By Suman Bhanoo, PRIA
According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Children – that India ratified in 1992 – all children are born with fundamental rights.
- Right to Survival – to life, health, nutrition, name, nationality
- Right to Development – to education, care, leisure, recreation, cultural activities
- Right to Protection – from exploitation, abuse, neglect
- Right to Participation – to expression, information, thought, religion
And a right to achieve these dreams. Even though India’s children account for more than one-third of its population, their interests have never been given priority. And their rights have been violated every single day.
To raise voice on children related issues Mobile Crèches,a Delhi based NGO works with birth – 12 year old children living on the construction sites and slums of Delhi (NCR) since 1969. So far it has reached out to 7,50,000 children, trained 6,500 women as childcare workers, run 650 daycare centers and partnered with 200 builders. Mobile Creches in collaboration with several organization in Delhi, including Matri Sudha, Nav- Sristi, Jhuggi Jhopri Ekta Manch, Bhartiya Navdeep Samiti, PRIA and many other organizations associated to the urban informal workers’ rights & child related issues, initiated a process to create Delhi Forces in Delhi.
Sole purpose of Delhi Forces is to collectively lend voice strength to advocate for policy change. Delhi FORCES formed with an aim to do grassroots advocacy for rights of the Young Child. The goal of Delhi Forces is to work in alliance with different organization to support child rights and to advocate for child related policy at central level. Recently on 25 January, 2014 at Mobile Creches office, Delhi Forces has convened meeting with eight networks to plan strategies for upcoming Lok Sabha election.
DECISIONS TAKEN DURING MEETING
(i) To select 100 informal settlements in capital and conducting community awareness & community demands programmes, Signature campaign and GPS mapping
(ii) involvement of media to cover urban informal settlement issues
(iii) To prepare comprehensive memorandum of key issues concerned to the child right for upcoming Lok Sabha elections
(iv) To involve social media and banners for spreading community awareness
(v) To form different committees and working on the bases set targets
(vi) Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) is the only flagship programme for children under 6 years in India. For the strengthening of this programme, the Ministry of Women and Child Development announced it’s restructuring in a mission mode in 2012. Ever since there has been no progress on the implementation front and there is little awareness about this in the communities. Thus it is decided to gain common understanding about ‘Restructuring of ICDS’.
(vii) To link other networks working on similar child right related issues
(viii) To prepare analytical note on government’s policies related to child issues
(ix) To conduct mass event related to children of urban poor on first week of April, 2014