TAMIL NADU

Fighting for child rights

DOING HIS BIT: Deepan Chakkaravarthy (left) with Joseph Victor Raj of HOPE. - Photo: Deepa H. Ramakrishnan

DOING HIS BIT: Deepan Chakkaravarthy (left) with Joseph Victor Raj of HOPE. - Photo: Deepa H. Ramakrishnan  

Deepa H. Ramakrishnan

Student hopes to raise funds to educate children

PUDUCHERRY: Confidence doesn't necessarily come with education and experience. It can also come with enthusiasm. This standard VIII student of Krishna Memorial English School exudes so much confidence in the ability of children to save money that he believes they can save even Rs.1 lakh in a month.

Deepan Chakkravarthy, a resident of Pillaichavadykuppam near Puducherry, hopes to mobilise a considerable amount through a network of children to help other children.

"The money that we would collect would go towards educating other children who don't have the opportunity to go to school. I see so many children on the roads, beggars and those who work. We would like to bring them into the fold of education so that they can have better lives," says Deepan, who participated in a programme for child rights at Delhi recently.

Deepan took part in a national-level programme conducted by the CR4WSF (Child Rights for World Social Forum).

"Deepan was selected from Puducherry with three other children for the State-level meeting in Chennai, where he was one among the 19 students chosen from 230 children," said Joseph Victor Raj of HOPE, an NGO, which runs child development centres in Puducherry.

"Apart from helping them to do their homework, HOPE is also conducting games and other group activities for trauma care, psychosocial support and personality development," added Mr. Victor.

Deepan spends his evenings at the centre doing his homework and playing games. "I will fight for child rights. If the government provides jobs for adults then they will be able to do so for children also. In an educated society, child marriages, child beggars and child labourers will not exist," says Deepan, who believes that another world - When every child enjoys every right - which is also the slogan of the India Social Forum, is possible.

Deepan stays with his paternal aunt and uncle - Amudha and Kannan - and younger sister Monisha, who is in the IV standard. "I watch TV in the weekend with my friend. I like Jayakanthi akka, my tuition teacher at HOPE centre."

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