Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary and Mission Director (Smart Cities), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA). (Credit : Smart Cities Mission/twitter). Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, April 13 : To develop young children and set up family-friendly neighbourhoods within the cities of the country, the Infant, Toddler and Caregiver-Friendly Neighbourhoods (ITCN) training and capacity building programme was launched on Tuesday.

Launched by the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) in partnership with the Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF), the programme is designed to help build capacities of city officials and young professionals for developing young children and family-friendly neighbourhoods.

The programme was virtually launched by Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary and Mission Director (Smart Cities), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).

"A city designed for children is a city for everyone. Capacity building of cities to ensure data smart, infant toddlers and caregiver-friendly neighbourhoods is an investment into a future productive economy," Kumar said.

According to the ministry, the programme is a continuation of the long-term partnership between the NIUA and the BvLF to scale up the efforts and embed the lessons of ITC needs at the neighbourhood level within the cities.

"Under the programme, 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), which has been developed for knowledge dissemination by the MoHUA and NIUA," the ministry said.

The ministry highlighted that the programme is envisioned with the twin objectives: First, embedding the learnings from the inventory of knowledge developed by the NIUA and the BvLF within the on-going and proposed urban development initiatives at neighbourhood and city level; Second, handholding participants to embed learnings into the various initiatives of the cities which take into account the everyday needs of young children and caregivers.

In addition, an academic certified course for young professionals has been planned to sensitise them about the needs of young citizens (0-5 years) in the cities and to equip them with adequate tools for the purpose, the ministry said.

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