In July 2021, Delhi government has formulated a policy for welfare of street children in light of Covid-19 pandemic.
The Delhi government has framed this policy for the welfare of street children and also outlined how to define the street children.
This policy is also called SAMPARC (sustainable approach for multi-faceted progress aimed at reclaiming childhood).
About This Policy
It underlines the role of various stakeholders in promoting COVID appropriate behaviour and generating awarness about the infection.
It was prepared by the Women and Child Development department (WCD) of Delhi government.
Why is there a need for this policy ?
According to some estimates, there are approximately 100,000 homeless people living in India's capital and half of them are children. They set up makeshift tents, sleep in the open air, under bridges on mattresses, rudimentary beds.
Less than 3,000 of New Delhi's street kids are reached by governmental initiatives or NGOs. They may face being institutionatized or are simply offered temporary assistance only to end up returning to street life. An ever lower number of street children receive mainstream education.
This policy aims at distributions of wrist badges with unique identification numbers to keep a track of these children, monitor their health condition and distribute essential commodities.
Establishment of wellness centres under Project Suryodaya
It stated 15 criteria to determine vulnerable street children.
Composition of District Child Protection Convergence Committee (DCPCC)
District magistrate will act as chairperson of DCPCC along with other members like two members from NGO & Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights representatives.
NGOs will be asked to bring all cases of children identified by them to their respective Child Welfare Committee. NGOs will work with concerned a departments for rehabilitation of identified children.
Training of Civil Defence Volunteers (CDV). As per policy district admimistration could consider training children rescued from streets as Civil Defense Volunteer after they attain age of 18 years. It will provide them respectable employment. Trained children can also assist many other children who are coming from a similar background.
NGO's will be tasked to bring all cases of children identified by them to their respective Child Welfare Committee.
NGO's will work with concemed departments for rehabilitation of identified children.
There will be a District Task Force to assist COVID-19 positive children who are in Child Care Institutes or who lost their parents due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Although the policy that is multi-faced progress' aimed at reclaiming childhood is a sustainable approach to safeguard the childhood of children living in the streets. But there is an urgent need for Delhi government to implement this policy with utmost care and effectively ensuring the diginity of the children. other states also needs to adopt such policies for other states to protect street children from harassment.