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Don Bosco National Forum for the Young at Risk

By BIS Correspondent
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Mumbai, Mar. 10. A host of youth-related issues ranging from youth prisoners, juvenile homes and human rights were discussed at that the Don Bosco National Forum for the Young at Risk (YaR) held at Bishop Benzinger Memorial Spirituality Center, Cotton Hill on February 4 and 5.
The seminar entitled 'Reaching the unreached, 18+ Young at Risk' drew a host of industry professionals, who addressed a range of issues. Advocate RV Rajesh, the Chairperson of the Kerala Youth Commission, was the Chief Guest and inaugurated the seminar.

He talked about Kerala's achievements in various sectors and stressed on the problems of low per-capita income and high divorce rates. He added that these factors had given rise to unemployment, alcoholism among the young people. The session ended with the vote of thanks given by Father Thomas PD, Director of Don Bosco Veedu Society, Trivandrum.

Kshithij Urs, regional manager, Action Aid, India spoke at the first session and presented on 'migrant youth in the unorganized sector'. He said that the most important factor which influences policies is to have an ''ants eye view'' on issues. The other important areas which were discussed during the session were forced migration among youth, theory of change, health seeking behaviour in India and slum legislations.

The second session dealt with youth prisoners. Vikas Kadam - from Prayas of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - led the discussion on 'the right of the person and group in criminal justice.' He urged the audience to work together to empower youth, women and children and to initiate social work interventions. He added that people under the criminal justice system must be given the right to interact with family and ensure their security.  

In the third session, Arlene Manoharan, fellow and programme head, Juvenile Justice Center for Child and the Law, National Law School of India University presented few case studies of children in conflict with law.

Father Thomas Pallithanam then made a presentation on 'Human rights education in schools'. It was followed by a presentation by Father AM Jose, Director, DB Tech, New Delhi who spoke about 'Skilling as a strategy to empower the target group.' He stressed that the urgent need of YaR should be to provide skills to tackle unemployment issues among youth. He also highlighted DB Tech's work in tackling unemployment through bridging digital, social and economic divide in India by enhancing the employability and life management skills.  

The YaR awards followed. Father Mathew Thomas from Bosco, Bangalore was honoured for receiving the National Award for Child Welfare from the President of India. Shelter Don Bosco , Mumbai was honoured too. Don Bosco Balprafulta received 'Rashtriya Sanman Award' and 'Quality Brand India Award 2015 -17.'

Father Thomas Koshy was also honoured for being elected as a member of the committee for drafting model rules under the Juvenile Justice  (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India.

The DB YaR Excellence award from Mumbai and Delhi region was given to Don Bosco Snehalaya, Baroda and that of Hyderabad region was given to Don Bosco Navajeevan, Vishakhapatnam, Guwahati region to Rilang Children's Home, Shillong.



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