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Thursday, 12 July 2018 - Imphal Times

18 contract staffs engaged by MIDH, regularised as gazetted officer Horticulture dept

The 18 contract staffs engaged by MIDH, were regularised  by a cabinet decision skipping MPSC; New walk-in-interview for another 11 similar post on contract basis held today

IT News
Imphal, July 12,

The strong commitment of the state government under the Chief Minister N. Biren Singh led government for eradicating corruption from the soil is once more becoming another bunch of joke as the impossible are made possible by the bureaucrats of some of the department.
Imphal Times once more found that 18 contract staffs which had been engaged for the Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) as Field Consultant for a period of 6 months on April 2016 have been regularised as gazetted officers after being approved by a state cabinet meeting held on November 7, 2016, without following the procedures of Manipur Public Service Commission (MPSC) for recruitment of gazetted officers post. The 18 contractual staffs  for the MIDH were engaged after being selected on a walk-in-interview held on September 23, 2015.
One among the engaged Field Assistant staff was enraged on August 30, 2016 after a selected candidate resigned from the post.
On November 28, 2016, all the 18 Horticulture Assistant/Consultant were regularised following the approval of the cabinet meeting held on November 7, 2016.
As per information with the Imphal Times, the contractual staffs were directly regularised skipping all formalities which has to be followed as per the guidelines of the Manipur Public Service Commission (MPSC).
There are around 7 lakhs educated youths who are registered with the Employment Exchange of the state government and applications for government jobs are to be applied as per their Employment exchange cards after proper notification through mass media.
Under what circumstances the contractual staffs of the MIDH which is not a parent office of the Horticulture and Soil Conservation Department were directly regularised to the department is a matter which people sees some fishy going on among the employee.
What is more surprising is the walk in interview conducted today for 11 post of the same Horticulture Assistant/Consultant, when those engaged earlier had been regularised.
Definition of corruption does not concentrated on a person being paid some money for doing his work but it also covers irregularities to the functioning of the government offices skipping rules and guidelines. The regularization of the contract staffs of MIDH as Assistant Agriculture Officers at the Horticulture and Soil Conservation Department is something which people think that everything is possible in the government where you have good relation with the government.  

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No change made in BP 81 as per official record

