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Including distressed children into dev framework stressed

Staff Reporter:

Experts at a workshop yesterday underscored the critical need to incorporate underprivileged chil-dren into the mainstream developmental framework, warning that failing to do so could adversely affect families, society, and the nation’s progress.
The event, titled ‘Role of Stakeholders for Mainstreaming the Development of Underprivileged Children,’ was jointly organized by the Social Service Department and the Bangladesh Child Rights Forum, supported by Max Foundation, at the Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation auditorium.
Khairul Alam Sheikh, Secretary of the Social Welfare Ministry, highlighted the plight of children engaged in hazardous labor, emphasizing their deprivation from basic rights including education, health, and recreation. He pointed to the “National Child Labor Elimination Policy 2010” and its accompanying action plan (2021-2025) as pivotal government efforts to address child labor issues, stressing the importance of their effective implementation.
Abu Saleh Mostofa Kamal, Director General of the Social Service Department, shed light on the dire situations of street children, many of whom succumb to drug addiction and criminal activities due to inadequate supervision. He called for concerted efforts to reintegrate these children into so-ciety for the collective welfare.
Imam Mahmud Riyad, Country Director of Max Foundation, advocated for encouraging child par-ticipation in sports, recreational, and cultural activities as part of their holistic development.
Mahbubul Haque, Chairperson of the Child Rights Forum, presided over the workshop, emphasiz-ing that Bangladesh’s continued development hinges on integrating vulnerable children into socie-ty’s fabric.
Shaheen Akhtar Dolly, Executive Director of Nari Maitree, noted that while various government, international, and non-governmental organizations run programs for child and adolescent devel-opment, coordination efforts led by the Bangladesh Child Rights Forum could streamline these initiatives for greater impact.
The workshop brought together key figures to discuss strategies for including underprivileged chil-dren in Bangladesh’s developmental journey, aligning with the government’s master plan and Sus-tainable Development Goals for child welfare, and fostering a developed Bangladesh.

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