Ahead of the Universal Children’s Day on November 20, groups of marginalised children are petitioning the government to end child marriage and child labour similar to their recent drive against black money. “The way the government has implemented a ban on high value currency, similarly they should also ensure that no child gets married at an early age, every child gets education and no child is a labour,” said Baishaki Biswas, who was married off at the tender age of 14 and became a mother two years later. Early marriage had also forced her to skip school after Class IX.
Along with other marginalised children she is now writing to authorities with a charter of demands which includes launching a ‘surgical strike’ against the menace of child labour and child marriage.
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Biswas is one among hundreds of ‘Child Champions’, led by international NGO Save the Children, who are acting as child activists in the community to ensure that marginalised children do not become victims.
Every year the Child Rights Convention (CRC) Week is observed during November 14-20 to mark the global pledge to make the world a better place for all children under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
The period also includes the celebration of Universal Children’s Day on November 20 calling upon the society to contribute in strengthening the social protection net around all children of India.
Despite ratifying the convention 24 years ago, India still has 1.2 million children struggling for survival till their 5th birthday, 84 million have never been to school and 7.8 million are engaged in some form of child labour.
These groups of kids from Save the Children have now put up a photo exhibition at Nehru Children’s Museum as part of a campaign where they were given cameras to tell their own stories with a series of images.
The photos reflect their daily lives, their concerns and the issues they face regularly.