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Over 1,000 adolescents to attend convention under Goa University’s pilot project

PANAJI: A day-long Goa State Adolescent Convention to be held on April 24, at Taleigao Community Hall, from 9.30 a.m to 5 p.m, will provide a platform for over 1,000 adolescents aged between 10 and 19 years, and address issues such as living with HIV/AIDS, transgender, adolescents with special needs, homelessness, living in slums, juvenile delinquents and adolescents living in homes and closed institutions through creative expression.

The event will be organised by Sanghmitra – Goa State Coalition for Reproductive and Social Health of Adolescents, which is a pilot project undertaken by the Centre for Women’s Studies, Goa University. It is funded by the National Mission for Empowerment of Women, Ministry of Women and Child Development. Sanghmitra works in field of helping adolescents cope up with their needs be it on health issues or legal rights.

A website www.sanghmitragoa.com will also be launched during the convention. It will serve as a one-stop platform for discussions, networking between organisations working for adolescents in Goa, and as a bridge between organisations and the adolescent population in Goa.

Principal investigator Sanghmitra and in-charge of Women’s Studies, Goa University, Dr Shaila de Souza, addressing a press conference on Thursday, said that although the Sanghmitra project is limited to one year duration, the website is to be maintained for a 10-year period. “We will also translate this endeavour into areas of convergence for women, children, men, and various social issues,” she added. Dr de Souza further said that there are many NGOs working in the field of adolescents and therefore, sometimes there is duplication of work, which can be prevented through coordination between them, with the assistance of the website.

Kajal Kerkar, the project co-ordinator for Sanghmitra said that the convention will have the participating adolescents expressing their needs through various activities like games, cartoon workshops, collaborative art workshops, digital storytelling, educational games, dance, and poster making. “Short films and plays on various issues faced by the adolescents will also be a part of the convention,” she noted, adding that popular youth band Static Age will perform at the convention. Project fellow for Sanghmitra Prachi Prabhu was also present.

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