IT News
Imphal, July 12,

Chie Minister N. Biren Singh today clarifies regarding the issues over alleged shifting of Indo Myanmar Border Pillar No. 81.
Talking to media persons at the Chief Minister conference Hall today morning, N. Biren Singh said that his government is committed for the protection of the territorial boundary of the state however, being a responsible government can’t act on hearsay by someone so the state government constituted a high level committee headed by Revenue Minister Karam Shyam to look into the matter.
While stating that the Border Pillar No. 81 has been settled in 1969-70 survey the Chief Minister appealed all concern not to take political mileage of the sensitive issue. The Chief Minister however was reluctant to answer about what action should be initiated to the DC of Tengnoupal district as he himself was the one who hatch the controversy over the reinstating of Border Pillar No. 81 saying that it was found shifted 3 Km inside the Indian Territory.
Stating that Border Pillar issue is not a new issue the Chief Minister said that on December 12, 2013 an all political party meeting was held along with the officials of the Survey of India and BRTF at CM Secretariat to discuss the boundary issue. The state government had requested the Government of India to conduct re-survey of Main Boundary pillars from 71 to 81 in a letter dated 11/11/2014.
He said that following that in a meeting convened by the DC Chandel at Moreh Town on March 3 , 2016, the Villagers of Kwatha Khunou were informed that they could write to the MEA regarding their claims over the general area of main  BP 81 for shifting of the boundary pillar. The survey of India on their part said that it was not possible on their part to shift the main BP 81.
In response to the State government letter the Ministry of External Affairs gave a reply on June 7, 2017 citing the MEA position . The letter said that in accordance to the Boundary Agreement signed between India and Myanmar in 1967 Main Boundary Pillar 79 to 81 are settled and the proposal of the state government to conduct re-survey is in violation of the terms and conditions stated under the agreement of 1967. MHA also informed that as main BP bearing No. 79,80 and 81 are not disputed, joint re-survey is not advisable as it will result in making settled BP’s 79 to 81 unsettled.
Moreover the Kwatha Khunou was started settling only in 2011 he added and was supplemented by official of the Remote Sensing authority showing documents.
The Chief Minister further stated that On 5th March, 2018, Gol wrote to the Chief Secretary, Government informing that a Survey of India team would be reaching Moreh on 12.03.2018 for the joint survey work of the two countries (India and Myanmar) for survey and construction of Subsidiary Pillars between main BP 80 TO 82.
The letter requested the State Govt to extend all necessary support to the team in terms of logistics like detailing Magistrate, providing security in consultation with Assam Rifles etc.
The joint Survey so conducted was for erection/construction of Subsidiary Pillars in between main BP 80 TO 82, while main BP 91 was left untouched.
During the joint survey period commencing from 12th March, 2018 upto 12th June 2018, no written or verbal complaint about the position of main BP 81 was lodged with either the survey tram or authorities concerned.
DC and SP Tengnoupal visited Kwatha on 1st December 2017 to inform villagers about the survey of subsidiary pillars.
On 26.06.2018, a local newspaper published a report under the headline ‘India giving away land to Myanmar’. Immediately, on 27.06.2018 the State Govt wrote to Gol and requested it to issue an advisory to the joint survey team to put on hold survey work till the issue is resolved.
On 08.07.2018, Ministry of External Affairs issued a press note refuting media reports that certain boundary pillars in the Manipur Sector of the International boundary have been shifted.
It said, the report is completely baseless and unsubstantiated as this sector of the International boundary is settled.
That, the recent survey work has been carried  out jointly by the Indian an Myanmar survey department to construct Subsidiary Pillars along zero line, that is agreed and settled International boundary.
The MEA statement further categorically stated that the joint survey work conducted is in consonance with the provisions of India Myanmar Boundary Agreement of 1967 to which both Governments are fully committed.
The State Govt also received a letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs dated 29.06.2018 which stated that, this segment of the Boundary has been along settled and there is no ambiguity about the alignment of the boundary.
The only work that was being undertaken, as the State Government of Manipur is aware, is on joint survey for putting up subsidiary pillars and identifying encroachments if any.
The letter further asked the State Govt to inform the GOI, if it would like to conduct verification or visit the site, so that the concerned GOI officials could be sent to Manipur for the same.
Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar, Works Minister Th. Bishwajit, Horticulture Minister Th. Shyamkumar, Revenue Minister K Shyam , Education Minister Th Radheshyam, Water Resource Minister Letpao haokip among others and officials of the concern government departments were  also attended during the press meet.

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Chief Minister clarifies on Border and Manipur University issues; Govt. to apprise MU issue to Union Ministry

IT News
Imphal, July 12,

Chie Minister N. Biren Singh today expressed his government concerns to the ongoing impasse at Manipur University saying that since the impasse begins his government has been urging the concern HRD Minister to solve the matter.
Regarding the total shut down called by the Joint Colleges Students’ Forum from today, the Chief Minister tender apology of July 7 incident if the police deployed on the day committed any excess to the students who reportedly came to submit memorandum to his office. He said as it was a high security zone and as the students tried to forcibly enter the office by pushing the gate, the police and the students have some confrontation while rendering their duty.
Regarding the ongoing impasse at Manipur University which is over 40 days old, Chief Minister, N. Biren Singh said that the government has been trying all at its capacity by intimating the Union HRD Ministry.  Manipur University being a Central University, the state government is handicapped in to handle the issue, N. Biren Singh said while adding that as per the request of the state government the Union HRD Ministry had sent a Joint secretary to take stock of the situation.
As per the intimidation with the HRD Ministry he had called the MUSU and MUTA representatives and  talk over the issue to find a solution, Biren said.
“I have talk with representatives of MUSU on June 18 and the following day I called upon the MUTA representative and talk with them if there is any way to find a solution to the issue”, the Chief Minister said.
July 7, meeting scheduled has been postponed after the unfortunate incident between some college students and police team happened in the morning following which the MUTA intimated for postponement on the ground the police had committed some excess.
“During my meeting with the MUTA representative I have suggested to conduct an enquiry over the allegations by keeping the VC Prof. AP Pandey as functionless. But that was declined by the MUTA representative as they stand firm with their demand for removal of the Vice Chancellor which is out of the purview of the state government”, Biren said.
On a question over the inactive part of the HRD Ministry over the 40 days old impasse, the Chief Minister said that Prof. Pandey had already reported to the central authority the impasse is due to the instigation of Underground militant groups as he had denied payment of Rs, 5 Crore demands to them.
“Prof. A P Pandey had already submitted his report and a copy of the demand note of Rs. 5 Crore has also been submitted to me which he said that the root of the agitation against him was failure to fulfil the demand of the UG”, the Chief Minister said.
The Union HRD Ministry changed its vocal to the issue after the burning of the Stadium and even directed to close down the university.
“ We had appealed the MUSU, MUTA and MUSA to constitute a fact finding team to find out if the allegations are true or not and following the finding we assured to take require action but as they denied and stand firm to the demand for removal of the Prof. AP Pandey, we are left with choice”, N. Biren said.
On a question by journalist on why no committee has been constituted by the HRD Ministry like it did at Viswa Bharati University where the then VC Sushant Dattagupta was sacked, the Chief Minister said that he himself along with his Ministerial team will leave Imphal for the National capital and will urge to do the needful.

