Recognise Right to Child's Participation: Expert

Various 'classes' of schools resulting in discrimination

 The Right to Child’s Participation in civic issues is recognised at par with a child’s Right to Survive and Right to Education, according to the UN convention on Child Rights.

It is important to listen to the viewpoints of children, as they are unbiased observers of the things around them, said Prasoon Sen, representative from UNICEF, in Mysore, on Thursday.

Speaking at the inaugural function of a mock parliament for children, organised by Karnataka Child Rights Observatory (KCRO) in association with UNICEF, at Rangayana, he said, “While adults can be influenced by luring them with money or other incentives, children do not get influenced easily.

They can describe a situation in an unbiased way. So, children’s views on schools and hospitals in their villages accurately depict how such facilities and government schemes are affecting people”.

Vasudev Sharma, convenor of KCRO, said, elected representatives have failed to address issues pertaining to the welfare of children in the State. “Earlier, political parties did not raise any issue on children in their election manifestos. However, owing to some pressure, they have started including them from 2003,” he said.

He said, children may have more amicable and simple solutions for everyday problems. Moreover, children should be encouraged to understand problems, discuss them and come up with solutions.

Girl child

Meera Nayak, president of Samatha Vedike, said, girl children are facing subjugation — both at homes and schools — especially in rural areas. “More or less, it is a form of slavery,” she said.

Different kinds of schools are being run — for the rich and the poor — which increases discrimination among children. We can provide them equal opportunities only by giving them uniform education, she said.

Pa Mallesh, Kannada activist, said encouraging private schools against government schools creates two classes and cultures of children.

 “Contrasts of the society are being imposed on them,” he said.

A total of 51 children from different parts of the district participated.

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