Kolkata: Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi on Sunday called for making India a ‘child-friendly country’.
“I had personally requested the Prime Minister to work towards this goal. The government should prioritise the issues of children, it should allot more money,” he said.
“Despite the country having 41 per cent of its population below 18 years of age, low spending for their education was paradoxical.
“Is it not also a paradox that while the economic recession could not affect India on one hand, crores of our children do not go to school on the other?” Satyarthi, who was awarded the ‘P C Chandra Puraskaar 2017’ for his work, wondered.
Regretting that “India’s daughters are not safe,” he said, “Our girls are not safe in the land of Kali, Saraswati and Durga.”
“Our daughters are being sexually abused, sometimes by their own relatives and we need to change that situation,” the ‘Bachpan Bachao Andolan’ founder, who had been working to protect the rights of more than 83,000 children from 144 countries, observed.
Mr Satyarthi said that the state, corporate sector and civil society would have to work in tandem to make a safer environment for children in the country.
“The earlier school of thinking, that only the state could ensure development and economic security, is now old.
Those days are gone in the last two decades. My experience while working with the UN and multilateral agencies tells me two major actors have emerged now, one of them being the civil society,” Mr Satyarthi said.
“Now the civil society does not solely mean charities running projects or donors. Instead, it has become a strong partner in social development. The second actor is corporate sector, which has also emerged as a strong power of transformation. Their power has increased manifold,” Mr Satyarthi said.
“Now the state, corporate and civil society have to work hand in hand, they have to build trust to meet the aspirations of millions of children, in the country and elsewhere,” he said.
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