Every year in December, children decorate Christmas trees, unpack their gifts, and treat themselves with cakes. However, there is a big world out there, where a section of children are not even aware of a holiday called Christmas, and the joy of giving that comes with this holiday.
Everyone around the globe looks for a different and unique way of celebrating Christmas, however, what is the best way than celebrating the real essence of this festive day – Love and Benevolence.
It is a day to remember the fact that all of us are related to each other, we are here to complement each other’s existence. Carrying forward this message the children capacitated by the organisation PRATYeK, the convener of NINEISMINE, celebrated Christmas through a message of justice. Reacting a Christmas play with an amalgamation of circus art, theatre, and choir singing, the children spoke of equity and justice and broke gender stereotypes.
These children are themselves child advocates, who fight against social evils in their own community, and prepared this piece of art to speak of global child rights. The children that PRATYeK supports right now, belong to the neighbourhood marginalized community of Delhi. These kids, through the value-based education imparted by PRATYeK and training in advocacy, work towards the real mission of the NINEISMINE campaign, “Child rights abuses anywhere are a concern for children everywhere.”
These kids are a part of Children’s Parliament where they deliberate upon social evils, and the suggestions are communicated to higher authorities in the government. This Parliament works keeping in mind the SDGs, and has ADG child ministers as well. Recently they stopped a child marriage from happening in their community. “We came to know that a girl of not more than 13 years old was getting married in the community, we thought of a plan to stop this. We approached our trainers at PRATYeK.” says Shreya, a child advocate with PRATYeK. “We planned on printing posters and slogans that spoke of the vices of child marriage, and asked each household to out a “Say no to Child Marriage” sticker on the door of their houses. After staging a protest that was well supported by the police, the marriage was called off, and the girl later joined PRATYeK.”
Its high time that we give space to children, and make them influencers in the policy-making around their own rights. It’s time to admit that we have been pretty bad listeners to children who are the present of our country. We have failed them miserable, and it’s our chance to do something.
What can you do? You can start by giving space to children in domestic decision making at least. Children are not opinionless, and they have opinions and revolutionary ideas to change the society, ideas that higher authorities cant even think of. The SDGs ministers of PRATYeK have written a letter to NDMC for the creation of clean toilets in this community. And you still believe that children can not think for themselves? When they here are thinking for their whole community?
We have been making policies on child rights without even consulting the real stakeholders! What good does it serve?
The need of the hour is to organise and capacitate the children so that they can influence policymaking, which otherwise children right now are not even aware of. This will also make them realise their full citizenship and will become an equal participant in the Indian democracy. Until and unless the children are not a part of the whole procedure, neither would the policies benefit them nor would the children be aware o the existence of such policies.
We, at PRATYeK, are planning to start these children’s parliament in each state of India by the year 2020 and for that, we have started a crowdfunding campaign.
This Republic Day, join us in our campaign, Children4Democracy, from January 10 to January 26, 2018, and know more about our Children’s Parliament, its importance, and its achievements.
Celebrating children, their voices and their opinion, what can be a better start to 2018?