The voiceless

Though there are numerous child rights organisations, children in our society continue to remain in sheer neglect and be exploited in the form of child labourers and sex workers. The efforts made by various NGOs and INGOs to address children’s problems are limited to mere advocacy, instead of taking concrete action to ensure their rights. Not surprisingly, therefore, hundreds of children, especially in the urban areas of our country, are forced to live their lives in extreme hunger and squalor, while resorting to criminal activities to make ends meet. Now that the country is on its way to drafting a new and inclusive constitution that is purported to guarantee the rights of all communities, children too should have a fair share of the pie.

Early childhood development should remain one of the main national agendas, which will serve to foster healthy development of children, both physically and mentally. A broader national strategy should be devised and specific legal provisions made so that children can have easy access to education and basic health care. While devising such a strategy, special attention should be given to children belonging to backward, downtrodden and underprivileged communities. However, in order to address such a broad issue, unified effort and contribution of the government, child rights organisations and communities become all the more important.