Ten-year-old Asha along with other tiny tots was part of a joyous, colourful group at the Children’s Day show held at SMV School on Thursday. They were among the 300-odd primary schoolchildren representing the Cotton Hill Lower Primary School. The children came in different avatars — one dressed as Mahatma Gandhi, a couple in traditional dance costumes, others armed with bright umbrellas, ribbons, banners, and other paraphernalia who declared themselves to be ‘cleanliness warriors’ or simply a very proactive group of children.

There were two instances when Asha and her friends darted to the crowded stage — one was right at the beginning to watch magician Gopinath Muthukad’s show. The second was to watch their classmate, who was part of the Children’s Council chosen during the cultural programmes organised by the Kerala State Council for Child Welfare, deliver her speech.

Common thread

The programmes were different, but the Children’s Day festivities had one common thread — protest against atrocities against children and pledge to protect themselves.

While magician Muthukad’s show was removed of any element of the spectacle, it was more significant than his other performances for the message it contained, said Minister for Social Welfare M.K. Muneer.

“Rather than referring to children’s welfare, it was more apt to call the activities organised by the government for children as simply their right,” he said.

There were plenty of agencies that worked exclusively for children’s rights. But there was a greater need to involve children further, make them more aware, and work with them to make the environment safer for children, added Mr. Muneer.

The Children’s Council, including ‘Prime Minister’ S.J. Sruthi, ‘President’ M. Vedavyas Manu, ‘Speaker’ A.S. Nandana and two other children who were charged with duties to deliver the welcome speech and vote of thanks, dominated the afternoon’s programmes.

Almost identical in their elocution, the group spoke about Nehru, on whose birthday Children’s Day is celebrated, and how children need to safeguard themselves.

The rally that followed had an estimated 3,000 children from schools across the district.

They marched from SMV School to University College, accompanied by six members of the mounted police squad and sounds of multiple school bands and the Panchavadyam.

During the day, the Child Welfare Council also organised a stamp release function. Prizes were distributed to students who excelled during the Varnolsavam-2013 arts festivals organised at the Council.

Collector and in-charge of Child Welfare Council K.N. Satheesh and actor Kaviyoor Ponnamma were present.