VCRM Special Programmes and Events
SPECIAL PROGRAMMES AND EVENTS
CELEBRATING THE GIRL CHILD
International Day of the Girl Child is an international observance day declared by the United Nations. The observation supports more opportunity for girls, and increases awareness of inequality faced by girls worldwide based upon their gender. This inequality includes areas such as access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination, violence and child marriage. On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly voted to pass a resolution adopting October 11, 2012 as the inaugural International Day of the Girl Child.
Every year Sakthi – Vidiyal organises a Girl Child celebration to ensure equal participation for the girl children in the main stream society. This year along with the Vidiyal Child Rights Movement we organized the International Day of the Girl Child on 11th October 2014, themed on “I am happy being a girl child”. Today girl children are made to feel inferior and they are forced to dropout from school, they are denied of equal educational opportunities, forced into child marriage, child labour, child abuse and violence. That is why it is important to encourage the girl to feel happy being a girl and sensitize the society towards the need for celebrating the girl child.
Even before the announcement came from the United Nations Sakthi – Vidiyal and Vidiyal Child Rights Movement organized two girl child celebrations. The first one was organized for 8 days –Eight Directions, Eight Steps and Eight Days – between 1st and 8th March 2007.
The second Girl Child celebration was organized in November 2008. It has been planned to call the attention of the Maduraits and kindle their thought process in favour of Girl Children. 50 Girls belonging to the Vidiyal Child Rights Movement have taken the responsibility and organised these events for the three days which they called “Three precious days”.
DAY 1 : 18.11.08
A variety programme is going to be organised at Victoria Edward Hall, Madurai. About 300 girls from the city schools took part in the animated story telling session by Ms.Salai Selvam, secretary, Koolangal Education Research Centre. Selvi Preethi, Vice President of the Federation of Children’s Movements for Right to Participation (FCMRP), Tamilnadu and Puduvai delivered the opening remarks for the event. ‘Gajjalamonare’ a rhythemic folk lore led by the Vidiyal girls invited all children in circular dance. This song also invited the girls to join hands to prove their strength and take decision for them.
This was followed with roaring speech from the girls on the topic “ I am proud being a girl child”. The parents supported the girls by voicing on the topic “ We are proud being the parents of girl children”
DAY 2 : 19.11.08
This day was meant to stir the Madurai city with bubbling joy in reaching out to every corner of the city. The 50 girls of Vidiyal went in five teams into the city and met girl children below the age of 18 and tied them with a wrist band with a slogan expressing the rights of girl children. They made their presence visible in important joints like railway station, bus stands etc., Each girl child was given a bubble pack to express their joy of being born as a girl child. This symbolic expression of solidarity and togetherness gave a new identity to the girl children.
DAY 3 : 20.11.08
This day was chosen as the appropriate day to have the final ‘celebrating the girl child’ event since the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, a very important universal human rights document has been passed in the UN General assembly on the November 20th of 1989. This convention puts the stress on non discrimination and gives special emphasis on the rights of Girl Children of the world.
In this special day a thematic inter school dance competition was held at the Justice Krishnaiyar hall, KK Nagar Madurai. There was an oath taking at the end of the programme in which many people from the general public participated and upheld the rights of girl children.
PHOTO EXHIBITION – April 2008
The photo exhibition of Vidiyal Children titled as “The Life Impressions” was organized at Gandhi Museum in April 2008.
Our children under gone a training programme in photography conducted by Tara an American student from the South India Term Abroad (SITA) programme. As a result they have handled digital cameras with ease and captured life as it is. The recent displacement that the slum community of Melavasal faced became a theme in many of their pictures. It conveyed a lot to the outer society ‘how our development plans never made after consulting the children of our society’. Finally the Vidiyal children have decided to organize an exhibition to show their anguish with silence.
The exhibits were kept at the photo gallery of Gandhi museum for three days between 12 and 14th April. The budding photographers of Vidiyal interacted with the visitors and shared their experiences.
