Children do not have voting rights, but they have some specific needs for which they are dependent on the government. To make their demands and needs a part of the manifestos of the political parties, a workshop was organised with the children in Jaipur, where the children prepared a demand charter of their own.
This demand charter will now be sent to the political parties so that political parties include the real issues and demands of the children in their manifestos.
This workshop was organized by groups like Rajasthan Child Rights Protection Campaign, Rajasthan Girls Not Bride and Jan Swasthya Abhiyan. 85 children studying up to class 11th and 12th from different districts of the Jaipur division participated in the workshop and after two days of deliberations and discussion, have prepared a demand charter of 25 demands.
A children's health helpline, trained teachers for sexual reproductive education, regular teaching for life skills education, sanitary napkin disposal machines in schools and public places, working CCTV cameras, sign language teachers of hearing impaired children, and child-friendly panchayats are some of the demands that have been raised by the children.
Children's Key Demands
One of the participating children, Priya Rathor said that we want political parties to take care of our needs while making their manifestos and take appropriate action on them when they come to power.
Child rights activist Shailendra Singh, who is working with these children, said ‘in the two-day workshop, we have prepared this demand charter by discussing many issues including education, sanitation, health, scholarships and crimes against children. Along with political parties, we will also send it to different departments.’
Notably, this is the fourth such workshop before the assembly elections.
Vijay Goyal, associated with the Rajasthan Child Rights Protection Campaign, said "we conduct such workshops every time since the last four elections so that the children themselves tell what they want and the real issues and needs of the children reach the political parties and we are happy that they have now started addressing the issues related to the children in their manifestos. ‘We are happy that this time the children have put forward such demands which we had not thought of. It is a good sign as they are now becoming more aware."
He said these workshops will held in every division and a demand charter of the entire state will be sent to the political parties.
This is the demand charter of children
- Women's health helpline numbers should be issued
- Sanitary napkin disposal machines should be installed in schools and public places.
- The system of reservation should be improved so that all children get scholarship benefits.
- Teachers should be banned from using mobile phones, gutkha, smoking etc. in schools.
- There should be regular study of life skills education.
- Trained teachers related to sexual reproductive health should be appointed.
- Child-friendly Panchayats should work actively.
- There should be a regular system of counselling in schools.
- Study through the play way method.
- Children's rights and laws should be made a part of the syllabus.
- working CCTV cameras on transport means and public places.
- The needs of specially-abled children should be taken care of in public places.