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Governor celebrates Child Rights Champions in Jharkhand

Ranchi, Jharkhand | August | 8, 2019 :: UNICEF is celebrating its 70th anniversary in India and 30 years of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) this year. On this occasion, a programme was organized where child rights champions were celebrated by Smt Droupadi Murmu, the Hon’ble Governor of Jharkhand & Dr Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF Representative in India in Raj Bhawan here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Smt Droupadi Murmu, Hon’ble Governor of Jharkhand said, “I congratulate UNICEF on completing 70 years in India. I commend their work in protecting and promoting the rights of every child in Jharkhand and in India. In Jharkhand, UNICEF has supported the State government in its efforts to reduce infant & maternal mortality, increase immunization coverage & achieving the Swachh Bharat Mission goals. We have achieved much but there are miles to go before we rest. We are working to ensure that every child is in school and Jharkhand is child-marriage free. The Mukhya Mantri Sukanya Yojana launched by the Government last year is a step in that direction. I call on each and every one of you gathered here to support this noble cause.”
Dr Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF Representative in India, said, “In 70 years of UNICEF presence in India, significant progress has been made in addressing issues faced by children, particularly in the areas of child protection, nutrition, health, education, water, sanitation and hygiene and disaster risk reduction. As a global advocate for the rights of every child, UNICEF remains committed, as has been for over past 70 years in India, to continue to improve the status of “every child” in the country, including those who are disadvantaged and excluded.”
“Jharkhand has made rapid strides towards improving the lives of millions of children and women under the dynamic leadership of the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Mr Raghubar Das. Child marriage has decreased in the State from 63% to 38%, similarly, Infant mortality rate has reduced from 34 to 29 per 1000 births, largely due to investments in 19 new Special Care Newborn Units. Child budgeting has been introduced investing Rupees 6417 Cr for children, which exhibits State’s commitment to child welfare and child protection. Apart from that approx. 10,000 Poshan Sakhis have been recruited in 6 High burden districts for Under-nutrition. Over 2200 Schools in Jharkhand are now in the 4 and 5 star category as per Swachh Vidyalaya Purskar national ranking. Gender parity index at elementary level is 1.03, which indicates almost equal number of girls and boys are attending schools. Improved WASH facilities, focus on Menstrual Hygiene Management has pushed up the enrolment of girls”
Dr Madhulika Jonathan, Chief of UNICEF Jharkhand said “This has been a memorable journey for the UNICEF. I call on children and young people, members of the community, BDOs, PRI members & faith leaders to support the fight against social evils like child marriages and child labour. We must ensure every child is in school and has access to all social protection services.”
On this occasion UNICEF Child Reporter Sapna Kumari, 14 years, narrated how she had taken steps to stop her own child marriage having learnt about child rights and the importance of education for every child as part of the Child Reporters programme in her school.

Nehati Sanga, all of 14 years, is another Child Reporter who is a true child rights champions. He brought a young girl who was engaged in child labour as a domestic help back to school and got her enrolled. Today the girl comes to school regularly.

During the programme UNICEF Child Reporter, Ramia Munda, 14 years, presented her song calling on everyone to come together and end child marriage in Jharkhand.

The children also got an opportunity to pose their questions to the Hon’ble Governor of Jharkhand & UNICEF Representative in India (Dr Yasmin Al Haque). UNICEF Child reporters Jay Govind Bedia, 13 years, had a question about the lack of higher education facility in villages as a result of which many children often dropout after class 8. While UNICEF Child Reporter, Priayanka Kumari, 13 years, wanted to know about the support that is available for providing skill development training to adolescents, youth and women living in villages. Often these opportunities are available in cities alone.

PRI members & Rani Mistris also took part in the programme and shared their success stories and experiences supporting the Swachh Bharat Mission, creating awareness about child rights and various government schemes and services.

The programme ended with the Hon’ble Governor and UNICEF Representative in India (Dr Yasmin Ali Haque) signing off on the pledge to make Jharkhand child marriage free followed by all participants.

The programme was attended by Mr Satendra Singh, Principal Secretary to the Hon’ble governor of Jharkhand, Rajbhavan officials, Child Reporters, rani mistris, PRI members and UNICEF officers.

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