The recent United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) ‘Report on Children and Armed Conflict’ did not include India. This action was a direct result of the hard work of the Union Ministry for Women and Child Development under Minister Smriti Irani Ji. The Ministry worked with the other departments of the Central Government to successfully institute programs and structures for child welfare. Under PM Modi, the Indian Government’s concentrated efforts ensured that the report, which names nations where children are involved in armed conflicts, did not name India.
Incidents in Jammu and Kashmir and the ‘Report on Children and Armed Conflict’
Since 2010 this Secretary-General’s report included India. The list included other countries like Burkina Faso, the Lake Chad basin, Cameroon, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Pakistan. The UN concluded India had young children that were harmed by the presence of militia groups in the country. The terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir were a prime cause for India’s inclusion in the report.
Primarily, the UN listed the use of young boys by militia groups in Jammu and Kashmir as a cause of concern. Secondly, the detainment of young boys by Indian security forces in J&K for allegedly associating with terrorists was another reason for India’s mention in the report. Furthermore, incidents of disability or death of children caused by Indian security forces also made India a contender for the report. Thus, any harm to children due to armed groups or security forces in J&K influenced the UNSC’s report. The incidents included injury by pellet guns, harm due to crossfire between armed groups and security forces, and injuries due to shelling across the LOC.
Modi-Government’s Efforts to Give India a Facelift at UNSC
The Indian government rightfully found its inclusion in this ignoble list a source of concern and embarrassment. The Central government held an inter-ministerial meeting in November 2021 to reflect on the situation.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development, the Ministry of External Affairs, the Permanent Mission of India in New York, and the Ministry of Home Affairs worked with Ms. Virginia Gamba, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children, and the UN officials in New Delhi.
The government, under PM Modi and Smriti Irani Ji, prioritized national-level interventions to enhance the protection of children. Under Smriti Irani Ji, the Ministry of Women And Child Development developed a road map to increase protection of children in J&K. They placed importance on collaboration with agencies, both government and non-government, to safeguard the interests of children in India.
The state of Jammu & Kashmir held several workshops and visits to strengthen child protection and welfare. The UN representatives were active participants in these activities. The central government and the J&K government instituted several statutory service delivery structures. These structures included Child Welfare Committees, Juvenile Justice Boards, etc. The result was that on 5th June the UNSC’s Secretary-General report on ‘Children and Armed Conflict’ dropped India’s name from it.
The detractors of PM Modi and the BJP Government accuse them of not accomplishing any real work on ground. They usually portray PM Modi as a person who specializes in perception management. However, the BJP is silently and steadily working for the benefit of India and its people. It is ensuring that the world acknowledges India as a nation that protects all its citizens. It is making deep inroads towards youth welfare in India. Moreover, it is committed to protecting children from harm caused by armed militia.
However, such news rarely catches the eye of the Indian public. Moreover, the short-term memory of Indians allows them to vote for freebies and petty personal gains. A perfect example of a government chosen based on ‘Freebies’ rather than ‘Vikas’ is the Congress’s Karnataka win. Sadly, India’s progress is readily acknowledged on global platforms; however, it is never acknowledged by its citizens.