Around 4,000 children from across Mumbai gathered at Priyadarshani Park for ‘Khelte Raho’ celebration on Sunday morning to celebrate World Children’s Day.
According to an official release, a two-day programme, from November 20 to November 21, is being organised by the Maharashtra Commission of Protection of Child Rights (MCPCR), District Women and Child Development Officer, Mumbai district and UNICEF.
The theme of this year’s World Children’s Day recognises the right of every child to rest, leisure and play, a release issued by UNICEF said.
Children from Rochiram Thadani School for Hearing Handicapped performed ‘Vande Mataram’ in sign language, while a group of children performed rope mallakhab, the release said.
“We believe in protecting child rights and our effort is to follow Indian values of Swarajya, Satya and Ahimsa. We strongly oppose and take action against any abuse or violence against children,” Susiben Shah, chairperson, MCPCR, Mumbai, said.
Speaking on the occasion, Alpa Vora, child protection specialist, UNICEF Maharashtra said there are multi-layered challenges in dealing with children’s issues. “Maharashtra’s rapidly urbanising landscape brings unique challenges for children on the move or living in street situations. They are more vulnerable to violence and abuse, miss out on essential services,” Vora said.
Moreover, a rise in cases of child marriage post COVID-19 pandemic calls for measures of family strengthening and engaging with parents and communities to change mindsets, she said.
R Vimala, commissioner of the state women and child development department, said, “We should ensure that the voices of children and young people are heard and that they can participate in solving the issues that matter most to them. In doing so, we appeal to society to unite for girls’ and boys’ rights to health, education, protection and participation.”
With inputs from PTI