How many households are guilty of employing underaged children as servants? How many homes still believe in getting young girls married off? These innocent children belong in schools, they deserve to have their childhood.
India is home to around 19% of the world’s children. According to government figures, more than one-third of the country’s population, around 440 million, is below 18 years of age and approximately around 170 million or 40% of India’s children are vulnerable.
If children are empowered, they will stand up for themselves and fly to new heights. The non-profit organisation, PRATYeK, has been instrumental in this regard. For more than six years, this organisation has been capacitating children from various backgrounds to form parliaments.
Through this mechanism of children’s parliament, children from a community assess their own needs, approach authorities and parliamentarians and make sure that they have access to their rights enshrined by the Constitution of our country.
So far, around 80 children across Delhi have formed a children’s parliament. The number seems modest since the children work together on this after school, helping in their all round development to become better citizens.
The effort has been largely successful – children supported by PRATYeK have taken a stand against and stopped child marriage in a community, advocated with the government for the construction of toilets and lots more. But this project is slated to become big and include more parts of Delhi.
Over the next year, PRATYeK plans to capacitate 210 children across 7 children’s parliaments, one for each zone in Delhi. The money raised will be used to build capacities of 30 children forming one children’s parliament with marginalized children in 7 zones of Delhi.
These parliaments have been lauded by the likes of UNICEF and other government agencies and have involved other NGOs too.
But the efforts are not without their hardships. The professionals involved in helping the children need to be trained and funds are constantly needed to buy equipment for the parliaments.
So this new years, let us give children the chance to be heard and stand up for their rights.
You can help PRATYeK make our society a perfect place for children to live by going here.