Bastar. An innovative state-wide youth network to promote child rights and make gram panchayats child-friendly in Chhattisgarh was launched in Bastar by CG-PANCH, a network of 5,000 sarpanches in the state. CG-PANCH network of sarpanches has selected 2-3 youth sangwari in each gram panchayat, who will be trained by UNICEF. Sangwaris will assist sarpanches in making villages child-friendly and conducting bal sabhas and Mahila sabhas. They will also assist the sarpanches in collecting information, monitoring programs, and conducting review meetings on child-related programs. Welcoming the initiative of CG-PANCH, Job Zachariah, Chief of UNICEF in Chhattisgarh, said “The initiative will bring new ideas and promote the involvement of youth, children and women in panchayat development”.
Bal Paritosh Dash, Social Policy Specialist of UNICEF suggested that CG-PANCH could nominate more volunteers to create a cadre of 25,000 youth volunteers in the state. Around 100 Sarpanches and sangwari nominated by them were present at the launch of the Panchayat.