'India nowhere near achieving millenium goals'
The deadline for the achieving eight key goals, which range from halving extreme poverty rates, to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, ends in 2015.
The volunteer groups said that the country is nowhere near achieving all the goals, but called on the Union and Karnataka governments to keep working in the spirit of the goals even after the deadline.
Students, parents and representatives from Bangalore and surrounding villages took part in a special meet, titled “Children: Governance and Equity,” in Bangalore on Monday, which was organised as part of the larger “Listening to the People, MDGs post-2015” programme.
The programme organisers hope to use the event as a forum for developing ideas and recommendations which can then be forwarded to the Bangalore Rural Educational And Development Society (BREADS) — which has taken the initiative in Karnataka to compile the recommendations.
Shanmuga Priya T, programme manager at BREADS, said these recommendations would finally be submitted to ‘Wada Na Todo Abhiyan’ in Delhi, which will compile all such suggestions from across the nation for submission to a high-level panel under UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Ensure food for kids
Most of those who attended the programme asked for a rights-based approach to ensuring food, education and health to all. Children called on the government to ensure that no child goes hungry and asked for healthcare to be universalised.
They also wanted the officials to ensure that the students in government schools are on a par with their counterparts in private schools. “Family, schools and society are equal stakeholders in child protection,” they said.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, Jayanth and Gowri, both class X students at a school in Vijayanagar, said the first thing they needed was bigger playgrounds and better libraries.
“In many schools there is no playground at all. Also, there have to be better libraries in our schools,” said Jayanth.
Chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR), Umesh Aradhya, said that there were several useful programmes in place, but were being hindered at the implementation level.
“The government is not responsive in most of the cases,” he said.