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Cry for priority to child rights

- NGO releases manifesto for a cause

Children below 18 may not be able to exercise their franchise in elections, but political parties should fight for their causes.

Non-government organisation Child Rights and You (CRY) on Thursday released a manifesto to draw attention towards child rights. In its campaign for children’s rights, CRY has also urged political parties to give priority to the issue in their election manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections.

The manifesto released is part of the NGO’s “vote for child rights” campaign. The state-level launch was conducted in association with CRY’s alliance partner Bihar Lok Adhikar Manch.

The manifesto centres around 10 commitments, including harmonising the age definition for all children’s legislation and ensuring the implementation of the Right to Education Act and expanding its scope.

On the need for children’s rights, Atindranath Das, the CRY regional director, said: “‘Vote for child rights’ is our way to ensure that there is a political will behind our justified demands to protect child rights. It is imperative that the best interest of the children is at the centre of all policies, legislation and practices. We have already spoken to the state Congress and BJP presidents Ashok Choudhary and Mangal Pandey, respectively. They appreciated our move.”

CRY would also launch a signature campaign to solicit the support of one million people for its campaign.

Saradindu Bandhopadhyay, the senior manager and CRY operations in-charge, Bihar, said: “The schools in the state do not ensure quality education. Proper sanitary facilities for girls are also unavailable. There is cent per cent enrolment of students in the schools but around 80 per cent of them drop out after Class V. Maximum of them are girls. Gender inequality and scarcity of classrooms have led to an increase in the dropout rates. Teachers should be recruited through a proper process so that the quality of education improves.”