At a time when the world is seething in anger against pro Taliban forces which wrecked a havoc into lives of many of the parents who lost their kids in the inhuman and barbaric attack on school in Peshawar, back in Nagpur the children have stepped up for their rights. As the new state government is conducting its first assembly session in Nagpur the children’s rights organizations CRY (Child Rights and You) considered this to be a ripe moment for a more detailed conversation on Child Rights with the State’s new leaders.
Nearly 50 children from 10 districts across Maharashtra represented their own concerns as a part a conversation — ‘Bol Bala… Tuja Kaai Prashna Aahe’ at Vinoba Vichar Kendra (Sarvodaya Ashram) on Monday, in front of a distinguished panel consisting of Ambadas Mohite (Associate Professor, College of Social Work, Amravati, member of Senate, Mumbai University); Sudhakar Ksheersagar (State Convenor, Bal Haq Abhiyaan); and Kumar Nilendu (General Manager, Development Support — CRY West). The event also saw the release of a CRY report titled, Status of Vulnerable Children in Maharashtra — The Present of The Future.
“I believe children should get all kinds of opportunities as they grow up and events like Bol Bala… Tuja Kaai Prashna Aahe gives children the experience and learning that one should get during one’s childhood,” said Kumar Nilendu, General Manager, Development Support, CRY (West).
He further added that the report is an effort to compile data related to various issues faced by children in Maharashtra. This was made available in the form of data on certain selected issues collected from secondary sources as well as action research studies conducted by CRY with our partners in the last one year.
Some of these findings threw light on the status of ashramshaalas across three districts, covering 29 schools; data collected about the real-time situation of 60 schools across Latur district in a coordinated effort with U-DISE (United District Information System for Education); and the status of 16 hungaamishaalas in Parbhani district.
Keeping these findings in mind, CRY believes that although Maharashtra has made progress on many fronts, the situation of children in Maharashtra is quite concerning. Development in this field requires concentrated efforts from the government and other stakeholders to fulfil the promises made to these children as a part of their constitutional guarantees,” said Kumar Nilendu,. Speaking on the occasion Ambadas Mohité (Associate Professor, College of Social Work, Amravati).Bol Bala… Tuja Kaai Prashna Aahé sets a precedent that should attract the attention of child rights organisations across Maharashtra. Give your children the voice they so deserve. Listening to these children made me realise that issues like child marriage, lack of proper infrastructures in schools including separate classrooms and toilet facilities are still plaguing Maharashtra.
Issues like lack of access to drinking water and mid-day meals are still a reality in the state. The fact that children were voicing their unhappiness about mixing grades due to lack of classrooms and teachers for each separate grade made me realise that it is time for some concentrated and combined efforts. Maharashtra still lacks a fully functional SCPCR (State Commission for the Protection of Children’s Rights). Without such a body constituted, where is one supposed to go to access a grievance mechanism for child rights violations in the state, commented Ambadas Mohite.