Ahmedabad, July 2, 2023 – UNICEF, Elixir, PIB and Academy Of Pediatrics – Gujarat to provide parents with the right support, information, and skills to care for their children that will promote healthy development and help children realize their full potential. The “Parenting Pathways – Raising Resilient Kids” program was organised by UNICEF, Elixir Foundation in collaboration with the Department of Women & Child Development, Government of Gujarat and Press Information Bureau (PIB) Gujarat. The programme focused on raising awareness about positive parenting especially in the first 1000 days of a child’s life; early stimulation and care of children less than 3 years of age; and on mental health, life skills for adolescents, career pathways; body confidence and their self-esteem.

In his keynote address, Mr. Prasanta Dash, Chief of UNICEF Gujarat said, “Early childhood is one of the most critical periods for human brain development. During this period, safe, stable, loving and nurturing relationships with parents and caregivers can support children to thrive and protect them from childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as abuse and neglect. Parenting programmes are crucial to improve the support, confidence and skills that parents, and caregivers need to engage in nurturing care, bonding and playful interactions with their children.”

The inaugural session, facilitated by Mr. Krunal Shah, Program Manager at Elixir Foundation featured esteemed speakers who shared their expertise and insights. Mr. Madhish Parikh, Founder of Elixir Foundation, Ms. Vaishali Vaishnav, Founder of Multi Tasking Mommies (MTM), Dr. Nishchal Bhatt, Founder of PARENTeens, and Ms. Moira Dawa, Communication Advocacy and Partnership Specialist at UNICEF who emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts in this area.

Speaking during the programme, Ms. Moira Dawa, Communication Advocacy and Partnership Specialist at UNICEF said, “UNICEF with support of Elixir Foundation is committed to setting up a multi-stakeholder platform to bring together all partners – Academy Of Pediatrics – Gujarat, Press Information Bureau, parenting cohorts such as MTM, and other likeminded individuals and associations to develop a collaborative action plan for the rest of the year to take forward this important agenda.” 

Ms. Vaishali Vaishnav, Founder, MTM said that “We understand that caring for children is a significant responsibility that requires not only providing for their physical needs but also nurturing their emotional and mental well-being. This program is dedicated to supporting parents in this vital role by offering comprehensive information, support, and self-care strategies”

Dr. Nishchal Bhatt, Pediatrician and Founder of PARENTeens said, “The Academy Of Pediatrics – Gujarat and all pediatric community is committed to supporting this multi-stakeholder platform and will help develop and disseminate resource material for parents and also run school-based programmes focused on good nutrition, mental health and life skills of adolescents”.

The program featured informative panel discussions on the importance of first 1000 days of a child’s life and early stimulation and learning during the first 3 years of a child’s life with experts Dr. Nikhil Kharod, MD and Pediatrician; Ms. Prachi Mihir Shah, Director of a pre-school in Ahmedabad; Dr. Chirantap Oza, Pediatrician and Mr. Deepak Teraiya, Parenting Advisor and Life Coach

The second panel discussion was on the theme of positive parenting and fostering the mental health of parents and children with experts Dr. Nishchal Bhatt; Prof. Dr. S L Vaya, Chief Mentor at the School of Criminology & Behavioral Sciences, Rashtriya Raksha University; Dr. Arpan Yagnik, Author and TEDx Speaker; and Dr. Chirag Bhoraniya, IIS, Deputy Director, Central Bureau of Communication, Ministry of I&B, Government of India.

The programme featured three special talks. The first was on ‘Building Emotional Resilience’ which was delivered by Ms. Riri Trivedi, Therapist co-founder of Wellness Space. Ms. Trivedi shared her expertise on developing emotional resilience in both parents and children, emphasizing the importance of emotional well-being in overall child development.

This was followed by Ms. Amita Tandon, Education Specialist at UNICEF delivered a special talk on ‘Life Skills for Adolescents; Career Pathways; Body Confidence and Self-Esteem’ where she highlighted the significance of equipping adolescents with essential life skills, fostering career growth, and promoting body confidence and self-esteem among young individuals.

The last talk of the day was on ‘Parenting for Peace’ delivered by Mr Hasmukh Patel, IPS, Addl. DGP, Managing Director of Gujarat Police Housing Corporation, Gandhinagar, and Curator of ‘Parenting for Peace.’ Mr. Patel shared his expertise on creating a peaceful and harmonious parenting environment that contributes to the overall well-being of both parents and children.

The program was attended by more than 150 parents, teachers, academics, pediatricians, subject matter experts and young people. It provided a platform for parents to gain valuable insights and connected them to experts in the field.

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For Media Queries:

Moira Dawa, Communication, Advocacy & Partnership Specialist, UNICEF

9771 411 859 | [email protected]

Krunal Shah, Program Manager, Elixir Foundation

9409 113 007 | [email protected]