Dharwad teen to speak at UN meet
By Express News Service | Published: 04th October 2013 08:05 AM |
It is not every day that you come across a 16-year-old child rights activist. And it would be even more uncommon that you will see one who took up such a cause when she was in Class 4. But Manjula, a first-year PUC student from a remote village in Dharwad, knows where her priorities and passion lie.
This child rights activist will be among the select few representing India at the 66th United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) that will be held in Geneva on October 10.
Manjula was in the city on Thursday to be felicitated by the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR). “When I was in Class 4, I started working with KIDS (an NGO) where I learned a lot about our rights. I am really happy because I got a chance to represent the children of my country at the convention,” said Manjula about her journey as an activist.
Manjula was clear about the purpose of her trip. She said that she would prepare a report on issues assigned to her and declared that she would not hesitate to highlight the problems of India’s children.
Though she was given particular areas to talk about, Manjula has decided to look at local problems. “I need to concentrate on civil rights and freedom, family environment and alternative care and special protection measures. These are issues from the report we prepared at the national-level meeting held at Mumbai,” said Manjula.
When asked about her opinion on issues faced by Indian children, she said the government should address rising incidents of sexual harassment cases reported against minors. The Centre must ensure effective implementation of the National Policy for Children and there should be proper representation for children in the Constitution, she felt.
“Being a girl, I have seen many cases of improper alternate care for children. There is a rise in the number of orphaned children, but there is no proper care for them,” she added.