The week-long World Children’s Day 2021 Celebrations, organised by UNICEF in collaboration with the Department of Women and Child Development, concluded here today. The activities like #Goblue, #KidsTakeOver and ‘Pandemic classroom’ were intended to raise awareness on issues like learning loss in children, violence against children and child rights.
Job Zachariah, Chief of UNICEF Chhattisgarh said that violence against children threatens not only children’s survival and health but also their emotional well-being. Violence against children is widespread and pervasive and remains a harsh reality for millions of children in India. Evidence shows that there is an increase in incidents of violence against children and calls for awareness and action to end it.
GoBlue marked Child Rights Convention. The monuments and landmarks across the world are lit in blue to make World Children’s Day and Child Rights Convention. In Raipur, Gadi Chowk, Jaistamb Chowk, ‘Make in India’ Chowk, Telibanda Talab and Bhagat Singh Chowk were lit in blue to promote child rights.
UNICEF put up imaginary “pandemic classrooms” in several places in Raipur with empty classes, desks, and benches with unused bags and books. This is to highlight the learning crisis due to the closure of schools in the last 1.5 years. These classrooms are set up in Telibanda Talab, magneto Mall, City Centre Mall and Ambuja Mall in the city.
Job Zachariah, Chief of UNICEF also said ‘pandemic classrooms’ are put up to highlight the issue of learning loss of children and the need for learning recovery through special packages in schools, supported by parents and the community. “It also raises the issue of drop-out of children due to child labour, child marriage or child trafficking. As per UNESCO, 1 month of school closure results in 2 months of learning loss. Therefore, 1.5 years of school closure must have caused 3 years of learning loss for students. This means that a student of Class-5 is now at the learning level of Class-2. It is a grave situation, which should be addressed urgently” Zachariah said.
Children takeover key offices
Meanwhile, in a symbolic step, children took over key offices and positions related to children in various places in Chhattisgarh. Samagra Shiksha Mission, Collectorates of Guarella-Pendra -Marvahi and Raigarh, head of Avinash Group and news anchors of a television news channel. This is to bring child rights to the centre stage, to mark World Children’s Day on 20 November.