UNICEF organized an advocacy dialogue with policy makers on the theme Covid-19 and its impact on children’s lives on the occasion of International Child Rights Day on Friday.
They have begun an initiative to promote children’s right to participation in policy making by establishing dialogue between children and policy makers under the Banner #Children Speak.
Thirteen children from different parts of Madhya Pradesh discussed the problems they faced during the outbreak. They talked about violence, child marriage, child labour, education, unemployment, economic loss and anxiety, stress and pressure.
They said the issues could be on account of the financial problems that families faced during lockdown.
The commissioner of labour Ashutosh Awasthi, commissioner of school education Jaishri Kiyawat, director Swati Meena Naik, inspector general of police (CAW) Deepika Suri and Lolichen PJ from UNICEF with certain others from the government, CSOs and UNICEF talked to the children.
Muskan, a girl from Rajiv Nagar Basti, said that children in her locality had no access to online classes for they failed to pay their fee.
Riya Verma from Ishwar Nagar said many had keypad phones and hence had no access to online classes. Parents had to take loans to get smartphones for their children, she said.
Kiyawat said DD news was a good resource for students during lockdown. Televisions were installed at Panchayat Bhavans to ensure that their studies do not suffer, she added. Lolichen stressed on the need for identifying vulnerable families and linking them with social protection programmes to address some of their concerns.