The Vice Chancellor, Fr. (Dr) Stephen Mavely inaugurated a two day National Children’s Consultation on Ending Violence Against Children, organized by NACG-EVAC India (National Action & Coordination Group for Ending Violence Against Children), in collaboration with Don Bosco University and UNICEF, on 21 June 2016 at the Azara Campus of the University.
There are 46 children, from 11 different states, and 20 chaperons are participating in the two-day consultation.
Explaining the rationale behind the Consultation, Dr. Chiranjeeb Kakoty, Director, North East Society for the Promotion of Youth & Masses, said, “This Consultation has been organized with the express intention of listening to children, to hear their voices and to focus on steps to stop Corporal Punishment. Even though the RTE Act discourages corporal punishment, it is still quite prevalent in our country. The Government of India (MWCD) Report on Child Abuse has found that 2 out of three children still face physical punishment. We are trying to address this issue”.
Addressing the gathering, the Chief Guest, Fr. Stephen Mavely said, “Don Bosco, our founder, started Don Bosco Society on the very same ideals – to give shelter to youngsters and provide them with an ambience of safety, security, love and nurture. It is just befitting that the University plays host to this event”.
Also speaking at the inaugural session was Ms. Serena Tomasino, Specialist in Corporal Punishment Issues, UNICEF, Delhi. In her short speech she invited the participants to share their experiences saying, “We want to hear your voices, your opinions – we want you to share with us what makes you happy and what makes you feel safe”.
This Consultation is expected to strengthen the capacity of NACG-EVAC India to understand and address Corporal Punishment better at the local and national levels so that they can take collective actions together with other Civil Society Organizations and Government of India.