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CM reviews ‘Go to Village’ Mission

Imphal, July 12,

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh has reviewed the ‘Go to Village’ mission at a high level meeting held at the Cabinet Hall of Chief Minister’s Secretariat today.
Overall in-charge of the mission and Additional Chief Secretary (Works, Forest and Environment) Suhel Akhtar presented a PowerPoint presentation on the progress of the mission at the meeting.
Officers, DCs and other officials regarding proper implementation of GTV mission and delivering services and benefits to the masses.
N. Biren Singh directed the officials to minimise the number of pending cases. Stating that fish production is a priority area of the State Government, the Chief Minister directed the Fishery Department officials to explore means to address people’s requests from the State Government’s schemes without waiting for Central Government funds.
Regarding construction of ponds for fish farming, the Chief Minister asked the Department officials to depute field survey teams to assess whether the villagers’ requests are feasible or not.
N. Biren also said that more additional funds would be released to the DCs for organising GTV camps.
A total of 2,45,975 beneficiaries were enrolled during the camps held till July 10, 2018 out of which services/benefits had been delivered to 1,78,334 people and 58,688 applications are still pending. It is said that 8851 applications had been rejected due to non-feasibility.
Chief Secretary Dr. J. Suresh Babu, Administrative Secretaries, Nodal Officers of different districts, DCs and Heads of Departments and other high ranking officials of the State Government attended the meeting.

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Addressing core issues

After what can be considered an unusually long period of relative calm and semblance of positive development in the state by any yardstick, we are now reverting back to the old days of chaos and confusion if the present social developments is anything to go by. After the initial euphoria and the heightened expectations of the public for a radical change in the system of governance in the state with the change of guard, the emerging picture is proving to be one of increasing disappointment with each passing day, not for lack of effort or expressed intent on the part of the incumbent state government, but more due to the fact that the very system which the public wants changed and were expecting to be altered, has eventually claimed yet another well-meaning bunch of ‘social activists’ who have evidently missed the woods for the trees.
Instances of ‘hands-on’ publicity gimmicks where ministers and political leaders got their hands soiled with physical activities in what is often described as acts of encouragement have become a rage of late, and while such acts may very well motivate the general public to contribute or cooperate with the government, it still does not address the basic issue of remedying the system of governance.
The deepening crisis on the educational front with the present imbroglio between the Vice Chancellor on the one hand and the students and the teaching as well as non teaching staff on the other has already put the future of thousands of students, if not more, at jeopardy, and there is still no sign of any initiative from the state government to settle the issue in the larger interest of the state even if the matter may not justify official intervention.
The ongoing agitation by the government employees demanding implementation of 7th pay commission is another huge hindrance which is proving to be a nightmare for the general public as the already lethargic and unfriendly public services has ceased functioning for all practical purposes. It goes without saying that the debacle which is unlikely to be resolved in the foreseeable future has already done its damage to the efforts on development and progress of the state.
What about the frighteningly regular reports of seizure of narcotic drugs in the state? The suspicious silence on the part of the government and the failure to admit as yet, the growing menace of drugs in the state and the presence of a powerful and influential drug cartel which is using the state as an international highway for drug trafficking is a cause for serious concern for everybody. A more proactive and stringent approach towards the issue is required to allay the fears and suspicions from the minds of the public.
And why is the state government, in this time and age, still unable to present a definite stand on the much discussed and disgruntled border issue for once? Every state ought to have its definite boundary, and the state government should present the official area and physical boundary of Manipur to the public which will be of immense help in framing policies, programs and conclusions regarding the public perception.
While the present government has repeatedly expressed its intent to usher in positive change in the state, there is still a load to be done, and the manner of implementation of various programs, policies and activities remain far from satisfactory. Slapdash efforts will only worsen the situation. What is sorely needed is for the system to be rectified so that more transparency, efficiency and effectiveness are achieved. The voice of the public should be a guiding force towards such efforts.


