Little stars stand up for child rights

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 20.10.10
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Bhubaneswar, Oct. 19: An organisation working for protection of child rights has roped in two child artistes as “Goodwill Ambassadors” for promotion of child rights. The faces championing the cause are cine child artists Akanksha Kabi and Nikita Mishra.

“It is an effort to endorse the participation of children, highlight issues relating to them and provide a platform for development of their inner qualities, creativity and expression of thoughts.

These ambassadors will campaign for the rights of children in the state,” said Anuradha Mohanty, programme director, People’s Cultural Centre (PECUC), the organisation working for the cause.

“Now, Akanksha and Nikita will inspire students of the state to learn, laugh, know and grow,” added Mohanty.

Akanksha, a popular face in Oriya cinema, began her career with the National Award winning film Puja Pain Phula Tie in 2007. Till now, she has worked in over half a dozen movies and done many programmes for Doordarshan and other private channels. Nikita Mishra, too, has acted in a few movies and hosted a few programmes for private channels.

“Many children in Orissa are deprived of their rights as there exists large-scale malnutrition, drop outs, child labour, violence against children, corporal punishment in schools and home and social discrimination. Therefore, there is an urgent need to highlight issues related to children and create an environment where their potential can be best explored,” said Mohanty.

“Not just movies, both Akanksha and Nikita are equally good in academics. They have scored well in exams and are good in extra-curricular activities. They are already popular faces and we are sure that children will identify with them,” said Mohanty.

About 1.87 lakh children are out of school in Orissa, reveal government figures. However, the civil societies working in the state claim that at least 25 lakh children do not attend school.

“Lack of teachers and infrastructure in schools and poverty at home are the main reasons for the dropout rates, especially among the Dalit and tribal children,” said Mohanty.

Adarmani Baral, chairperson of PECUC, Sulata Deo, chairperson of State Social Welfare Board, Odisha and Sarat Pujari, cine-artist and educationist, presented the certificate and honour to the child ambassadors. The dignitaries unveiled posters with slogans and photographs of the ambassadors.

Cinema clips of the two child artists were also played for the audience. Akanksha and Nikita expressed their commitment for the promotion of the child rights and promised to fight for the cause for the rest of their lives.

“We have been associated with social functions in the past and have always liked it. But this initiative will make us all the more serious,” said Akansha. “It’s a great feeling to be an ambassador for such a cause. We will do everything possible to spread the right message,” said Nikita.