In response to several recent cases of child sexual abuse and exploitation of children, Nobel Peace Laureate, Shri Kalash Satyarthi, has been undertaking a Bharat Yatra covering 22 Indian states. The Bharat Yatra reached Hyderabad on the evening of 20th September 2017 and public programmes were held on 20th and 21st September 2017. Divya Disha was proud to have our children participate in Bharath Yatra.
The Bharat Yatra is a clarion call to Make India Safe Again for Children. The sexual abuse and exploitation of children has grown to alarming proportions, and must be totally prevented at any cost, before more children lose their childhood to this repulsive and intolerable crime. The trafficking of children involves buying and selling them illegally for the purpose of their exploitation, and unless this crime is controlled, children will continue to lead extremely compromised and unsafe childhoods. Led by Nobel Peace Laureate Shri Kailash Satyarthi, the Satyarthi Movement and the Kailash Satyar thi Children’s Foundation (KSCF) has set into motion a range of local, regional and global activities to build vast and sustainable support for the world’s largest youth-led mobilisation for all children in need of care and protection. The Bharat Yatra is an effort to mobilise urgent action on these terrible crimes against children. – Bharat Yatra website
Children Participate In Bharat Yatra
On 20th September evening, Divya Disha’s Child Leaders and Child Journalists along with the cultural team welcomed the Nobel Peace Laureate at Aaram Ghar Cross Roads. The children carried slogans on protecting children and child rights.
Shri Kailash Satyarthi was welcomed by Isidore Phillips, Director of Divya Disha and Sunitha Krishnan, co-founder of Prajwala.
Child Leaders and Child Journalists participated in rally from Aaram Ghar Cross roads to the Government school. Children carried banners and raised slogans all through the rally.
Child Leaders and Child Journalists Present A Charter of Demands
As part of the Urban95 and Child-friendly Cities initiative, supported by the Bernard van Leer Foundation, Divya Disha has formed 300 children organizations in Hyderabad. 4500 children actively participate in these organisations under the umbrella of the The Hyderabad Children’s’ Federation, representing the voice of children living in the city’s urban slums.
In the public meeting in the evening, Child Leaders and Child Journalists representing the Child Organizations in Hyderabad presented a Charter of Demands to the Nobel Laureate.
Charter of Demands
1. It is our right to have safe childhood. Safety means: Safe Schooling, Safe housing and Safe living conditions. It is the responsibility of the Government and the adults to create save environment for us.
2. We citizens of today, not tomorrow. We want our opinions and thoughts to be respected, listened. We want you to join with us to create a safe childhood.
3. It is our right to have education. We demand this education to be provided in a safe environment in all the schools.
4. It is our right to be protected. We should have friendly environment in the Police system and police stations should have friendly environment for us.
5. We should have a dedicated Government Official, who will listen and solve the issues raised by us.
6. All the children should be made aware of the services of 1098 (CHILDLINE). There should be mass awareness created about this.
7. We should be empowered in self defense and provided with special training to protect ourselves.
Led by Shri Sathyarthi, the entire gathering took an oath to protect children and to create a safe environment for them. Isidore Phillips gave the vote of thanks, and motivated everyone to create a safe environment for children.
The following morning, Isidore Phillips, Director, Divya Disha addressing a public meeting made a strident appeal for making our society safe for children. He asked people to :
- Speak up for children
- If unable to help directly called CHILDLINE – Toll Free 1098 and ask them to help the child.
- If you see a child/ know of a child being abused, reach out to them and also challenge the abuser.
Together, we can make childhood a beautiful experience for all children.