Thursday, March 13, 2014

Child Rights Manifesto in Parliamentary Election 2014

WORD attended and contributed in a meeting in Namakkal to include suggestions in framing child rights manifesto in the Parliamentary Election 2014 for Namakkal MP constituency. 

There were in-depth discussions by the attendees and put forth the following suggestions that can impact over a third of this nation’s population, when designing their own election agenda.
  • As per National Policy for Children 2013 the age of the child is categorically determined as any person below the age of 18 years, amendments to be made to harmonize the age definition for all child-related legislations and programs in line with the National Policy for Children, 2013.
  • Ensure Right to Education is fully functional as a Fundamental Right thereby ensuring quality education with an equitable common school system and amend to expand the scope of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 such that: all children from 0-6 years and 14-18 years should come under the purview of the Act.
  • Strengthen implementation of Quality Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) and its effective functioning. Also ensure the adequate investment is carried out in decentralized planning, universal coverage, community monitoring and participation and trained personnel.
  • Highest priority to Right to Life, Survival, Health, Nutrition by carrying out sustained efforts towards complete immunization, regular health check-ups, growth monitoring, proper nutritional support, health counselling and preventive measures to arrest declining child sex ratio.
  • Declare the Right to Health care as a Fundamental Right for mothers and children in the constitution of India and strengthen Universal Health Care systems and child health.
  • Ensure proper implementation of the National Food Security Act, 2013 and bring amendments (i) by including protein/fat intake for pregnant mothers and children to 20-25 gms (according to Supreme Court Order) ii) Make provision of supplementary nutrition for 14-18 age group children.
  • Amend the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986: to abolish all forms of child labour including ‘Sumangali Thittam’ by removing the distinction between hazardous and non-hazardous categories of work for all children upto the age of 18 years.
  • Formulate special policies and programs for the adolescents (12-18 years) consisting of education, health, nutrition, play, protection from abuse, violence and vocational training.
  • Promote Child friendly Jurisprudence, enact progressive legislation, build a preventive, responsive and transparent child protection system and also create a proper data base for child trafficking, street children, missing children and ensure fully functional newly developed child tracking system- ‘Track Child’.
  • Special measures to ensure gender Parity, Social Equity, and the rights of the Children with disabilities by providing equal opportunities for all social group- SC, ST, minority group, children of migrants, disaster affected, children of other socially excluded groups and urban deprived groups.
  • Allocate sufficient financial, material and human resources for ensuring child rights. Allocate sufficient Budget for Children by increasing the allocation from 4.64% to at least 10% of total Union Budget.
WORD also stressed to develop infrastructures to promote child rights in Namakkal District from the MP Constituency Development Fund in the days to come by combined co-ordinated efforts.

The meeting was organised by our partner, Community Development Organisation (CDO) on behalf of TN Forces, Tamilnadu Child Rights Observatory, Chennai.

Friday, March 7, 2014

International Women's Day 2014

Across the world, International Women's Day is being celebrated today- 8 March. The UN announced this year theme as, "Equality for Women is Progress to All".

Since 1988, WORD has been actively engaging for the comprehensive development of women and children primarily in Namakkal District in Tamilnadu.

With the constant interventions, we could see remarkable developments from women now by comparing the days in 1988. We also proud to share that these could not be achieved without the co-operation by the family members.

While we achieve a lot on women empowerment in Namakkal District, we share you few individuals who are leading by example individually with their strong determination and courage.

She is Tamizhselvi. Separated by his husband, she is living alone with three children. Having got various counselling and assistances from WORD, now she engaged herself in selling tender coconuts with great perseverance. With this income, she educates her three children and runs the family successfully.

She is Shanthi residing at Paramathy next to Namakkal. Her husband deserted her with three children. 
She daily gets eggs from the poultry farm and sells to the shops in and around Karur. Having successfully runs her business, now she could able to marry her two daughters and help her son to study in 9th Standard.

Like Tamizhselvi and Shanthi, there are many individual women have come up in life by their dint of hard work with the support of WORD in Namakkal.

By individually and through self help groups, women are marching towards success in all their income generation programs/ micro enterprises through their dedication, hard work and passion for development.

While we could see women are in the ladder of success, we also come across various incidents on atrocities again women, exploitation and abuse issues which are the most disturbing factors for which we give attention to prevent the incidents by enhancing the awareness and protect the victims to rebuild the lives to enjoy the rights of women.

While we achieve a lot in terms of empowerment of women, socio/economic development of women, we still to go a long way to address the atrocities again women, stop exploitation on children especially girl children to sustain the benefits of the development of women.