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Call for end to discrimination against children

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OST Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 14:
Every child in the society should get equal opportunity to grow to his/her full potential. Any kind of discrimination or violation of rights of children not only hampers this section of the society but also affects the development of the society at large. This was the consensus among social activists, senior journalists, child rights specialists and students of Communication & Rural development who participated in the state level Children’s Day celebrations organized by ‘Save the Children’, in the city on Thursday.

Addressing the gathering Rajendra Meher, Member, Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights said there are two categories of children in our society. One group has all the choices in life. The second group of children do not have much choice. The number of underprivileged children, who fall in the second group, is quite visible in our society. Every child has the right to stay in the family and we all have to ensure the same, he said.

Gracing the event, Ollywood actors Sabyasachi Mishra and Anu Choudhury shared their thought on the subject. “There are many children, who are talented; but they don’t get opportunity to nurture their dreams due to lack of support from the family and the society,” said Sabyasachi.
Anu appealed to the society to take initiatives in advance to curb any violation of child rights. A child could have born under the shade of poverty but it is our responsibility to give him a bright future, she added.
“The program was designed to orient our future journalists and development professionals on issues relating to child rights so that they will carry the message in their professional and personal lives in future,” said Sasanka Kumar Padhi, Odisha State Program Manager, ‘Save the Children’. Quoting the former UN Secretary General, Padhi said that there is no other subject more important than the rights and lifves of children. Any poverty eradication programme should start with children, he said.

Noted journalists Sampad Mahapatra, Jatindra Dash and Sandeep Sahu interacted with the youth and children present on how they can play a role to protect and promote child rights in their professional and personal lives. Among others, Lopamudra Tripathy from UNICEF; Ranjan Mohanty from PECUC; Bharati Chakra, Shyamal Kishore Das, Dharmanand Sundaray and Soumyakanta Mishra from Save the Children and child activist Usharani Patra addressed the gathering.

‘Ama Swara’, a newsletter prepared by children ‘Aama Swara’ and a poster on child participation were released in the occasion. A documentary portraying the state of children was screened to create a backdrop for the interaction. A group theatre ‘Aama Adhikar’ was also performed on child rights by a city based theatre group at the end.

The celebration was organized by ‘Save the Children’, a leading child rights organization. Around 50 child rights champions from various parts of the state along with 200 odd post graduate students from journalism and sociology, rural development participated in the event.

The slogan for the day was ‘A World Fit for Children – Together We Can’. ‘Save the Children’ is also celebrating the day and the week ahead till 20th November, the Universal Children’s Day at district levels and village levels generating mass awareness on child rights in 10 districts of Odisha