Every child have right to speak on issues: UNICEF
It is the fundamental right of every child to speak on issues which impact them, such as child marriage, adolescent anemia, drop-out of school, teenage pregnancy, menstrual hygiene, Michael Juma, Chief UNICEF, Madhya Pradesh said to adolescents at Ralayata Bhuja village near Ujjain.
He was participating in adolescent meeting which is part of a process titled as Embodying Child rights in Democracy being done collectively by civil society organisations and lead by Vikas Samvad with support of UNICEF. About 30 adolescents participated in the meeting at the village which was organised by Aagya, NGO partner of Vikas Samvad. Michael Juma, added in his address that adolescents must speak out on issues which violate their rights and use their democratic space to ensure that their rights are respected and safeguarded by the community.
Adolescents shared in the meeting that how still many children and adolescent face the challenge of child marriage, violence against children is still high, challenge of sanitation which they and people of their village face. Group of adolescents would like to raise the same with their elected representatives, including the candidates who would be contesting elections.
As part of understanding the process of democracy, Sachin Jain of Vikas Samvad shares that this process is being implemented in around 27 districts with a view to enhance children’s understanding of the constitution, and how it is linked to children rights in sync with democratic process in an effort to link their voices with people who decide for them. This is a collective effort where many organisations are contributing to it. Organisations are contributing to collate the voices of adolescents from the State.
Vipin of Aagya facilitates the process at Ralayata Bhuja village. Also present at the meet were Anil Gulati Communication Specialist, UNICEF, MP and Rakesh Malviya of Vikas Samvad.
Nikita Vaghelia, student of the school shared that teachers are good in the school but there is a strong need to open a high school in the village as girls become dropout and which inversely can increase the possibility of child marriage in the village. She also stated about the security concerns which exist in the school campus by people who often destroy planted trees and write comments on toilet walls for the purpose of eve-teasing.
Payal emphasized on agriculture as occupation it is important for producing food grain for the country and therefore there should be proper irrigation facility for the farmers in order to make it profitable. She also explained the problem of toilets which are not functional in the school through which girls face lots of problems.
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