“Let our children realise their full potential, and provide them environment that is best suited for their overall development,” advocates the former skipper of the Indian cricket team, as he extends his support to CRY’s nation-wide election advocacy campaign
IndiaCSR News Network
MUMBAI: Throughout his playing career, he always led from the front. And now, Sourav Ganguly is at it again! Albeit, in a different avatar. The former captain of the Indian cricket team has led the fight for child rights by lending his high-profile support to CRY – Child Rights and You‘s campaign, ‘Vote for Child Rights’. In a landmark of sorts, he became the millionth signatory to pledge his support for child rights as a part of the campaign.
Speaking on the occasion Ganguly said, “Children are entrusted with the future of the nation and the greatest gift we can bequeath to a child is provide them all means to realize their potential and provide them environment that is best suited for their development. Without education, good health and physical strength children will not be able to lead truly happy lives. The strength of a nation depends on the strength of its children.”
A father for the past 12 years, he spoke of the need to safeguard the future of all children in India. Dwelling upon his personal experiences as a father, the Prince of Kolkata expressed belief in the importance of children being able to reach their full potential and was ecstatic to champion the cause of child rights.
“It is indeed heartening to see that CRY – Child Rights and You, with its huge experience of more than three decades of working with the underprivileged children has come up with such an initiative. I do believe that it will have a lasting impact. Surely it is time when our children’s issues are duly addressed with fullest priorities,” Sourav added.
The Vote for Child Rights Campaign aims to advocate the need to give due emphasis to child rights in the political parties’ electoral agenda and their manifestos. At the launch of the campaign, CRY had unveiled the Child Rights Manifesto that calls for all political parties to give top priority to children and commit to changing the situation of children in our country. The manifesto is based on CRY’s in-depth analytical report ‘Status and Trends in Child Rights in India-An overview of the Past Decade’ and covers the aspirations of children across 18 states of India. CRY has been meeting politicians from all major national political parties like Congress, BJP, AAP, AIADMK, DMK, NCP, CPI(M) etc. to garner their support and pledge to pay heed to child right issues. The Children’s manifesto is being shared with them.
Flash Mobs, Rallies, workshops, consultations and many other events are being held across the country to spread awareness and advocate the cause of ensuring Child Rights becomes an intrinsic aspect of manifestos of all political parties in India.
Puja Marwaha, CEO, CRY, expressed her sentiments stating, “This campaign aims to urge politicians to put children first and the general public to vote for a party that does so. While several nationwide initiatives and policies are in place to protect children against violation of their rights, there is a visible lack of political will to implement the same. We wanted to highlight the support we have garnered to ensure that the parties take notice and that the best interest of the child be put at the centre of all policy, legislation and practice.”
Appreciating Ganguly’s commitment in championing the cause she added, “This is a momentous occasion for us, as we have already achieved a million pledges of support for our campaign and we are glad that a name as illustrious as Sourav Ganguly’s is the millionth signatory.”
Millions of children in India are denied their basic rights to education, healthcare, development and protection from exploitation. Statistics claim that 11.8% children in India are engaged in some form of child labor (NFHS-III); every second child is malnourished; 50% of children in the age group of 6 to 14 do not attend school; 50% of girls fail to enroll in school; those that do are likely to drop out by the age of 12 – these grim numbers bring out a state of affairs that needs urgent action and change.
The campaign thus firmly believes that India’s children who account for one third of the population deserve the collective demonstration of our commitment towards child rights. It also calls for action to express zero tolerance towards violation of child rights so that every child can be assured of a happy, healthy and creative childhood. That can happen only if children are recognized as rights holders and people in power remain committed towards providing care, protection, essential services and opportunities to each and every child.