Riding across Punjab, Haryana to save the girl child

Specially modified vans will travel across various parts of Haryana and Punjab in a bid to create awareness on child rights through street plays and animation films.

To begin with, as many as 290 villages in Hisar, Sirsa and Fatehabad districts of Haryana will be covered.

The campaign, flagged off by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar from Panchkula near here on Sunday, is a part of a larger child rights programme being implemented by Save the Children in the two states.

The NGO jointly with the Women and Child Development Department of the Haryana government kicked off this dedicated video van campaign titled – Yes, Children Have Rights.

The project will reach 833 habitations in the two states and also aims at enrolling most of the out of school children aged six to 14 in schools. The idea of the project is to strengthen community based child protection mechanisms by empowering village child protection committees and children’s groups so that their issues can be addressed.

Save the Children is an independent child rights organisation that works in India and in over 120 countries around the world.

“Lack of awareness on child rights is one of the important reasons for incidences of child rights violations. Children are most vulnerable to incidences of abuse, exploitation and negligence and their voices are not heard easily in the community,” said Jatin Mondar, Project Director of Save the Children in Punjab and Haryana.

This is a first year of three-year-long campaign which will be implemented with the support of the government’s Women and Child Development Department. Post its launch in Haryana, the campaign will be expanded in Punjab’s 550 villages in the coming weeks, Jatin Mondar said.

The campaign in the two states will emphasise the message that education, protection, equity and respect are primary rights of children.

Any incidences of violation of child rights or cases of children in need of care and protection should be referred to child protection committees formed in the villages under Integrated Child Protection Scheme of governments, he said.

The NGO with its four partners – Society for All Round Development (SARD), Model Rural Youth Development Organisation (MRYDO), Child Survival India (CSI) and Volunteers for Social Justice (VSJ) – is currently implementing a project ‘strengthening child rights in cotton growing districts’ of Haryana and Punjab.

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