‘Drought must be declared a national emergency’

Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi. —File Photo  

: Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that drought needed to be declared as a national emergency.

In his letter, he referred to the sufferings of approximately 16 crore children who are becoming increasingly vulnerable due to the extreme drought conditions that have gripped 10 States across the country.

“This has resulted in an increased number of children being subjected to child labour, child trafficking, child marriages, devdasis , and school dropouts. It has also been estimated that lakhs of children will become victims of these circumstances in the near future if the situation is not immediately addressed,’’ Mr. Satyarthi said in his letter.

The drought has seen an increase in children dropping out of school by approximately 22 per cent and child trafficking by approximately 24 per cent.


Mr. Satyarthi also asked the Prime Minister and the National Disaster Management Authority to make children a top priority in all relief and rehabilitation plans.

“Assess the effects of drought on children, and ensure that no child in the drought-affected areas is forced into child labour, bonded labour, child marriage or is trafficked or compelled to leave school. Also, unspent amount in Corporate Social Responsibility funds, especially in public sector undertakings, should be directed towards child-centric drought relief measures,’’ he said.

Elaborating on how the prevailing circumstances could have long-term adverse effects on children, he said, “The situation is further aggravated due to the lack of preparedness and political apathy. Children are often pushed into a cycle of poverty, exploitation and lack of education.”

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 5:23:55 PM |

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