New Delhi | July | 01 2020 : As India grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, children and their families living in street situations have had to face unprecedented challenges. In order to make an impact and act as responsible citizens, media students of a prominent institute will kick off an initiative #StudentsUniteToHelp, at Esperanza, India’s largest e-Media Fest, to raise funds for these children to have a better future. Hosting events in art, photography, films, music and PR & Communication, the two day E-Fest will raise funds for the leading Child Rights NGO, Save the Children’s ‘TheInvisibles’ Campaign.
The first of its kind college E-Fest has already seen over a 1000 plus registrations, as students from all over the country will converge virtually over interactive sessions with eminent speakers and activities spanning 10 gripping events.
Speaking on this initiative, Rhittick Das, from the student organizing committee of Esperanza said, “Youth participation is crucial to generating empathy and action to push for long-term change. There are a myriad of initiatives and organizations, and if we know where we want to bring about a change, the opportunities are right there. We cannot be a mere audience to what is happening around us today. We are the present, and the future we will inherit is as much our responsibility as of anyone else.”
Explaining about the impact youth can make, Pragya Vats, Head of Campaigns, Save the Children said, “Youth is a force to reckon with. They are optimistic, driven to lead and a power house of possibilities. They are critical to creating a society that not only caters but also acts as collective social responsibility. It is about harnessing the power of youth to be the change. It’s estimated that India has the largest number of street children in the world, who are more vulnerable today than ever before. Save the Children is doing whatever it takes to keep them high on the public and political agenda.
We are delighted to see the youth of today, take upon themselves to be the changemakers for children.”
Earlier, a nationwide survey conducted by Save the Children and Youth Ki Awaaz offered some interesting insights on their awareness, attitude and action for street connected children. It was promising to see that very few respondents (0.02 per cent) felt anger or a negative emotion when they saw street children. Nearly 60 per cent of young India is willing to donate or take tax cuts, and over 87 per cent of them would like to put pressure on the government to include street children in their agenda.
As part of its humanitarian outreach for COVID-19, Save the Children has activated its response in 13 states of India with emergency relief, helping the government with dry ration distribution, hygiene and dignity kits, and raising awareness on basic hygiene and social distancing. Child Champions are leading community awareness sessions at village, Gram Panchayat level, temporary isolation centres and with children staying at CCIs (Child Care Institutions) Other activities being carried out include stitching of cotton masks, providing livelihood opportunities to men, women and adolescents.