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Girls represent India at UN child rights meet
Published on 13 Oct. 2009 11:50 PM IST
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Basking in glory after representing India at the United Nations Child Rights Convention meet in Geneva last week, two teenage girls from Uttarakhand want the government to ensure implementation of child rights policies in the country. Renu Saklani and Anjana Juyal were among a group of 24 children from across the world who were invited by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the occasion of the celebration of 20th anniversary of the Adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), to which India is a signatory. “I am very happy after representing India at the international platform. I raised the problems faced by children in India and how the rights of children are being flouted openly,” said 15-year-old Renu, a Class 12 student. The two girls also participated in a discussion to find out solutions to ensure dignity of the child, possibilities for development and facilitate dialogue between adults and children. “Even though other children were from different countries and spoke different languages, we used methods such as theatre and sign languages to understand each other. Now I know how the problems faced by children in India are different from those in the other countries,” said 15-year-old Anjana. Renu and Anjana are associated with the child media network NGO Plan India, that aims to promote child rights and improve the quality of life of vulnerable children. “We raised problems like gender discrimination, child rights violation, poor birth registration rates in India and even recommended some solutions,” said Anjana. “Majority of people in the country and even the authorities at the grass root level in states are unaware about child rights. The rights of children are often violated, hence we want the government to ensure implementation of child rights policies in the country,” said Renu. Both the girls are disappointed as none of the Indian government officials were present during the meet. “Majority of countries were represented by their government officials but India was represented by an NGO. It is really shameful that although India is a signatory to the CRC none of the officials were present there,” said Renu. Tanushree Soni, who accompanied the girls to Geneva, said: “These girls received appreciation from everyone for the points they raised in the meet, despite the fact they spoke in Hindi. It was a good exposure for the girls.” “The children will now prepare a short documentary based on the inputs given by various officials and present it before the government,” said Soni.

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