This election, children do not want to be left behind and desire their voices be heard by the political parties.
A group of children met leaders of various political parties and handed over a list of 16 demands concerning them, that they want the leaders to be included in their respective manifestos.
Children belonging to different non-governmental organisaations such as Association for Promoting Social Action (APSA), Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Bangalore Oniyavara Seva Coota (BOSCO), among others went to offices of Congress, JD(S), BSR Congress, BJP and KJP to hand over their 16 demands. Karnataka Childs Right Observatory (KCRO), a consortium of NGOs, academic institutions, network organisations, with Child Right Trust as the co-ordinating organisation, has compiled the demands prepared by children.
“After a brainstorming session with children and members of other groups two weeks ago, a final list of demands on priority wise was prepared. Besides the child education and sexual harassment, problems such as child trafficking, runaway kids and malnourishment needs immediate attention. Most of the political representatives are not aware of migrant children or the displaced (missing) children. Hence, we felt that it is necessary to bring all these issues to their notice,” said Campaign Co-ordinator, KCRO, Nagasimha G Rao.
Some of the demands include setting up of Department of Paediatrics in primary health care centres especially at rural areas, stringent action against human trafficking and creating public awareness on the scourge, providing nutritious and hygienic food under mid-day meals scheme at schools, more funds for child health and education in the State budget, among others.
“The response from the political parties has been positive. In case the demands are not included, children will approach them again. We are sure that at least a few of the demands would be included in the manifestos,” said Rao.