Campaign to push for child-friendly manifestos launched

Children and adolescent clubs formed in six mandals of Visakhapatnam, Krishna and Kurnool by NGOs with the support of UNICEF have launched a campaign to impress upon political parties and independent candidates to adopt child-friendly manifestos.

Under sustainable development goal initiative, child right activists have approached Tribal Welfare Minister Kidari Sravan Kumar, Visakhapatnam MP K. Haribabu, Visakha East MLA V.R.K. Babu, BJP MLC P.V.N. Madhav, YSRCP Araku parliamentary constituency in-charge Parikshit Raj, CPI(M) candidate for the Araku Assembly Killo Surendra and Jana Sena candidate for Visakha East Kona Tata Rao to adopt the policies.

The campaign is being implemented by the Andhra Pradesh Alliance for Child Rights (APACR) — a consortium of 50 NGOs including Nature, Bala Vikasa Foundation, Dhimsa Foundation, Adolescent Clubs’ Federation and Sankalpam Children Clubs’ Federation.

As many as 240 children/adolescents aged between 10 to 18 years are taking an active part in the campaign to seek commitment in the manifestos on education, health, equality and protection. "We want our rights to be safeguarded. Hence, we are approaching the political parties and candidates to take up issues concerning us," Tarabariki Vanitha of the Jhansi Laxmibai Children Club of Dumbriguda told The Hindu.

"For so many years our rights have been ignored by the policy-makers. Because of the initiative launched by the APACR and UNICEF, we are now able to articulate our issues of concern to create a safe and protective environment during the general elections," Janni Appanna of the Mahatma Gandhi Children Club said.

The demands include extending purview of the Right to Education Act from birth to 18 years, reversing declining expenditure on education and allotting at least 6% of the GDP as per the Kothari Commission recommendation.

The children sought separate toilets for boys and girls with running water in schools and hostels, safe and clean drinking water facility, fresh and nutritious food and free, compulsory and quality education till 18.

Strengthening their School Management Committees, regular transport to schools, regular health checkup, inclusion of reproductive health and sexuality in syllabus, supply of iron folic acid tables to prevent anaemia among girl students, installation of free sanitary napkin vending machines and establishment of nutrition rehabilitation centres with 20 beds at all tribal mandal headquarters were sought.

"We want to make the campaign a regular State-wide movement," said APCAR convener S. Balaraju and Bala Vikasa Foundation secretary Narava Prakasa Rao.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 3:49:08 PM |

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