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State to take up pending Mental and Health Policy draft

Panjim: Goa government has assured to expeditiously look into the pending draft report on the Mental and Health Policy, released by Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights in February this year.

Replying to a media question on the delay in finalising the policy, Women & Child Development Minister Vishwajit Rane said, “I will look into the draft report soon after Ganesh Chaturthi.”

As per the draft, over 10,000 children and adolescents are undergoing treatment for various mental ailments with ‘learning difficulty/disorder and slow learners’ being the highest. The Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour (IPHB) that provides assessment, intervention and inpatient services to children and adolescents, through its Child Guidance Clinic (CGC), handled 6280 cases from January 2016 to September 2017, whereas District Early Intervention Centre (DEIC), in North and South Goa district hospitals, treated over 4,000 children and adolescents during the same period.

In a bid to improve coordination among the child rights and women’s commissions, child welfare committees and related units under his department, Rane further said that these institutes will soon be shifted to a common place at Merces where a massive infrastructure is being built.

The minister also expressed his views to give more powers to the women’s commission, which it lacks despite being a quasi judicial body. “The women’s commission in Goa should be toughened and stricter. It should have the powers to penalise offenders,” he said as he assured to resolve the problem of shortage of staff in the commission. [H]

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