The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has (MoHUA)launched the Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge initiative with the aim to make cities conducive and supportive for young children and their families. A framework of data maturity assessment to assess the data ecosystem of the cities was also introduced by the ministry. It also launched a training program for City Data Officers of the 100 Smart Cities.
Under this initiative supported by Bernard van Leer Foundation of Netherlands and WRI India, selected cities will receive assistance for capacity building in the cities in terms of reimagining parks, open spaces, and improving access to facilities concerning early childhood. The activity will look into the possibilities of adapting public spaces with amenities focused on early childhood and create safe, accessible, and walkable streets for families and especially young children. All smart cities can participate in this challenge.
According to Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Nurturing Neighbourhood Challenge is envisaged to lay the foundation for healthy social and economic development in cities by way of enhancing the primary public domain of young children, and their families.
Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), said an early childhood lens is required to be incorporated in city planning to support holistic urban development. Further, MoHUA has joined hands with Tata Trusts to launch an e-learning course, ‘Enabling Data-Driven Decision Making in Urban Local Bodies’ under CDO Training Programme,. Designed especially for City Data Officers appointed in 100 Smart Cities, the digital course makes CDOs acquainted with basic as well as advanced tools for collection of data and its visualization and analysis.