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`Do not call parentless children orphans'

By Our Staff Reporter

CHENNAI, APRIL 11. People from different walks of life approved a set of suggestions — including the one seeking to stop parentless children from being called orphans — formulated by a non-governmental organisation for inclusion in the charter of the proposed national commission for children.

The suggestions, seeking greater societal response for the overall development of children, especially for the underprivileged and parentless, were formulated by the International Council for Educational Research and Training (INCERT), an NGO, and "Redefining the Concept of Marriage in Indian Society" (RCMIS), an open-ended bio-social research project.

Unveiled at a workshop here yesterday, attended by educationists and social scientists, the suggestions focus on the need for extending free education and healthcare, ensuring the growth of children in a safe environment and protecting them against abuse.

Giving details of the deliberations at the meeting, organised by the Pappus Academic and Cultural Trust, Jaya Venugopal, Director, INCERT, said the participants supported formation of child monitoring squads by NGOs.

The squads would help in realising the goals, including the right to survival of the children and protecting them against harmful influences.

The national commission, being established by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, should have offices across the country to achieve the goals, she said.

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