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Ensure tracking, rescuing, rehabilitation of all out-of-school children: NPAC 2016
The revised draft of National Plan of Action for Children (NPAC-2016) with the slogan "Putting the Last Child First" has been made public. The document considers individuals up to the age of 18 as children and suggested a comprehensive plan of action for reaching out the children of country living in difficult situations.
One of the sub-objectives related to education and health of children is to 'ensure that all out of school children are tracked, rescued, rehabilitated and have access to their right to education' for which the strategies suggested are such as coordinating with state and district administration, School Management Committees, PRIs and NGOs to track all Out of school Children and enroll them in schools.

Another subjective is to priorities education for disadvantaged groups with Strategies such as Scholarship; special assistance schemes and residential Schools for SC/ST/Minority/Disabled Children; vocational training services; Disha or early intervention and school readiness scheme; Vikaas day care scheme; and Samarth respite care scheme to provide respite home for orphans, families in crisis, Persons with Disabilities from BPL, LIG families.

Reacting to the ever changing governmental policy documents and action plans, which are marred by the 'policy-practice gulfs' Dr. OP Kulheri of CULP-NGO said, "Our experiences and tracking survey results in Banswara tribal district of Rajasthan reveal that about 10% of population in the district is afflicted with disabilities as compared to 2% national average. Despite this, neither the parents and nor officials are concerned about making provisions in the Right to Education Act, Child Protection Laws, policy documents, national action plans, financial provisions, etc., due to apathy and insensitivity prevalent among the implementers. With the new policy, there is a need to sensitize, orient, and train the implementers with a follow-up action to bridge the policy-practice gaps."

Malnuitrition among tribal children, especially among girls is severe, as per the case studies done by CULP. Tribal habitation is small and dispersed and outreach programmes are available for children and they often get treated by quacks worsening their health situation, added Kulheri.

There is need to get the new policy documents transacted properly at the levels of implements and prepare them for new roles and function with accountability, he suggested.

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