U-Report for Suraksha campaign launched

GUWAHATI: Governor of Assam, Prof. Jagdish Mukhi on Monday launched U-Report for the Suraksha campaign.

It is an interactive digital tool that aims to raise awareness among young people in Assam about cyberbullying and corporal punishment, as well as the redress mechanisms made available by the government.

Launching the U-Report for Suraksha campaign at a reception in the capital, the Governor hailed this effort to educate young people about the importance of protecting themselves in online spaces and understanding their rights. He urged young people to join U-Report, take the quiz, pledge to raise awareness and report any kind of violence and abuse.

“I will ask all VCs to inform students about U-Report and ask them to participate. Likewise, I encourage all volunteers of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Bharat Scouts and Guides and National Cadet Corps to join this endeavor,” Professor Mukhi said.

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The Governor appreciated the efforts of UNICEF, NSS, ASCPCR and WAY Foundation to learn about protection issues facing young people in Assam and requested UNICEF to provide him with a report on U-Report results. Cyberbullying and corporal punishment were challenges identified by 2,000 NSS volunteers during workshops organized with UNICEF and facilitated by its partner, the WAY Foundation in 2020.

“We asked volunteers about the impact of COVID-19 on their lives, and they expressed concerns about cyberbullying and being subjected to corporal punishment, and not knowing what to do about it” , said Deepak Kumar, Regional Director, NSS NE, who wants to reach 45,000 NSS volunteers through U-Report.

“With U-Report, we aim to reach young people in Assam to inform them and learn more about their experiences. This will help us understand the extent of the problem in the state and present it to officials to inform policies and programs,” said Dr Madhulika Jonathan, Head of UNICEF Assam.

With Sustainable Development Goals 5, 10 and 16 focusing on child protection, young people can play a crucial role in helping to achieve the Goals by raising awareness and monitoring the situation on the ground. To ensure sustained conversation and engagement on protection, the NSS NE regional office will use an updated annual calendar that includes activities focused on child protection.

“With repeated engagement and action with wider networks of people and communities, NSS volunteers will be able to identify barriers and solutions for action,” added Dr Madhulika Jonathan, Head of the UNICEF Assam.

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The actions undertaken by young people will contribute to strengthening – Suraksha – a public awareness campaign that was launched in 2020 by ASCPCR in collaboration with UNICEF.

There are various forms of violence against children everywhere – corporal punishment, domestic violence, peer violence like bullying, sexual violence, abuse and exploitation, cyber bullying, online violence.

Harmeet Singh, Guwahati Police Commissioner, said: “Unfortunately, evidence of violence against children is scarce as there are no national or state level prevalence surveys focused on this issue. Although case reporting is low as people often avoid informing about its occurrence due to existing stereotypes.

“U-Report is a unique tool to understand the current situation and can further inform Assam Police programs. We will extend our support through this endeavor by promoting it on our social media channels to ensure maximization of reach “, he added.

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Highlighting the role of the media in raising awareness of key social development issues in the state, Dr. Samudra Gupta Kashyap, State Information Commissioner said, “The media is a force multiplier and an effective tool For the development”.

He also urged everyone to bring this tool to the youth of the state through the media so that a change can be affected. With today’s launch, organizers aim to reach and gather opinions from 45,000 NSS volunteers, to start with, and UNICEF has planned more U-Report info-bots, quizzes and more. on protection issues to continue to support actions and take into account the concerns of young people at the highest decision-making level.

WAY Foundation Founder, Indrajit Sinha said, “This UReport quiz is just the first of many engagements with young people in Assam. Together with the NSS and UNICEF, we are planning a number of workshops with university and college students and aim to help them start social action projects on protection issues.

Going forward, UNICEF will share the results of the U-Report with the Assam State Commission for the Rights of the Child to strengthen its public awareness campaign, Suraksha.

The outcome will also be shared with Assam Police, Ministry of Social Justice, Government of Assam and civil society. A youth program will be developed based on the results of the U-Report, which will be presented to political leaders.

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