A three-day children’s conclave organised by international group Action Aid and its partner institutions began here on Thursday with a call to fulfil the dreams and aspirations of children belonging to marginalised communities and focus on their rights and education with new initiatives.
Nearly 750 children from Rajasthan and Gujarat are taking part in the mega-event on the outskirts of Jaipur.
The conclave is aimed at providing orientation to children from the two States on Constitutional values such as equality, secularism, peace, respect for diversity and pluralism through mutual interaction and creative and fun activities which are participatory in nature.
Rajasthan State Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson Deepak Kalra inaugurated the conclave.
Commission member Govind Beniwal and United Nations Children's Fund Rajasthan head Samuel Mawunganidze were among those who addressed the inaugural function. A large number of members of civil society organisations also participated in the inauguration and subsequent sessions.
The conclave’s objectives and context were narrated through an Urdu poem on deprivation of children recited by a young student, Daraf Shah, and cultural items presented by other children. The venue of the conclave as well as stay of participants is the Rajasthan State Bharat Scout and Guide Camp at Jagatpura.
Ms. Kalra said the rural children must be brought to the cities and jamborees like this regularly to enable them to interact and learn from each other’s experience. Expansion of such activities would inculcate confidence among children and enable them to play a meaningful role in their families and society, she added.
Ms. Kalra said the Commission was in the process of appointing children's committees in villages across the State to develop decision-making capacity among the youngsters.
Action Aid Regional Manager (Rajasthan & Gujarat) Shabnam Aziz said children attending the conclave would prepare a charter of demands and submit it to the State Government while offering their services as “agents for change”. She pointed out that Action Aid was working for welfare of children from marginalised families through 'Baal Manches' with a membership of 15,000.
Mr. Mawunganidze called for action to fulfil four aspirations of children -- being alive, being in good health, development in a favourable atmosphere and the right to education.
Children must be recognised as citizens of the nation and attempts made to protect their childhood while fulfilling their dreams, he said.
The partner organisations taking part in the event include Jan Chetana of Abu Road, Prayatna of Dholpur and Firdous of Ahmedabad, while the co-host is Khilti Kaliyaan Education Initiative.
Khilti Kaliyaan coordinator Shiv Singh Nayal provided details of activities planned for the children.
Children will be taking part in cultural events, sports activities and debates and other competitions, while film and marionette shows will be organised for them during the three days till Saturday.