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On Tuesday, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced the opening of a Sampark Help Desk and 16 child-friendly police stations. Additionally, he stated that the state will soon see the opening of 18 additional child-friendly police stations.

According to information provided by officials, child-friendly facilities have been established at the CAW&CWs in Bhubaneswar and Jagatsinghpur, Padmapur in Bargarh, Jajpur Road, Jharsuguda, Nayagarh, Aska, Soro, Bhawanipatna Sadar, Rairangpur, Deogarh, Rourkela sector 19, Dhenkanal town, Keonjhar town, Nalco in Angul and Binika police stations of the state, informed officials.

Rekha Lohani, IPS ADG CAW&CW, told ANI that child-friendly police stations have been built in the state to provide a welcoming environment for children.

"The 16 Police Stations in different districts with child-friendly amenities and ambience have their interiors painted to attract the children and are equipped with soft toys, a library having animated storybooks, swings for children, washrooms, separate breastfeeding corner for lactating mothers, recreation means like TV etc," She said.

Rekha Lohani went on to say that the crime against women and children wing (CAW&CW) police station in the capital city has one child-friendly unit, but 15 other districts each have one.

"The main objective of the initiative is to make minors more comfortable while lodging complaints with police without fear. Such measures are aimed at easing the fear and mental pressure of children visiting the police stations, seeking justice," she said.

In addition, ADG Rekha Lohani stated that the Sampark Help Desk has been established with UNICEF's technical assistance with the intention of addressing the problem of gender violence by providing psychosocial support to sexual assault victims who have experienced a great deal of trauma as a result of the incident.

"Connecting the victim to various support agencies in the district like DCPU, DSWO, CWC, Childline, One Stop Centres, and district mental health professionals etc, empowering the victims by informing them of their rights and entitlements in their journey to secure justice. Referrals and follow-up action While enumerating the success stories of Sampark Help Desk during the trial run period," she said.

According to Rekha Lohani, the State Government has already approved the organization's short-term expansion and scaling up of its capacity to meet the needs of these disadvantaged segments of society.

On the occasion, audiovisuals created to raise community awareness of mental health and child protection issues were also shown.

With inputs from ANI

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