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Govt. departments join hands to meet social welfare targets

P. Anima

Targets set as per Delhi Human Development Report

NEW DELHI: Faced with the stiff target of reducing by half the proportion of underweight children in Delhi by 2015 as well as making the Capital safe for women, children and the elderly, the State Department of Social Welfare is now linking up with the other departments to achieve the goal.

After the release of the first Delhi Human Development Report last year, the Delhi Government had set goals and targets for various departments on the basis of the recommendations made in the report.

The Department of Social Welfare has several goals to achieve such as reducing the proportion of underweight children under three years of age from 35 per cent in 1998-99 to 17 per cent or less by 2015. The Department also has to strive to bring down the proportion of children with iron anaemia in the Capital from 69 per cent in 1998-99 to 35 per cent or less by 2015.

"These targets relating to prevention are integrated programmes with the Health Department," said Department of Social Welfare Secretary D. S. Negi.

The Department has also been instructed to take steps to make the Capital safe for women, children and especially the elderly by setting up public systems to monitor and reduce crime against these sections.

"In aspects relating to safety and awareness we will have to co-ordinate with the police," said Mr. Negi.

With Delhi having a growing number of the elderly citizens but lacking the support and safety mechanisms, the Department is also gearing up to open more homes for senior citizens.

The Department will seek the help of the media to spread awareness about women's rights and safety. The Government has also given directions to the Department of Social Welfare to take measures to address the needs of disadvantaged children. According to the recommendations to the Department, a suitable shelter policy for street children as well as working children should be put in place. The Department is optimistic about achieving this target. "Once all these departments converge, the goals can be achieved," said Mr. Negi.

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