New Delhi, Feb 13 (PTI) As the country gears up to host the general election in a couple of months, availability of operational toilets, ban on child labour, availability of drinking water, provision of all-weather roads ensuring easy access to schools, emerged to be the major needs of children, according to a recent study. These are the needs highlighted by children in the document ‘Our Aspirations From Our Government: The Voice of India’s Children’, prepared and published by an NGO, CRY Child Rights and You.

The document aimed at influencing the leaders and the political parties to prioritise children’s issues in their election agenda. With the parliament election around the corner, CRY has launched an initiative through which they want to convey the voices of children their aspirations and demands from the leaders of all political parties and request them to keep children’s demands in mind while drafting election manifestos for their outfits.

Elaborating on the objective of the initiative, Puja Marwaha, CEO, CRY said, Children are equal citizens of our country. This document is an expression of their aspirations, dreams and wishes.The responsibility is now with us to fulfil these aspirations, and demonstrate a strong political will in changing their lives for the better, what they truly deserve. CRY and its partner NGOs, interacted with more than 1000 children at various CRY project areas, to deliberate on a range of issues reflective of their daily challenges related to education, health and nutrition, protection and safety, standards of living and existence.

A small contingent of child representatives submitted the document to the Chairperson of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), and urged the Child Rights body to endorse and spread their voices nation-wide.

Taking into account the voices of children, Priyank Kanoongo, Chairperson, NCPCR said, Bacchon ki bachpan khatam hone se pehle hi unki samasyayen khatam honi chahiye (children’s problems should come to an end before their childhood is over). “The document will definitely help political parties to take children’s needs and aspirations into account. However, the Commission would also take cognizance of certain issues highlighted by children, and take immediate steps, Kanoongo added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.