The state will soon formulate its own child policy, the guidelines for which have already been drafted. Once this draft plan gets cabinet approval, Bihar will be the first state to have its own child policy.
The government is also mulling a State Action Plan for Children (SAPC) for implementation of the new policy. Health, education, rural development and home departments will be involved in the action plan while social welfare will be the nodal department.
"All these departments will be responsible for policy implementation," Imamuddin Ahmad, social welfare director, said, adding that the Bihar State Child Rights Conservation Commission was also authorised for implementation of the policy.
He was speaking at a consultation workshop on child policy here on Friday organised jointly by social welfare department and the Unicef to review the policy being formed with the help of NGOs working for child rights.
Earlier, Jagjeet Kaur Ghai, deputy director, social welfare department, said though there already existed a national child policy, 2013, the state needed a region specific one. "Children here have different sets of problems and requirements. Even the profile of population may be different. It has 46% children below 18 years and 12% in the age group between zero and six," she said. These situations need to be addressed in different ways, she added.
Mansoor Qadri from Unicef said the draft plan had been prepared after multiple rounds of workshops and consultation meetings in Patna and other districts.
Another Unicef official, Shailesh P Nayak, said special efforts were made to include various social, economic and geographical aspects in the policy. Some NGOs present at the session also gave some suggestions.
Others present included Nipun Gupta, Shahid Jawaid, Sanat Kumar Sinha, Poonam Sharma and Avinash.