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Campaign to highlight children's rights launched

By Our Staff Correspondent

BELLARY, FEB. 16. A campaign has been launched urging those contesting the gram panchayat elections to lay special emphasis to consider children as citizens and strive for their development and welfare.

The campaign has been launched by the Campaign Against Child Labour (CACL)-Karnataka, in association with United Nations Children's Fund and Childs Rights Trust.

Stress on education

Vasudeva Sharma, director of the trust, told press persons here on Wednesday that the campaign aimed at sensitising panchayat members to consider children as citizens and give importance to their education and health.

In addition, the campaign will also urge members of the panchayat to monitor the implementation of the government schemes for children. The panchayats should have all the details about the implementation of the various schemes meant for the children such as the pulse polio drive, back-to-school and other programmes for school drop outs, he said.

Statistics

According to Mr. Sharma, the statistics provided do not correspond with the ground realities. Panchayat members can bring about a sea change in this regard if they pay a little more attention to the details of these programmes, he said.

"Our aim is to ensure that panchayat members are aware of the facts and are in a position to ratify only the correct figures provided by the departments," he added.

Mr. Sharma said that during the campaign, representatives of various local non-governmental organisations (NGOs), will go to villages and interact with the children and those contesting the elections. They will stress the importance of thinking about the welfare of the children and ensuring that their rights are protected.

75 villages

Replying to a question, he said that the campaign had just begun and has to go a long way. The campaign will be launched in Bellary district in around 75 villages coming under five gram panchayats in Bellary, Kudligi and Hagari Bommanahalli taluks.

"We are hopeful that the campaign will have the desired impact in the years to come. Apart from this, baseline data pertaining to education and health of children, the amount earmarked for their welfare, the expenditure incurred are also being collected as it will help analyse the impact of the campaign," he said.

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