GUWAHATI, Sept 14 � The launch of the first-ever �after-care programme� for young adults who have completed institutional care in the Government Children�s Homes in Assam was organised at the Fatima After Care Hostel at Snehalaya, Betkuchi, on Friday.
The project, sponsored by the Social Welfare Department, benefited six boys and four girls in the age group 18-20.
Pratima Devi, chairperson, Social Welfare Advisory Board, Assam, was the chief guest at the launch function and Junu Neog, administrator, Assam State Child Protection Society, was the guest of honour. The chief guest, Pratima Devi, said that the youth should have confidence in themselves and all should help them to become self-reliant. She asked the boys and girls to make the best of the opportunities and move forward in life.
Fr Lukose, director of Snehalaya, said that successful social re-integration of children in need of care and protection depends, among other factors, on self-esteem, self-respect and self-confidence that the young adults have built up during their stay in the Children�s Home.
�Since each child is unique, there has to be an individual plan for every beneficiary of the After Care Programme. There is no fixed process by which they can be integrated into society. As care givers we must be able to help them accomplish their best. They have to regulate and manage their lives by themselves with the financial assistance they get on a monthly basis, while the girls stay in a hostel and the boys in rented houses. They have to learn to use their time and money judiciously,� he said.
Fr Lukose further said that Snehalaya was happy to hold hands and make those young adults stand on their feet. �The State Child Protection Society has been accomplishing much for the benefit of children through proper implementation of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. The after-care programme is the final and most important stage of care leading to the completion of social re-integration of children who have been staying in child-care institutions.
Mridula Sharma, Member, Social Welfare Advisory Board; Hussain and Jitu Dutta, Members of the Child Welfare Committee of Kamrup Metro; and officials from State Child Protection Society were present at the function.
The children of Snehalaya presented songs and dances on the occasion and entertained the audience.