are a supremely important asset and their nurture and solicitude is the responsibility of the nation.
Sazo stressed on the need to put joint responsibility of the society at large and the state to provide both institutional and non-institutional support to destitute children. “Traditionally, our society has been providing support through charitable institutions and non-institutional activities like adoption, guardianship and foster care,” Sazo said.
There are two State Adoption Agency (SAASs) in Nagaland so far which has been registered viz- Mothers Hope and Wondang-ki Charitable Foundation both located in Dimapur district. Sazo said SARA Nagaland has been tirelessly and strategically planning toward ensuring a positive and sound change in the matter of adoption, institutional and non-institutional care in Nagaland also to meet the CARA guidelines and ICPS scheme.
Stating that a huge and challenging responsibility lies ahead of the SARA team, Sazo appealed to them to value and uphold the importance of intrinsic integrity in their works to bring a productive change in the life of the children who need us.
CARA Deputy Director J. Pati maintained that the best practice of adoption can start from Nagaland, saying that although Nagaland is a small state a big thing is going to start from here. “We have to promote adoption and non institutional care,” he said and appreciative of the SARA Nagaland for working on full swing.
“We want to promote legal adoption” he said and further felt that provided the State Nodal is functional,” we can do miracle.” While focusing on legal adoption, he also stated that we should not also overlook the customary practices and continue the same if it is found good.
Social Welfare Secretary Norman Putsure who is also chairman of SCPS-N, said that every child has the right to a loving home and SARA Nagaland caters to those children who need protection. He stated that every child born is not as privileged as the rest and said that there are processes by which people adopt these children. “A proper law is required to ensure that both the adopted child and the parents who adopt them are both protected”, he said and was appreciative that adoption laws are being framed.
SARA programme manager Vesülü Chuzho said that the practice of adoption has been present since time immemorial however most of them are not in written form or recorded. She said some adopted children are exploited/abused/trafficked or thrown out of the family and fight over inheritance properties. Some adopted children are not given right. Hence, she said a need has risen to monitor, regulate and promote the concept and practice of ethical adoption in the state.
Temjentula Aier, project officer SPSU chaired the function while Zhothisa Dawhuo, director SCPS-N delivered welcome address. Vote of thanks was proposed by SCPS programme manager Wetshokhrolo Lasuh. The programme, organized by State Adoption Resource Agency (SARA) Nagaland and sponsored by Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA). This was followed by technical session and open discussion on implementation of legalizing adoption and non-institutionalization in Nagaland.
Another child abuse case alleged in Kohima
Kohima | September 23
A government employee in Kohima is accused of habitually abusing a girl child aged 9-10 years since February this year. An elderly woman identified as one Asangla, employed under a government department, residing in Forest colony, is accused of physically abusing the child. The reported abuse came to light only on September 22 after neighbors intervened and later informed an organization from the eastern areas of Nagaland.
Informed of the matter by the Eastern Naga Peoples’ Union Kohima (ENPUK), a team of media persons went and met the alleged victim at Bayavu colony this morning. The child was being kept after “rescue” and is in the custody of the union. Sources identified the girl as one Yangmiatola Chang from Kampung village in Tuensang village. She was reportedly brought to Kohima in the month of February. She was also sent to school although irregularly.
If the sources are to be believed, the child goes to school barefooted and she is ‘kept outside’ at night and spends her night in a house under construction nearby. The child’s hair was also seen plucked; she bore thick marks on the legs, ears while her hands were swollen. The ENPUK has denounced the alleged act and has summoned the accused person for a meeting today at 3.00 pm at DUDA guest house along with the federating units of the ENPUK including women’s association and representatives of the village from where the accused hails.