Around 80 HIV-AIDS affected children, mostly from economically backward families in the district had a double bonanza celebrating Children’s Day and Deepavali. Crackers, sweets, sports and games set the tone for the revelry organised by Rainbow, an organisation run by Marist Brothers in Uyyakondan Thirumalai and Childline.
‘We are there with you’ was the reassurance Childline coordinators gave the children, as part of the ‘Childline Se Dosti’ campaign. The week-long nationwide awareness campaign during the second week of November attempts to educate general public on child rights.
The programme aims to involve citizens and stakeholders like education institutions, healthcare sector, law and order forums and not-for-profit organisations, in child rights protection.
Self- confidence is the first step towards ensuring protection of child rights, Godwin Prem Singh, Childline nodal director, told students. HIV-AIDS positive children were often discriminated on account of their health status. Emboldening them with confidence to speak out was necessary before familiarising them with child rights, he said. A skit by Childline team on the features of 1098 helpline was enacted.
Earlier sports and games for the children were organized by the UDC college students and they were given prizes. The programme was presided over by the chairman of the trust, Rev. Bro.Chinnappan. Children were given gift-packs with stationery and new clothes.