Today is a very special day for 9 year old Preeti. Today is Children’s day.
She wakes up in her room to find her favorite books neatly organized in what seemed like her own mini-library. She always wanted her own library where she would keep her fairy tales and comic books. Her mom and dad comes to her room with her favorite chocolates. They have planned an entire day for her. After school, they will take her to amusement park and spend rest of the day with her. After all, she is their only child. Besides, Preeti is also excited for children’s day celebration at her school.
Today is a normal day for 9 year old Najma. Today is just like any other day.
She wakes up in the only room in her kachha makan to find her sibling still sleeping on an extremely uncomfortable piece of mattress. Her mom is in the kitchen performing daily chores. She has to lend her some help in preparing food. Her 11 year old brother will go to government school. She sees her brother enjoy at the school daily. She also wants to study, but her parents can’t afford both their children’s study. Last year they decided to discontinue Najma’s study. She then started serving as a domestic help with her mother.
Same day. Two different stories. Two different India.
How many more children will lose their childhood? NGOs like ‘CRY – Child Rights and You’ fight to protect the rights of children. But a lot is yet to be done. NGOs can make no difference without our involvement. It is our support and motivation that keeps them going.
This Children’s day let us try to bridge the gap between Preeti and Najma. If ‘Preeti – the privileged’ lends a book from her vast library to ‘Najma – the underprivileged’, the change has begun! Many of us are Preetis and we know Najmas exist. But we hardly do anything.
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School is the beginning of change. And every child has a right to school. So CRY in association with IMI New Delhi organized a small charity event to help give children the school they deserve.
To the tunes of Ori Chiraiya and Taare Zameen Par, coffee became a memorable experience for students at IMI. They pledged for child rights over a cup of coffee worth Rs. 20. From ‘never exploiting a child’ to ‘educating at least 5 children around me’, some 10 different pledges were made by hundreds of students. They signed their cups after a refreshing coffee with their pledge on it and stuck it to the wall of change. Every coffee was a step to change some child’s future. The collected money would be utilized to develop a library for the underprivileged children.
Well, a lot can change over coffee!
Every child has a right to dream. Taking away a child’s right to school kills that child’s right to dream. There are millions of such childhoods lost in our country. On this Children’s day let us support CRY in its effort to protect children and childhood.
HAPPY CHILDREN’S DAY.