As many as 2,000 children, who were mostly street children rehabilitated by different voluntary organisations, gathered in Fr. Devaiah auditorium of Andhra Loyola College here on Saturday to participate in several events held during the day on the occasion of birth anniversary of N.S. Manihara, the founder of SKCV Children’s Trust.
The Children’s Mela-2010, as it was called, witnessed cultural performances and competitions in games and sports in sub-junior, junior and senior categories. Prizes were presented to the winners in each category.
The day began with a dance-drama by the children of SKCV Home on the life of the late Manihara. They depicted how Manihara reached India and set up the organisation for the welfare of deprived children.
A few more skits on child labour were performed on the occasion.
Vijayawada Central MLA Malladi Vishnu, speaking as chief guest, underscored the need for more service organisations joining hands for the welfare of street children. He commended the Forum For Child Rights for brining all service organisations working for the children under one umbrella and providing help to the children in need.
Mayor M.V. Ratna Bindu, who presided over the meeting, recalled the services rendered by Manihara for the streetchildren. She said there was a need to eradicate child labour completely from the city and the support of every citizen was needed to achieve this task.
Police Commissioner (in-charge) Mahesh M. Bhagwat highlighted the importance of three ‘P’s – protection, prevention and prosecution – in implementation of child rights. He observed that trafficking in women and children was going on a large scale in Krishna and Godavari districts, as compared to other districts, but steps were being taken to protect every child.
Deputy Commissioner of Labour Yousuf Sheik, Forum treasurer B.S. Koteswara Rao, former treasurer of the TANA foundation K. Sambasiva Rao, Deputy Mayor S.P. Gritton and others were present.
Krishna district Collector Peeyush Kumar, who was the chief guest at the valedictory session, presented prizes to the winners of various competitions. Lauding the services of the non-governmental organisations, he assured support form the district administration for eradication of practice of child labour. General Manager of the Vijayawada Telecom District John Chrisostham, vice-president of the Forum for Child Rights N. Bhakti Manihara and others were present.