West Bengal minister Sashi Panja has said skill development, greater exposure to technology and better coordination with education and health systems will help address the vulnerability of adolescents.
Speaking at a workshop here Tuesday, the Women and Child Development and Social Welfare minister, said that the nutritional needs of adolescents were being taken care of by the existing government schemes.
But areas of self-reliance could be strengthened by linking them with 'Kanyashree' and 'Utkorsho Bangla', a skill development programme for youth, Panja said. A group of adolescents at the workshop described how a pilot programme at a Kolkata Municipal Corporation ward, under the aegis of the Department of Women and Child Development and Social Welfare, has brought positive changes in their lives.
The pilot programme had been undertaken at Ward no. 26 to meet the need to create safe spaces for adolescents.
The pilot programme in Ward 26 by UNICEF technical partner, Action for Children's Environment Trust (ACE), with the support of CRY, identified the risks and vulnerabilities faced by adolescents. The programme has now been extended to another five KMC wards through an NGO.
Speaking on the occasion, the adolescents sought the support of the authorities in making the environment friendlier and safer for the youngsters. The need for providing counselling services to address the issue of violence and abuse against adolescents was also discussed at the workshop.
The event was organised by UNICEF in partnership with CRY (Child Rights and You), where a report A Safe and Inclusive City for Adolescents in Kolkata was released, a CRY statement said Tuesday.
(With inputs from agencies.)