'It's us kids talking about our issues at UN event'
Seventeen-year-old Manjula Munavalli of Ramapur village near Dharwad, who will speak at the 66th conference of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in Geneva on October 10, said she would raise children’s issues in her speech.
“People have been wondering how a girl like me who was brought up in a rural area got the chance to visit Geneva. I should say it is all because of the people I have worked with at KIDS,” she said, referring to Karnataka Integrated Development Society, a non-profit organisation with whom she has been involved. “If we represent India at the UNCRC and present our situation, it will reflect back upon us as a country. Much is needed to improve children’s condition and many more pro-children programmes can be introduced.”
The Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) felicitated Munavalli here on Thursday before she left for Mumbai, from where she is to leave for Geneva. About 200 to 300 children representing various countries will take part in the conference. In addition to Munavalli, who is a PUC I student, Afsana from Gujarat will represent India at the conference.
The two girls were chosen following multiple selection process. Munavalli said she would talk about sexual abuse, care for orphans and other issues. “Nobody told us what to talk about or what not to,” she said. “This is going to be us talking about our problems.”