Ensure Delhi child-friendly spaces in master plan draft: Rights body

The panel has also requested the authority to hold consultations with NGOs and other stakeholders to incorporate these aspects while preparing the draft plan.

New Delhi

The 125-odd children homes in the city, a majority of which are run by NGOs, have become overcrowded, the child right’s body said.     

The Delhi child rights body has written to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) asking it to share its strategy to ensure the inclusion of child-friendly spaces during the drafting of the Delhi Master Plan — 2041. So far, there is a shortage of children’s homes and other such centres, owing primarily to the non-availability of land, the panel said in a letter.

“The existing efforts by the state to ensure implementation of child rights of rehabilitation and a secure life are hampered by the non-availability of land at the district or even at MLA constituency levels… thereby, resulting in non-compliance of the state’s commitment in providing infrastructure and facilitating policies,” the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) said in its letter to the land-owning agency earlier this month.

The panel has also requested the authority to hold consultations with NGOs and other stakeholders to incorporate these aspects while preparing the draft plan.

The 125-odd children homes in the city, a majority of which are run by NGOs, have become overcrowded, the child right’s body said.

The DDA is working on drafting the next Master Plan for Delhi (MPD), a vision document for the development of the city. It has engaged the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), an autonomous research and advisory body under the ministry of housing and urban affairs, to help prepare the draft plan.

The new master plan will come into effect from 2021, when the existing MPD expires.

“At present, the state of physical infrastructure for children in the city is dismal. Delhi has an acute shortage for child care institutions as well as infrastructure to counsel children in distress including victims of abuse, rescued from street situations and even those suffering from various disabilities, because of the unavailability of land,” said Ramesh Negi, chairperson, DCPCR.

In a meeting with the NIUA last year, the body had suggested planning integrated child services centres to cater to the needs of children of different age-groups and socio-economic backgrounds.

“Besides homes for rehabilitating children, there are not many green spaces, open areas or enough day-care centres and other such institutions, as these have not been planned keeping in mind the needs of the large population in the 0-18 age-group,” Negi said.

While DDA vice-chairman Tarun Kapoor said he is yet to look at the letter, he added that the land-owning agency is already working including child-friendly infrastructure in the draft plan.

“We are positive about creating more child-friendly spaces and including it in the preparation of the draft plan. We are already working on creating open spaces earmarked for children. Even in the existing plan, built-up area is marked for public infrastructure such as schools, crèches and anganwadis, among others,” said Kapoor

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Date :
Thursday, 25 June 2020
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