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Tracking migrant children: Palghar, Nandurbar also part of pilot, special panel to take tips from Telangana

Maharashtra’s pilot project to track and transfer entitlements for migrant children is all set to include migration from Palghar and Nandurbar districts along with Melghat in its scheme of study.

Written by Parthasarathi Biswas | Pune |
Updated: July 29, 2021 12:08:20 pm
Once the child is tracked, a protocol will be worked out to ensure that the child receives entitlements at its destinations.

Children falling off the radar of entitlements and special schemes due to their parents migrating for work has long been a challenge for policy makers. Maharashtra’s pilot project to track and transfer entitlements for migrant children is all set to include migration from Palghar and Nandurbar districts along with Melghat in its scheme of study.

Rubal Agarwal, commissioner, Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), told The Indian Express that they have decided to study the process in Telangana of tracking migrants before rolling out the pilot project.

A grey area in policy implementation, children being denied these benefits has resulted in a rise in malnutrition and also, in many cases, failure to adhere to vaccination schedule. Based on a study of the Melghat region in Amravati district, it was decided that a pilot scheme will be rolled out to track migrants and devise a mechanism so that they can access their entitlements anywhere across the state.

The model will use software to register and track migration at the source as well as the destination. Once the child is tracked, a protocol will be worked out to ensure that the child receives entitlements at its destinations.

In June, the state government formed a special committee, headed by ICDS commissioner to roll out the scheme. Dr Mittali Sethi, chief executive officer (CEO), Zilla Parishad Chandrapur, who was earlier the project officer in Dharni (Melghat region) is also a member of the committee.

Agarwal, who has recently taken over as the ICDS commissioner, said multiple meetings and presentations have happened towards the roll-out of the pilot.

Other than Melghat, the project will also track migrations from Palghar and Nandurbar districts.

Agarwal said the Telangana government has a system for tracking and Dr Sethi will be travelling to Hyderabad to study the same. “Our software is robust, but we still want to see if there is any value addition that we can do from the Telangana model,” she said.

Other than the software, the migrants will also get Poshan card, which would have all the details of the entitlements for the children.

One of the biggest hurdles for this would be transfer of benefits from tribal sub-plan areas to non-tribal areas. At present, such a transfer is not possible. Agarwal has initiated talks with the tribal development department for working out a system for the transfer.

“This would require change at policy level, and next week we are having a high-level meeting to see what can be done,” Agarwal added.

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