Holkhomang Haokip

I take this opportunity to write a few lines in connection with Manipur Merger Issue. It is an attempt to focus on the last minute events just before Maharajah Budhachandra Singh had to leave for Shillong to sign the Agreement against his will.
It is a fact that it was a group of Kuki Chiefs particularly Haokip Chiefs, who determined to help Maharajah and resist the Merger. Here, to be specific, a group of Kuki Chiefs was led by then Chief of Chassad and who was supported by Chief of Aihang, Chief of Nabil, Chief of Longpi and many other Haokip villages. These Chiefs went to the extent that about 200-300 volunteers with muzzle loading guns were kept at the gate of Palace to protect the Maharajah and his kingdom.
The leaders of Akhil Manipur Hindu Maha Sabha (AMHMS) organised strikes and procession to force the Maharajah to relinquish his throne and to merge with India. There was almost a clash between the volunteers of Haokip Chiefs on one side and AMHMS on the other. Meanwhile, two or three telegrams reached/came to Maharajah from the then Home Minister of India, Shri Sardar Vallabhai Patel but the Maharajah refused to go to Shillong.
Unfortunately, on that eventful day, against his will supported by the fact that Maharajah turned back two-three times then to God, into his car made ready for his journey to Shillong, but had to go to Shillong to sign the said Agreement.
People of Manipur or any historian have not recorded such important events of that decisive moment which took place at the palace gate. The Maharajah, out of his love for his supporters - the Haokip Chiefs and volunteers who stood by him for his protection and independent Manipur during those eventful time/moments till the last minute, have granted the Haokips to settle at Haokip Veng which itself is an axiom.

Horticulture minister inaugurates pineapple aggregation unit at Angtha

Imphal, July 12,

Horticulture and Soil Conservation Minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar today inaugurated an aggregation unit for pineapple at Angtha village, Andro constructed at the cost of Rs 11.25 lakh under the Mission Organic Chain Development for North East Region (MOCD-NER), Ministry of Agriculture.
Speaking as the chief guest of the function, Minister Th. Shyamkumar said the aggregation unit will help the pineapple farmers in solving the storage issue and provide a shelter during extreme weather conditions. Stating that the unit will benefit the pineapple farmers especially the women who are tirelessly working in the field, he said the diligent officials of the department are working hard with the mission to make Manipur as an organic State.
Appreciating the Horticulture Department including the officials working under the Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA), he said the department officials are working relentlessly in the field in close associations with the farmers across the districts. He further advised the officials of his department to continue their work for the welfare of the farmers.
Horticulture and Soil Conservation Minister assured that developmental works will be taken in all the districts without any prejudice. He concluded his speech by advising everyone not to keep any work pending as it hampers in the progress of the State.
Addressing the gathering, K. Debadutta Sharma, Project Director, MOMA said 400 pineapple farmers are covered under the areas of Thayong, Angtha, Andro and part of Thoubal in the ongoing first phase of the scheme.
He announced that a total of 7,500 farmers of the State will be covered in the 2nd phase, for which the Ministry has given a green signal. Additional 250 pineapple farmers will be covered for the areas of Thayong, Angtha, Andro and part of Thoubal. Altogether 650 pineapple farmers will be covered in the region in the 2nd phase of the scheme, he added.  
K. Debadutta Sharma said the aggregation unit is constructed with the aim to provide storage of the produces (pineapple) after which it can be taken to the processing unit thus reducing the burden on the farmers. He appealed to the farmers and all the officials to work together as a cohesive unit so that more such projects/schemes can be taken up by the department.
Attending the function were officials and staff of Horticulture and Soil Conservation and locals of the area.