KITE FESTIVAL – May 2008
“The kite is flying …. The school is yet to reopen
The children are roaming in a festive mood”
This Tamil slogan is still popular among the rural folks. Yes, Kite flying has been a holiday feast for children in our society. There are evidences in our Tamil literature that Kite flying has been a part of our Tamil culture for many centuries. Even when our tiny tots learn their first words in Tamil “KITE” is a word they learn with lot of interest. The world of Kites and Kite flying helps the child to fantasize his or her external world.
But today’s children are living in islands without any cultural roots and totally lost in the overcrowded TV channels, and mesmerizing computer games. Lot of children today is confined to four walls which go against the wish of Bharathi our Tamil poet who says “Koodi vilayadu papa” which exactly means ‘play together’. Even the children of the poor who live in sacks and one room houses mortgage their time to inappropriate movies, disgusting mega serials and redundant animated (?!!) shows in so called ‘kids channels’, that are given as choices by television channels.
Keeping this in mind, Vidiyal with an objective to link the cultural roots to our children organized the first ever Kite festival in Madurai city in collaboration with the Vidiyal Child Rights Movement. The kite festival was organized on Sunday the 4th May 2008, at the play grounds of Madurai College, between 9 am and 6 pm. The entry for children was totally free. This festival included a workshop on kite making, a session on the history of kites, and learning the skill of kite flying.
Apart from the above said objective it is also important to know that this event is directly linked to the “Rights” of children. Yes, according to the United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child, right to play, recreation and leisure are various rights essential for the Development of a child. Committed to the UNCRC Sakthi – Vidiyal has taken this initiative to ensure every child in our society to get an opportunity to play, enjoy and feel happy.
2nd NATIONAL CHILDREN’S CONSULTATION – May 2009
In the year 2004 the fifth World Social Forum was organised in Mumbai to protest globalization and its devastating impact on people. Many organizations working for the rights of children found that as an opportunity to bring children’s agenda into the discussions and debates of the WSF. Organizations working with and for children came together and formed the Child Rights for World Social Forum which is also known as CR4WSF. A popular slogan “When Every Child has Every Right, Another World is Possible” was used to call for attention to Child Rights. In the following year a delegation comprising four children Sonal from Balsena, Ranjith from Vidiyal Child Rights Movement, Kali from Orissa and Durga from YUVA went to Brazil to voice for children’s rights in a globalizing world.
Sonal and Ranjith constantly influenced their movements to go further beyond CR4WSF. As a positive response to this, Balsena, a children’s organization located in Bhavnagar, Gujarat organised the 1st National Children’s Consultation themed on “Learning together Moving ahead” between 17th and 19th January 2008 in which children from 15 children’s organizations participated. Shaishav a voluntary organization in Gujarat facilitated the process. Children gathered at this consultation expressed their interest to stay together in their journey down the years.
As a continuation of this journey, the Vidiyal Child Rights Movement and Sakthi – Vidiyal jointly organized the 2nd National Children’s Consultation, at Pillar house, Nagamalai, Madurai. 60 Representatives from various children’s organizations from 10 states including Delhi, Gujarat, Maharastra, Madya Predesh, Uttar Predesh, Orissa, Karnataka, Andra Predesh, Pondicherry and Tamilanadu participated in the consultation. This consultation was themed on “Learning together, Acting Swift”.
The main objective of this consultation was to promote children’s right to participation and to provide a platform for children to share their rich experiences of working together in their respective children’s organizations. Opportunity to understand and learn different cultures of different regions, goal setting, collective decision making and planning in collectives were some of the other sessions. A colorful cultural display and theatre feast was part of the consultation which surfaced the value of national integration in a multi faceted cultural context. Children also voiced their expectation from the candidates from the then parliament election in fulfilling their duties towards the children of this country.
20/20 FOR CHILD RIGHTS – November 2009
The idea for 20/20 for Child Rights emerged over the conflicting thought – whether to celebrate the bidecennium anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child or to protest the abysmal denial of Child Rights in India.
On the 11th December 1992, the Government of India became a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and completed the ratification process in our Parliament. It was a step forward in India’s sincere efforts to protect the Rights of Children born in this country. But the implementation of Child Rights is inadequate. How long will our children continue to be exploited, discriminated, abused, and commoditized?
