Govt urged to extend maternity leave to 6 months

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New Delhi, Oct 8 (UNI) Minister for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury today said the government in partnership with private sector would take up a campaign for sensitisation and awareness about the rights of the children.

Addressing the national consultation on a legal framework for protection of rights of children in the 0-6 years age group organised by National Commission for Protection of Child Right, Ms Chowdhury called for effective implementation of various child welfare programmes at the district level to get the desired result.

Ms Chowdhury said her Ministry had requested Planning Commission to consider significant increase for child nutrition under ICDS during eleventh five year Plan. She said under proposed integrated child protection scheme several protective and preventive checks are being planned for the protection and welfare of the children.

On this occasion, Planning Commission member Syeda Hameed urged the government to consider extension of maternity leave to ensure that the mothers breast fed their children up to six months. At present, their is maternity leave for three months due to which women find difficulty in breast feeding their children.

She said protection and welfare of the children would be the centre stage of the 11th Plan and a number of initiatives are being taken for the children in the age group of 0-6 years, adding that immunisation; breast-feeding and nutrition should be treated as right of the children.

Chairperson of Child Rights Commission Shanta Sinha said there was a need for legal instruments to provide all such essential services that enable children to have access to health, nutrition, care and protection. There should be law that guarantees protection of children of informal sector and migrant workers.

She said the meeting will discuss about the core sectors which are important for children of 0-6 years age group and made the recommendations to the Government to include them in existing legal framework. The two-day meeting is being attended by representatives of Planning Commission, UN agency, medical experts, child experts and NGOs.


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