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EEVFAM amidst Numbness and Noise

JN Lai (Asst. Prof, International College, the University of Suwon, S Korea)

That was around the late 1970s–as a little boy, I could sense the air of military phobia in my village. Most of the days were quiet and still. People did not speak loudly anything. The villagers were not going out of their houses for cultivation, fishing and other outdoor activities. One mentally disabled man about fifty was very exceptional who dared out in the paddy field. People whispered about brutal torture on him by the Indian army. Those sun sets were so tense for the silent evening would cast a dark night of sleeplessness. Cannot forget the various facets of militarization and armed conflict that people were whispering around. I remember those scary nights of hearing the army’s vehicles and pounding boots, then daybreak combing operations, separation of adult male from women and day-long torture in the summer heat in the village grazing grounds.
    In the early 2000s, as began taking part in human rights work, I was deeply shocked to see the sudden deaths of husbands leaving the young wives at utmost agonies. Most of the widows did not weep; they seemed they were at a loss as the bolt from the blue hit them. The new marriage lives, the hopes, the shared dreams in the light of little kids, all the basic sweetness of life were shattered when their psychological strengths so suddenly vanished. About 70% of the victims of custodial killings in Manipur were recently married to and young fathers, leaving one kid or two. Most of their survived children were of aged about 1 month to 6 years, and many a married wives were survived getting pregnant at the time their husbands were killed.    
    The violations gave a critical impact particularly on young widows and their children. When the victims suddenly gone, there came a dreadful reality of post-incidents. The socio-economic security of the victim-families was at the real risk. Many of the victims had been main bread earners; they were laborers, cultivators and small traders. Majority of the victim families were economically much challenged.
    I was getting into the noises of the first half of 2010; Irom Chanu’s hunger strike, brutal killing of Thangjam Manorama, Mother’s nude protest and Pebam Chitaranjan’s self-immolation. The early 2000s, I began initiating save Sharmila campaign and later joined the journey of Apunba Lup (a conglomeration of 32 organizations of the valley).
    As the noise of Manorama and Mothers’ Nude Protest fading out, there sensed a silence which sent shivers down the people’s spines. That was about 3 years in prior to BT Road killing in the summer of 2009. This episode appeared to be a bad nostalgia for military phobia of my younger years.
    For desolated Manipur, dismay mornings were breaking, only to let in somber nights soon. The usual scenes of the localities of the victims of fake-encounter-killings were drawn by the mute and tense. The atmosphere was gloom after military and police shot dead people. The apprehension of the intimidations and tortures often smeared the locals’ faces with fear, and in no time silence loomed despite some noises that triggered by the tears of the deceased families. Chills were instilled by the presence of camouflaged sepoys and AK 47-police commandos around the victims’ residences.
    The prolonged military activities fractured million minds and snuffed out over thousand lives. People were getting tired of protesting time and again, their noises got fizzled out. Impunity is one strong gag that has discouraged the people while encouraging the perpetrators getting away scot-free.
    We were of really meagre size of human rights defenders visited the victim families and documented the cases. The predictable intimidation from the government military and Police Commandos, and life risk exposition to them always gave us hypertension. Our expectation of concerted noise from locals and civil societies found belittled owing to state suppression and also due to personal cleverness among the civil societies and NGOs that guided themselves to safe corners.
The time between 2006 and 2009 was the height of fake encounter killings and was also the time least number of human rights defenders were coming out to make noises. The only support we got during such tyranny was from the local journalists in the form of news-reporting. Usually based on their reports we were sneaking into the victims’ places for documentation and counselling. To Access and meet the victim families was very tense and tough job as the police commandos and military personnel were alert virtually everywhere. We were trying to avoid them as much as we could. To meet them and answer their questions on the ways was a matter of playing with fire. Carried out the jobs taking great risk on our own because human rights people were normally perceived as enemy by the perpetrators for the obvious reason that we were working for the victims. We did not have any authorized support, recognized identification papers alike.
    A concern in my mind got ready to flip wings as the military phobia gaining its best weight. I was looking out any collective energy to subside the fear effect in encountering the fake-encounter-killings happening on daily basis. Finally, some local journalists, politicians, lawyers, rights workers and senior citizens were solicited to come to a table. The initiative floated a group called Legal Protection Centre in January 2009. Khaidem (Ta) Mani was the president and I coordinated the centre. It pulsated some morale warmness to the victim families and rights defenders.
 I started family visit of fake-encounters on my old Yamaha motorcycle with a colleague in the early 2000s. Ever since I had been planning to bring up the victims’ families from the traumatized surface up to the platform of campaigners. We collected copies of victims’ photos, academic documents, the families gave us best information they could recollect and shared their emotions well and extensively.
    During a fact finding visit I met one energetic Loitongbam Sarat, father of a fake-encounter victim from Singjamei. His 34 year old son, Loitongbam Satish was killed by a team of Thoubal Police Commandos and 23 Assam Rifles on 18 May 2009. As he began showed his concern to involve in fighting against the ever rising extrajudicial execution in Manipur, I shared the information of the unfair deaths which had been documenting since 2004. He took a good responsibility to concertize an organization. I coined it EEFAM for Extrajudicial Execution Family Association Manipur. (Pabung) Sarat added V for Victims’ thus shaped EEVFAM on 11 July 2009 finally.
    The voluntary association with Human Rights Alert, CORE Manipur and documents from COHR and HRNL were considerably productive which made me possible as an Executive Director of Human Rights Initiative to publish the first ever report of fake-encounter cases and data of Manipur. In 2009, Human Rights Special Report Manipur 2009 was produced with the great assistance of People Watch, a well-known Indian human rights NGO.