Let us join hands to ensure Every Child of our country with Every Right for their holistic development.
Today 20/20 cricket is pampered in India whereas millions of children born in this country do not even get a chance to play. Over 50% of our children are forced to leave school due to the disadvantaged position of their families and communities and are driven into vulnerable situations. Social exclusion based on poverty, caste and gender subjugates children from marginalized communities into vulnerability and exploitation. The urban scenario has given rise to children living on the streets and families living on pavements.
We welcome the same fast paced crowd drawing commitment to 20/20 cricket to be extended to Children and their Rights!
The children of Vidiyal Child Rights Movement identified the 20 Rights that need rapid implementation in the biennium year for every child to reach their full potential.
“20 Years have gone
Children’s 20 Rights we demand”
WILL OUR CHILDREN BE ENSURED OF 20/20?
• Right to Recognition of Every Child as a Child up to the age of 18 years.
• Right to Livelihood and Adequate Standard of Living for Parents.
• Right to Safe and Quality Shelter.
• Right to Quality Medical Care.
• Right to Clean Environment.
• Right to Free, Quality and Equal Education.
• Right to Play and Equal Opportunity to develop potential in Sports.
• Right to Equal Opportunity to learn Indigenous Art.
• Right to access Resources for the Holistic Development of Children with Special Needs.
• Right to Protection from Superstitious Beliefs.
• Right to Protection from Child Marriage.
• Right to Protection from Sexual Exploitation.
• Right to Violence-Free Schools and Friendly School Environment.
• Right to Protection from Child Labour and Child Trafficking.
• Right to Protection from Discrimination.
• Right to Protection from all forms of Abuse.
• Right to Choose and Follow a Religion.
• Right to Expression in local to global platforms on Child Related issues.
• Right to Recognition for Children’s Organizations.
• Right to Participation in the Creation and Implementation of Laws and schemes for Children.
This event brought children from many sections together and the weeklong celebration brought a strong impact in building awareness on Child Rights in Madurai. The Maduraits participated in the child rights campaign with enthusiasm. Hon. Justice G.M.Akbar Ali graced the occasion with a thought provoking key note address.
NATURE DAY FOR CHILDREN – DECEMBER 2011
“LOVE NATURE DEEPLY, BRING NOVELTY IN LIFE” a slogan that echoed in the hearts of Vidiyal children who attended a Nature camp in the sylvan surroundings of Kolli Hills, last September led them to the creation of a special day called “Nature Day for Children”. This day is dedicated for reiterating the relationship between children and nature. The Children of Vidiyal Child Rights Movement planned, designed and executed this day on the 4th December 2011 at the premises of Vidiyal centre, Rathinapuram, Madurai.
Young plants of rose, hibiscus and other attractive flowers planted in colorful pots were distributed to 60 kids coming from Melavasal corporation colony, Thideer Nagar, Aladin Thoppu, Heera Nagar, Subramaniapuram, Ambedkar Nagar and Muthupatti slums. As these children are living in congested areas of the city they lose their contact with nature. Lack of empathy with nature also leads to hardened childhood and finally to mechanical life style.
Vidiyal, a city based voluntary organization committed to the cause of Children’s Rights, realized this fact and has been taking necessary steps to rebuild the relationship between children and nature. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child ( UNCRC) which is an universally ratified UN convention insists upon a whole set of Rights pertaining to children. But it is the realization of Child Rights activists that even the UNCRC fails to codify children’s Right to Nature and Environment. Thus the “Nature Day for Children” is an important milestone in the journey of Child Rights and it is essential that the nature is protected for the future children of the globe.
Every child who received a flower pot happily carried it home since they were provided with the opportunity to choose the plant for him or her. A sense of belongingness was obvious in the faces of children and they also took an oath to protect the globe through three action points
• Loving and protecting Nature in day to day life
• Minimizing carbon waste and keeping the environment clean
• Documenting the changes they could effect
If every child in the city follows the path of these kids then Madurai would become a green and clean city which has been our dreams for a long time.
Since them our children observe and organize this special day called ‘Nature day for children’ every year in the month of December.