The platform was created for the aggrieved youngsters to voice their concern over various issues by the Forum for Child Rights, Krishna district

Surrounded by a deluge of problems that have been hampering their normal growth, a set of socially deprived children, on Wednesday, confronted representatives of various allied government departments which are directly responsible for protection of their rights.

The platform was created for the aggrieved youngsters to voice their concern over various issues by the Forum for Child Rights, Krishna District at ‘Baalala Rachabanda’, a parallel to the ongoing ‘Rachabanda’, the mass contact programme of the government representatives and officials.

‘Baalala Rachabanda’ marked the valediction of a week-long child rights activity which culminated in International Child Rights Day at T.V. Bhavan in Hanumanpet on Wednesday.

‘Discrimination’

The children who participated were a mix of socially deprived kids from economically backward sections, HIV/AIDS infected and affected children and those afflicted by physical disability. Narrating their travails, the children brought to the fore a plethora of problems that ranged from absence of basic amenities in their schools to substandard food served under mid-day meal scheme, and to the gross discrimination against the HIV/AIDS-infected and affected kids.

An 18-year-old HIV-positive girl said she was denied admission in a nursing course because she was infected by the virus. Yet another HIV-positive girl, who is on ART, poured out her woes.

She said many others like her, had to travel a long distance to reach the ART centre for medicines which were in short supply. There was no drinking water facility at the centre.

She said if the medicines could be supplied for a longer period, they wouldn’t have to spend a major part of their meagre income on travelling. She pleaded for travelling allowance and provision of food at ART centres keeping in view their physical and financial plight. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Administration) Abdul Sattar, representing the police department, encouraged the kids to speak out their minds. He said it was essential for the young ones to learn to fight for their rights.

In response to a query related to sanction of pensions for physically disabled, Krishna District Rural Development Authority Project Director K. Sivasankar threw light on issues related to pension scheme for physically disabled, for HIV/AIDS-infected and benefits of several other government-sponsored welfare schemes. Assistant Labour Commissioner D. Anjaneya Reddy, Chairman of the Krishna District Child Welfare Committee Fr. Thomas Koshy, former MLC J. Wilson, and former MLA K. Subbaraju participated.

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