A training programme for 10 Media Fellows from Assam was held in the capital today, on the issues of malnutrition, child protection and gender. The programme was organized by Cotton University with technical support from UNICEF Assam.
Vice Chancellor, Cotton University, Prof. Bhabesh Ch. Goswami inaugurated the training programme and appreciated the initiative that aims to improve reportage on the issues of malnutrition and violence against children. Expressing concern over the issues, he said,”There is an urgent need to create a momentum on the issue over a period of time that will inform the public and influence policy.”
This year, Cotton University and UNICEF Assam collaborated to reach and sensitize media at the constituency level. “Over the past six years, we have engaged with editors and district level media.
However, we reached out to 170 journalists in blocks and villages via six workshops. Most were attended by the local MLAs. The objective of bringing these two stakeholders together was to create a joint accountability on addressing the issues of malnutrition and violence against children,” said Dr. Madhulika Jonathan, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Assam.
Ten journalists (print and TV),who received the Fellowships, represent different media houses in Assam. They were selected on 20 August 2022 by a high-level jury that included Shri. Hrishikesh Goswami, Former Media Advisor, Government of Assam; Smt. Durbha Ghosh, Manager PTI; Dr. Narayan Sharma, Child Educationist and Specialist; Smt. Pilu Hazarika, Member, ASCPCR; and Shri. Dinanth Loying, Joint Director, DIPR. The selected Fellows are expected to travel to high-burden districts and write stories over a period of 75 days.
During the training programme, sessions were facilitated by a number of experts. Director of Research and Policy Advocacy CRY India, Shri. Subhendu Bhattacharjee highlighted the role of media in advocating with policymakers on children’s rights. Shri. Jitu Dutta, Chairperson of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) Kamrup Metro highlighted the changing trends of violence against children in Assam. Educationist and child specialist Dr. Narayan Sharma spoke on different issues regarding malnutrition and how it affects the overall development and growth of children during later years.
Senior journalists including Shri. Mrinal Talukdar and Ratnadip Choudhury; and Chief Reporter of Dainik Asom, Shri Jiten Choudhury took sessions on issues related to creating space in daily reporting on child rights, and on how to use technology for better reporting.