Ranchi, Jharkhand | November | 14, 2021 :: Marking Children’s Day, UNICEF along with its partners NINEISMINE with support of NGOs from across Jharkhand celebrated the day with children in an online event which was graced by Shri Rabindranath Mahato, Hon’ble Speaker of Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha as the Chief Guest. The hon’ble member of Jharkhand legislative assembly; Shri Neelkanth Singh Munda, Shri Amit Kumar Mandal, Shri Raj Sinha & Amit Kumar Yadav also participated in the programme and expressed their views on children’s issues. The virtual interaction which was live streamed through Jharkhand Vidhansabha TV, focused on children’s experience during the pandemic and their challenges with learning in COVID times and the possible solution to the impact of the learning crisis.
More than 500 children from Jharkhand came together and prepared a charter of demands on education which they presented to the Hon’ble Speaker, MLAs and UNICEF Jharkhand.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Rabindranath Mahto said, “Everyone has the human right to express themselves, and Article 13 of the UNCRC makes it clear that this includes children and young people. Part of this right of freedom of expression involves being able to find out information for yourself— so you’re able to share it in the way you want. I am very pleased to see the confidence in these children who are able to share their experiences with us.”
Motivating the children, the hon’ble Speaker said, “Teachers and children will have to work together and assert their faith in school education because children learn and develop their social personalities the most in a school environment.”
The Chief Field Office UNICEF Jharkhand, Shri Prasanta Dash said, “Children have shared today what has impacted them the most – their school closures, their mental wellbeing and hence not being able to cope up with syllabus. And it could not be a better day than Children’s Day for them to speak up. They have also suggested actions that can be taken such as extra classes by teachers and the need for mobile phones with data packs to help them learn. But we also need to accept that schools alone cannot ensure safety, if family members and the community don’t follow safety norms. Children can engage their parents, principals and community in this process. They can also visit the Panchayat leaders and take two requests from their charter. Children’s voice is important and needs to be heard.”
Ms Astha Alang, Communication Officer of UNICEF Jharkhand while concluding the programme said, “We are very happy to have the Hon’ble Speaker and the MLAs hear the children. It means a lot to them to interact with him and is an encouragement to these children from across Jharkhand. These children have not been unaffected due to the pandemic. It has changed their lives from reduced social interactions, not being able to cope up with online learning to some having lost family members due to COVID-19. Having an opportunity to share their interventions is giving every child a voice.”