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Bengal: Minister releases UNICEF child development handbook endorsed by religious texts

September 26, 2023

A handbook containing scientific guidance for child development, endorsed by religious texts and supported by faith leaders, was unveiled by Shashi Panja, the West Bengal Minister for Women and Child Development and Social Welfare.

The handbook, jointly prepared by UNICEF and the Amanat Foundation, an NGO, will be utilized by religious leaders representing Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. Its purpose is to dispel misconceptions about child healthcare and promote awareness about vital aspects such as nutrition, education, hygiene, and more.

Available in English, Bangla, Hindi, Urdu, and Nepali, these handbooks aim to raise awareness about health, nutrition, education, child protection, and water, sanitation, and hygiene standards essential for children’s well-being. Speaking at the launch event, Minister Panja highlighted the two-year collaborative effort between UNICEF and the Amanat Foundation. She explained that faith-based leaders would use the handbook to address misconceptions about vaccines, including the polio vaccine, administered to children and pregnant women.

UNICEF West Bengal Chief Mohammad Mohiuddin emphasized that the handbook’s impact would extend beyond West Bengal, benefitting UNICEF offices nationwide and in South Asian countries. He stressed the significant role of faith-based leaders in spreading awareness and addressing misconceptions in critical areas such as health, nutrition, education, child protection, and hygiene.

Source: PTI

Also read: Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship partners with UNICEF-YuWaah

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