No country for ‘childescents’, says CRY report

By:Bindu Shajan Perappadan

‘Those in 15-18-year age group lose out on Right to Education, are no longer protected by labour laws’
“Childescents, or children in the age group of 15-18 years, are the most disadvantaged group,” noted a report by Child Rights and You (CRY) on Wednesday — World Population Day.
The report, titled ‘Childescents of India: We Are Children Too’, is a comprehensive narrative on 15-18-year-olds — “their rights and the lack of them, vulnerabilities of the age group that often go unnoticed and the many discrepancies that seep in while we discuss about this particular set of children”.
CRY CEO Puja Marwaha said, “This report establishes the vulnerabilities of childescents, children lost in the transitory space from childhood to adulthood, through in-depth data and policy analysis, making use of available primary and secondary data and published literature; and identifying gaps, and thereby seeks to influence policy and decision makers to close the gaps.”
Losing out
Ms. Marwaha said childescents lose out on the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act that ensures education for all within the age group of 6-14 years as soon as they cross 14; they are no longer under the protection of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act (CLPRA) as the Act allows children in the age group of 15-18 years to join the workforce barring a limited list of occupations and processes that are considered hazardous.
On the cusp of adulthood
“Being on the cusp of adulthood, their health — especially sexual and mental health — is a matter of concern as well. And unarguably, protection becomes a much bigger worry in the case of these children in the context of rampant child marriages, often forcefully executed. Children of this age group are often also trafficked for either labour or flesh trade,” she said.
The report highlighted that there are nearly 100 million childescents in India currently and one billion children will pass through this life stage over the next decade.
But this huge population remains largely invisible as children and thus under-served.
The report stated that there is need for special focus on children from socio-economically weaker backgrounds; creating systems to identify and track children at risk of dropping out of school, remedial support and appropriate provisioning to keep them meaningfully engaged in education.
It noted that more than 40% of children aged 15-19 years are undernourished, and a whopping 54% girls and 29% boys in the same age-group are anaemic, as the latest NFHS-4 2016 data suggests.
Comprehensive plan
“A comprehensive nutrition supplementation programme, along with better provisioning, implementation and sensitisation towards physical, sexual and mental health challenges facing this age group should be the prime focus,” pointed the report.
“It is of utmost importance to recognise that childescence as a life phase comes with unique vulnerabilities, challenges and opportunities at the levels of self, society and systems. We should unanimously commit to altering our social perception and treatment of these children in order to make their childhoods happy, healthy and creative,” Ms. Marwaha.

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