Rise in mentally affected children in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 September 2008, 08:02 GMT]
Psychologists have warned that number of children in Jaffna districted mentally affected by the effects of continuing war and harassment by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) harassment is increasing in alarming rate, civil society sources in Jaffna said. Drawings and handicrafts of children identified as mentally affected were exhibited in an event held Sunday and Monday at Young Artists Hall in Nalloor by ‘Gods Own Children’ (GOC), a secular, non-government, and non-political humanitarian organization.

Children in Jaffna
Children in Jaffna
Children in Jaffna
Children's artwork contained themes including SLA harassment, public kept waiting along the roads for its convoys to pass, disappointment in the inability to retrieve the balloons drifting inside barbed wired SLA camps, and general woes of daily life.

Children who had lost their parents in the war, those gone missing or abducted and tsunami victims were among other mentally affected children who exhibited the artwork.

S. Yamunananthan, a leading child psychologist in the peninsula said that children dropping out of school due to poverty and poorly fed children, fall behind in school and later become prone to physical ailments and mental distress.

Yamunananthan added that the tsunami affected children will take a long time to return to normalcy,

GOC, a humanitarian organization run with only local support, has identified 350 children under ten years of age in need of special education. GOC has offered the children free service during week-ends at GOC's centres in Point Pedro, Chiththangkea’ni and Ariyaalai.

The organization has informed that similar centres will be opened in Maanipaay and Chuzhipuram soon.

Children in Jaffna
Children in Jaffna
Children in Jaffna
Children in Jaffna
Children in Jaffna
Children in Jaffna

 

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