INDIA1: National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) in partnership with Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF) have virtually launched the ‘Infant Toddler and Caregiver-friendly Neighbourhoods (ITCN) Training and Capacity Building Programme’ on 13th April 2021. The Programme is designed to help build capacities of city officials and young professionals for developing young children and family-friendly neighbourhoods within cities in India.
The program is a continuation of the long-term partnership between NIUA and BvLF to scale up the efforts and embed the lessons of Infant, Toddler, Caregiver needs at the neighborhood level within city level programs. Under the program, city officials and young professionals are proposed to be skilled through certified training and capacity-building modules. The training is proposed to be delivered through well-structured training modules, provided online through the National Urban Learning Platform (NULP), the platform developed for knowledge dissemination by NIUA and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
The program is envisioned with the twin objectives: first, embedding the learnings from the inventory of knowledge developed by NIUA and BvLF within the ongoing and proposed urban development initiatives at the neighborhood and city level; and second, handholding participants to embed learnings into the various initiatives of the cities, taking into account the everyday needs of young children and caregivers. In addition, an academic certified course for young professionals has been planned to sensitize them about the needs of young citizens (0-5 years) in the city and to equip them with adequate tools for the purpose.
The event was launched remotely by Mr. Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary & Mission Director (Smart Cities), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, GoI. The attendees of the event included Mr. Hitesh Vaidya, Director, NIUA, Ms. Rushda Majeed, India Representative, BvLF, Ms. Kakul Misra, National Program Head- Centre for Digital Governance, NIUA, Mr. Ajay Suri, Senior Advisor – Inclusive Development, NIUA. The Smart City CEOs, Municipal Commissioners, and young professionals were also among the remote participants.
Shri Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary & Mission Director (Smart Cities), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, GoI: “A city designed for children is a city for everyone. Capacity building of cities to ensure data smartly, infant toddler and caregiver friendly neighborhoods is an investment into a future productive economy.”
Hitesh Vaidya, Director, NIUA: “When we plan city from a child’s perspective, we not only invest for the present but also for next generations to cherish and enjoy the fruits of development. For this to happen, neighborhood/local level planning from a child’s perspective is a key ingredient”.
Rushda Majeed, India Representative, Bernard van Leer Foundation said, “At the heart of any urban planning is understanding the needs of its residents, and often the youngest dwellers are the best indicators of what works for all people. In partnership with NIUA, we aim to provide city officials and young urban planners with the right training, tools, and resources to make their cities more equitable, inclusive, and friendly for young children and their families.”
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