Sankalp-2016 to improve condition of children, women

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has chalked out a special vision plan titled- `Sankalp 2016` to improve the condition of children and women in the state.

Gogoi has directed the Health department to focus on trimming down the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR)and Maternal Mortality Rate(MMR) drastically so that it reaches in and around the national average.

The Chief Minister also asked the department to reduce the percentage of anaemia and malnutrition among children by providing nutritional support, official sources said today.
"Our aim should be high then only we can narrow the gap of IMR and MMR with national average. Institutional delivery coupled with micro-nutrients to expectant mothers will help to minimize MMR to a great extent," he said.

The Chief Minister recently reviewed the goals and parameters proposed and submitted by different departments and discussed the way to simplify the process in areas like getting old age pension by the elderly on time and mid-day meal for children throughout the academic calendar. "A revolving fund has to be set aside till we receive the Central share to keep the mid-day meal scheme going as per the academic calendar," he said.

The Chief Minister has directed the Social Welfare Department to focus on reducing the number of underweight children (0-5 years) and marriage under 18. "Focus must be on the char (riverine) and tea garden areas where awareness must be created that marriage under 18 is strictly prohibited by law and violating the same constitutes a criminal offence," he said.

Gogoi asked the department to take up steps to provide vocational training to adolescent girls in tea and char areas and to focus on school drop-outs.

On the education front, he said the target should be 100 per cent enrollment of girls up to Class VIII (6 to 14 years) and called for grassroots level survey to find out the exact number of children enrolled at the elementary stage.

The Chief Minister stressed that his government would have zero tolerance towards women and child trafficking and witch-hunting and directed the Home and Political department to strengthen women thanas and setting up women cells in every police station.

Gogoi called for 50 per cent women attendance in at least four gaon sabhas meeting in the Panchayat and Rural Development front.

The Chief Minister also directed the Public Health and Engineering department to intensify its activities to provide hundred per cent access to individual toilets, sanitation and pure drinking water while slums in the urban areas also need to be given special attention."

He asked the Labour Department to focus on bringing child labourers into educational mainstream. Gogoi called for 30 per cent gender budget for women by all departments as a major step towards women emancipation.

The Chief Minister asked the departments to work out the financial implications involved in meeting the goals envisioned in the Chief Minister`s Vision 2016 for Children and Women for taking up the matter with the Finance Department.