In this episode, Nagamani and Nagasimha talk about the various events that happened in the year 2018 with respect to children’s rights. They discuss a few of the important decisions put forth by the government for ensuring a better life for children in the country.
The United Nations Conventions on Rights of the Child, 1989, was ratified by India in 1992. “In the year 2018, the United Nations declared that every year, November 20th will be recognised as #BlueDay and on this day, all the children, may it be in school or in college, should wear a blue dress to celebrate. Facebook and WhatsApp status images must be changed to blue as well. In 2018, almost all the states in India celebrated this day. In Karnataka, seminars and talks were held to mark this day. Changes are happening and they need to continue to be positive, not negative.” The second incident that he references is related to the tragic Rohingya crisis in Myanmar. “Of all the people who were affected, about 1,70,000 were children.
Almost 20,000 girls are married off at a young age all over the world. There are rules and regulations stating that no girl must be married before the age of 18, but there are people who still break these rules. “Most of these child marriages happen in India, Burma, Pakistan, Myanmar, and more.”
Then, Nagasimha talks about a few incidents that happened in Afghanistan. After the war in Afghanistan, many bombs and grenades that hadn’t detonated and cleared remained, which affected children as they tried to touch it. A few children even tragically died. He also discusses the amendment to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, of India that now includes the death penalty in all cases of aggravated penetrative sexual assault against children, both boys and girls, below the age of 18.
In Karnataka, there are about 85,000 children who are not in school. A study pointed out that around 5,000 villages in the state of Karnataka do not even have schools. “According to the Right To Education (RTE) Act, each and every district should have government schools, but the reality is different. There are many private schools in a few places but no government schools.”
Nagasimha and Nagamani feel that if the educational problems of the country have to be resolved, then each and every town/village in every state must be paid attention to. “The government should take up the responsibility of seeing to it that there are no children out of school and there is no lack of schools either. Each and every child has the right to get an education. People must also change their thinking from “my child” to “our children”,” says Nagamani.
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