Politicians urged to pledge policy for children in poll manifestos

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IMPHAL, January 14: Manipur Alliance for Child Rights (MACR) urged state legislators and political parties to pledge commitments to uplifting the welfare of children in the state.

MACR has compiled a twelve point charter of demands to be included in the election manifestos of the contesting political parties for the upcoming assembly elections aimed at increasing benefits for children and the general public.

Briefing mediapersons in the regard at a press meet held at Manipur Press Club today Ashim Ghosh,senior manager of Children Rights and You (CRY), Keisam Pradipkumar ,convenor of MACR, Montu Ahanthem,former convenor of MACR and AK Sanaton, senior journalist and member of MACR deliberated on the issue.

K Pradip stated that the charter of demands must be included in the agenda of the political parties for effective implementation . “The need of the hour is for the aspiring candidates and the political parties to make provisions for the future and development of the state, the welfare of the children comes first”, he said.Mentioning that the political aspirants need to introspect and take up causes which are practicable, the public must also choose their representatives wisely for a better tomorrow and the election should be issue based and not conducted on grounds of favouritism or muscle power, he added.

Lending support, Montu Ahanthem detailed on the present void in the law and order situation of the state and its repercussion on the younger generation. He pointed that children nowadays find it trendy to play with toy guns and such unhealthy practicesneed to be checked otherwise it may generate a trend of violence later. Mentioning that the present system of governance have failed to address important issues regarding the education sector and public distribution system, he said that there is need for a change in the system and the political parties need to endorse  and implement the positive changes with a political will. “NGOs alone cannot address the issues, it has to be a collective effort with the government”, he said.

The MACR’s twelve point charter of demands includes setting up a State Commission for Protection of Child Rights with full members strength and free from political influence, a comprehensive State Children’s policy, a commitment to announce the educational institutions as a free zone while ensuring compulsory education to children,a monitoring system for complete implementation of mid day meal scheme in government and aided schools, a commitment to make all ICDS centres, accessible and functional and ensuring nutritional support to children living with HIV/AIDS, a commitment to ensure regular supply of safe drinking water and uninterrupted power supply to every village and household, by acknowledging that without the basic amenities, realisation of right to life,right to education, right to health and development are not possible.

A booklet which includes the demands was also released along with a poster and calendar by the activists at the Press Club today.

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