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Aid workers urged to press ahead with relief measures

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David Cohen, co-director, Advocacy Institute, U.S. Photo: K. V. Srinivasan
David Cohen, co-director, Advocacy Institute, U.S. Photo: K. V. Srinivasan

Special Correspondent

"Document instances of emerging leadership among children"

CHENNAI: David Cohen, Co-director, Advocacy Institute, U.S., has complimented aid and government workers in Tamil Nadu for taking excellent relief and rehabilitation measures in consultation with children of the community and has stressed the need to sustain these efforts.

The challenge is to support one another and sustain the momentum. "We have to try and capture all that you have done to show what the next step should be," Mr. Cohen said. And that required stamina and persistence. Children's responses and rights had been interwoven into government and non-governmental rehabilitation efforts, with consultations right from building temporary shelters to livelihood activities. For instance, children had indicated that a childcare mechanism must be incorporated into the community, as more women had to go out to work. This increased their ability to raise their voices, not in isolation, but in cohesion, said Mr. Cohen, who has lobbied effectively with social justice movements in the U.S.

Ways to reduce risk

He suggested that the next step be to document the instances of emerging leadership among children, with music, pictures, song, words and art. Also, ways to reduce risk to children during calamities and stronger child protection norms must be evolved. Mr. Cohen was speaking at a meeting organised by Save the Children, to mark the second anniversary of the tsunami.

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