Right To Education A Top Priority: Mayor

[हिंदी] Right to education (RTE) is a top priority, said Dr Dinesh Sharma, Mayor, Lucknow, who was addressing a Child Rights Convention in Lucknow. Over two hundred school children including some differently abled children, hailing from various districts of Uttar Pradesh participated in this convention. Added Dr Sharma: Every child must understand that duties must come first and then rights. He advocated a uniform system of education for all children, regardless of their socio-economic background.

"Reforms are needed in the education system to make it relevant for society," said Dr Sharma speaking strongly against child labour which he called an impediment to the growth of a child.

It is important  that adults are also educated and that they realize the importance of getting their children to school, said Lallan Mishra, president, Zonal Primary Teachers Association. "Parents must become role model for their children and not do anything that may adversely affect their child's future" said Mishra. 

KL Gupta, former Director General of Police (DGP) of Uttar Pradesh, urged the parents not to let the innocence of their child die. He said that this is the age of competition and every child must realize this and work hard. "Make the best of what you have today, do not wait for situations to improve as this way time will slip from your hand," he advised the children.

Earlier the day long activities including debate, drawing and card-making competitions were aimed at the children voicing their opinion, concerns on their present condition and status of the rights of children. Their expressions and expectations of 2013 were in the evening shared with people's representatives, decision-makers, administrators and other stakeholders who bear the responsibility of protecting and promoting child rights.

The children in their greetings listed problems like declining child sex ratio, child labour, discrimination against girl child, low birth-rate registration, among others, as  the key challenges preventing us from achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for 2015.

"Plan India helps improve the lives of underprivileged children, their families and communities through an approach which puts children at the centre of community development," said Amit Chaudhury, Plan India's UP state manager.

Getting children to speak out for their rights is the most appropriate way of getting their rights assured, said Atul Tiwari of Samvad Samajik Sansthan, the non-governmental organization that was one of the convention organizers. The convention, titled "Bal Adhikar Sammelan: Naya Saal Hamara Sawal" (Child Rights Convention: New Year Our Concerns) was organized jointly by Samvad Samajik Sansthan and Plan India.

Kulsum Mustafa, Citizen News Service - CNS
January 2013

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