Children hold the key to the future of any country and state. It is the responsibility of the society to see to it that the children get the best possible environment for their social, physical and mental development. The status of children in Orissa are a matter of concern as revealed by the following facts: one out of every fifteen children dies before reaching one year of age, one out of every three children is out of school, one out of seven births is only registered, one out of every three is chronically malnourished, one out of every five children is acutely malnourished. Majority of these constitute girl children.
These are frightening statistics. We see every day instances of illiteracy, childhood in distress, failed schooling, juvenile delinquency, begging, and child abuse. We see long-term consequences that last well into adulthood such as violence, poor work histories, and socially under productive citizens. Field realities and other research evidence, where it exists has often revealed a lack of or gaps in the efforts to provide a safe and nurturing environment to all children in the state. This is bound to have severe long term consequences for the development of a productive and healthy society in the future unless these issues and concerns are systematically identified, highlighted and corrective action is systematically incorporated into child related programmes and policies.
Unfortunately, our understanding of children’s development, its causes, manifestations, patterns and linkages is highly fragmented and limited. Most of the research we need to understand them has simply never been given priority. Research into children’s social and psychological problems receives a disproportionately small amount of attention, especially considering their social and financial impact. Perhaps this is because the true dimensions of the problem have not yet been appreciated.At the same time ways of sharing and dissemination are also limited.
Centre for Children Studies (CCS) at KSRM, KIIT University has been established to promote evidence based policy making by building a knowledge base on children and women issues in Orissa. Apart from this, the centre will promote research, evaluation and monitoring work on specific themes through internship and utilize the expertise of KSRM faculty to ensure the effectiveness and efficacy of the child rights programming in the state. Inspired by the fact that usability and scope of such a center would not only be limited an effective evidence based policy advocacy by capturing, collating and synthesizing existing wisdom into knowledge but will also foster a way for creating cadre of resource persons through organizing Management Development Programme (MDP) for working professionals/civil society, and introducing course curriculum in different universities on child rights to develop Rural Management/development and social work students into well informed and adept professional on child rights. Center would seek to reach out to insights and experiences which comprise knowledge, either embodied in individuals or embedded in organizational processes or practice. It will ensure, a range of strategies and practices put together to evolve synergies and create, represent, distribute and enable adoption of insights and experiences.
The Center strives to emerge as dynamic information base for children, widely accessed and used by cross cutting stakeholders, and add value through research and publication. It would be the endeavor of the Center to undertake training and capacity building, organize certificate courses and Management Development Program for creation of resource persons on child rights. Center aims to achieve the following as a resultant to the actions undertaken
- Institutionalization of a Knowledge Management Center at KSRM
- Child Right course curriculum in social development, management and law courses introduced
- Knowledge base developed to inform policies and programming in Orissa on Children and women issues
- Knowledge Management System and Platform established
- Resource center for tribal children institutionalized
- Counseling center for tribal children functional