Organisation seeks place for child rights issues in election manifestos
DARJEELING: A child rights organisation has appealed to different political parties to include various child rights-realted issues in their election manifesto, including a special home for mentally-challenged children.
"Children don't vote. Hence, they are not vote banks. Most political parties do not bother about child rights. We have decided to send memorandums to all political parties in the fray to include issues pertaining to child rights in their respective election manifestos," stated Prabhat Pathak, member, core committee, North Bengal Child Rights Network (NBCRN- an umbrella organisation of child rights organisations of the Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts)He stated that whenever a child is taken to a Home, the first question asked is whether the child is mentally stable or not.
"Most homes whether private or government are not equipped to handle cases involving children who are not mentally stable or suffering from some mental health issues or disorders. There is a need for such a home in North Bengal," stated Pathak.
The core committee member stated that the need for such a home is mainly for destitute and children and women with mental disabilities.
"The nearest mental asylum or hospital is located at Baharampore in Murshidabad, which is located more than 350 km away," Pathak said.
We appeal that such an issue should find a prominent place in the election manifesto of political parties," added Pathak.
Along with this, the NBCRN has also demanded the issue of eradication of child labour from North Bengal, with special focus on residential home for rescued child workers, should also find a place in election manifesto.
"Government must provide National Child Labour Project schools in every district. There should be facilities where the child can take up regular education later," he added.
Children (0 to 18 years) comprise 39 per cent of the Indian population as per Census 2011.