RANCHI, India, 3 November 2016 – UNICEF is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. To commemorate this milestone, UNICEF in partnership with XISS is organizing the ‘Jharkhand Development Dialogue Lecture Series’ as part of its ‘UNICEF on Campus Knowledge Initiative’ in November 2016.
The first of these lectures on the theme of “Prioritizing Children in the Development Agenda” was organized in the XISS auditorium here today. The lectures were delivered by Mr. Harivansh, Hon’ble Member of Parliament & senior journalist; Ms. Nina Nayak, Member of Governing Council, Indian Law Institute & expert in the field of child development & child protection; & Dr. Madhulika Jonathan, Chief of UNICEF office of Jharkhand.
The UNICEF@70 celebration is an opportunity to celebrate what UNICEF and our partners have achieved, and highlight what remains to be done in advancing the rights of every child. These lectures will bring together young people, experts and thought-leaders to showcase the solution and innovations around issues confronting children especially the most marginalized.
Dr. Madhulika Jonathan said, “In the past few years, development and health communities have recognized that early childhood development (ECD) is a solid foundation for human capital development. A young child’s developing brain is activated and patterned by the nurturing care of trusted adults. Services that deliver effective and feasible interventions for children and their caregivers are also essential. Adding this to an integrated maternal and child health and nutrition package of services is affordable. It would cost an additional US$0·5 per person per year (equivalent to 10% of the estimated existing costs) to scale up these interventions. The delivery of early childhood development services cannot be fragmented across different sectors, but should be provided as integrated, multi sectoral evidence-based interventions.”
She said, “The burden and cost of inaction is high. (1) A poor start in life limits children’s abilities to benefit from education leading to lower productivity and social tensions in the long term. (2) It impacts the future generations as well. For individuals, it means a loss of about a quarter of average adult income per year while countries may forfeit up to two times their current gross domestic product expenditure on health.”
Dr. Jonathan added, “This Series highlights the importance of greater integration of all sectors, such as health, nutrition, education, child protection, social protection, and water and sanitation, bringing together multi stakeholder partners and combining innovative financing and accountability mechanisms to help achieve the Sustainable development Goals (SDGs).”
Mr. Harivansh said, “Improved governance can bring about a change in the lives of children and adolescents in the state. At the same time the role of the family and society is of paramount importance as they can mold a child and fill him with confidence.”
Ms. Nayak said, “We have laws, policies, programmes and schemes in place for children. There is a need to create a protective umbrella for children in need of care and protection. We should invest in young people as they have the potential to be imaginative when it comes to finding solutions to development challenges in the state.”
The programme was attended by faculty and over 200 students of XISS.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook
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