The Ministry of Women and Child Development is funding a project led by NIMHANS aimed at mental health outreach for children who are abandoned and orphaned, child survivors of trafficking, or in conflict with law, Union Minister Smriti Irani said on Tuesday.
The project is called SAMVAD (Support, Advocacy and Mental Health Interventions for Children in Vulnerable Circumstances and Diseases) and is being run in collaboration with Panchayati Raj Ministry at a cost of ₹56 crore for five years.
Since its roll out in June last year, a total of 41,000 personnel who come in contact with children in need of care and protection have been trained across 28 States to screen children with mental concerns and ensure early intervention.
“So far there was a presumption in the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, that duty holders of child protection have this sort of support to be able to do their jobs. But we realised that this was one of the biggest gaps in the law,” Ms. Irani, the Minister for Women and Child Development, said at a press conference.