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Children’s Day celebrated with fanfare in the capital


New Delhi: Cultural programmes, NGOs taking street children on a trip to the zoo and distributing warm clothes, an award ceremony to encourage talented kids – Children’s Day celebrations in the capital Saturday were multi-hued.

Commemorating the birth anniversary of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Children’s Day is marked with cultural programmes being organised in schools where its mostly the teachers putting up a show for the students.

Joining in the celebrations, President Pratibha Patil met school students at the Rashtrapati Bhavan and wished them on the occasion.

At a function organised by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) schools here, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said that in today’s times, educating all children and especially girls has assumed a lot of importance.

“Education is a tool for empowerment and we must educate all children. And by all children I mean every boy and girl,” Chidambaram said.

Around 3,700 students from MCD schools across Delhi presented a cultural programme including mass physical training exercises, aerobics, self-defence and folk dances on the occasion.

The women and child development ministry also awarded the National Child Award to 25 children on this day for their exceptional performance in the fields of culture, art, science and sports.

Presenting the awards, Minister Krishna Tirath said: “The children of today are the citizens of tomorrow and it is our duty to provide safe and secure environment to them. Keeping this in mind we have initiated various schemes and programmes for the welfare of children.”

The ministry also flagged off its ICDS week Saturday. To be on till Nov 19, the aim of observing this week is to make people aware of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programmes.

Taking the celebrations to those less privileged, NGO Save the Children organised a trip to the zoo for 40 street kids.

“All around the country, there will be celebrations, which is fantastic but there are millions of children in this country for whom Children’s Day means nothing. That is why we are trying to make a difference by making the day a fun filled one for some of them,” Ananthapriya Subramanian of Save the Children told IANS.

Some other NGOs like Bachpan Bachao Andolan, which works for child rights, joined hands with the city’s Maxfort School and distributed winter clothes to the underprivileged children on the special day.

Using the occasion to highlight the important issue of the right to education, NGO CRY started a nationwide campaign Saturday called the “Sabko Shiksha Samaan Shiksha”.

The campaign calls for an amendment to the Right to Education Act, 2009, to make education accessible to all. In the present form, the act talks about compulsory education to children in the age group of six to 14.

A health tabloid, called “BPositive Student” was also launched on the occasion. Brainchild of Upasna Kamineni, vice president, Apollo Philanthropy and editor of the tabloid, the main aim of this publication will be to educate students on lifestyle diseases from an early age so that they can guard themselves from it later on.