Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dilli Diary: CHILD RIGHTS: Meeting Shanta Sinha! The silent hero of India!

Very few people in India are aware of constitutional rights. But in this case (rights of children) very few are aware about them.

"My Little Big World” – the film that I am making has a section for child rights and who is better person to explain this aspect about rights of child then Prof. Shanta Sinha!

Shantha Sinha heads the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights. This is a new body set up by act of parliament. Shanta Sinha is its first chairperson.

The best part about her is she is very soft spoken, approachable and always ready for children rights. She since long time is anti child labour activist of international reputation and in 2003 she got Ramon Magsaysay award (Asia’s Nobel) for community leadership, got padmashri in 99’ and many more awards for her social work.

She is from my own hometown…Hyderabad and did her schooling at Saint. Ann’s Secunderabad and is Professor in Political science at Hyderabad Central University.

Prof.Sinha is founder member of MV foundation with 80,000+ volunteers and her work is unparallel in district of Ranga Reddy where she reduced child labor in and around 500 villages. She is now very active with teachers, students and NGO’s and is working more on girl child development and its education.

She just returned from North-East tour, Mr.Bhagat was very accommodating with her dates. I found her to be soft spoken, very simple yet extremely good at her work, she told me she will speak extempore after going through the script and in just one take she could exactly say what was written in the script and much more that adds value to the film.

Below is the information that I think people in India should also know about rights of child.

India has the largest child population in the world and the constitution of India guarantees children with some basic and special rights too! Firstly, children between 6-14 years deserve free and compulsory education. India is also signatory to the UN Convention on the rights of the child.

In March 2007, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has been set under Child Rights act 2005, to protect, promote and defend child rights in India. Below are the rights…

1. The child is protected against all forms of DISCRIMINATION based on race, color, sex, language, religion, social origin, disability, or birth or other status.

2. In all action concerning children, the BEST INTEREST of the child shall be a primary concern.

3. The child shall have right to – IDENTITY, NAME AND NATIONALITY

4. Right to rest, leisure and other playful activities

5. NO CHILD IS SUBJECT TO ILLICIT TRANSFER in any purpose or any form

6. A child shall NOT BE SEPERATED FROM PARENTS against their will, except when a separation is needed IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD

7. Protection from all forms of physical and mental violence, injury, or abuse, maltreatment or sexual abuse

8. No child is subjected to labor, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

9. Right to good health

10. Right to freedom of expression, access to information, ideas, creativity, conscience and religion

11. Right to special care if child has special needs

So friends, if you see any child exploitation, or if you see anyone who is violating child rights you can make a complain. You can make complain in any language of the 8th schedule of Indian constitution. And NO FEE is charged!

All your complains can be sent in person, by post or through messenger to below given address

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights

5th Floor, Chandra Lok Building, 36, Janpath, New Delhi – 11 000 11 (INDIA)