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Parties miss the bus on child-friendly manifesto PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Vaishalli Chandra   

NGOs in the city made suggestions to politicians on child welfare

'Be child friendly' was the raging request by members of The Campaign Against Child Labour – Karnataka (CACL-K) and Karnataka Child Rights Observatory (KCRO), who met political parties and submitted their demand for a child-friendly manifesto.

The NGO members felt that the time was right to press for a representation for children.

Some of the suggestions that were put forth emphasised on the need to amend Article 21(A) — Right to Education. This right states that compulsory and free education to children of 6 to 14 years. The activists want even children below the age of six and above 14 years to be included in the right.

They also suggested an amendment to Article 24. This article prohibits employment of children below 14 years in hazardous sectors. The members, however, want the age limit be increased to 18 years.

Vasudeva Sharma, executive director and chairperson of Child Rights Trust, Bangalore said, "The right to education bill is not justiceable. So we suggested that this right be stipulated, as education is a fundamental right."

All parties responded positively, said Ashok Mattews Philip, executive director SICHREM (South India Cell for Human rights Education and Monitoring).

However, with the Congress manifesto already out, he pointed out: "In a way we are a little late."

Ramchandrappa, general secretary, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), said that the manifesto already had two points which include facilitating and encouraging education for children and strictly acting against those who employ children.

YSV Datta, spokesperson, Janta Dal (S), said that if the Third Front comes to power, they will try to eliminate poverty. He added, "Children start working because their families are not financially stable. So we need to find ways to better their condition."

Shivkumar AL, BJP's state media coordinator, also listed education as one of the key areas, along with stringent implementation of labour laws, to ensure minimum violation.


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