Children are impressionable and childhood is crucial for the overall growth of a human being. Growth here is not limited to physical attributes only. Growth, in its truest sense of term also means growing socially and emotionally. These children, when they step into their youth and eventually adulthood, become tomorrow’s leaders, scientists, educationists and so on. It is, therefore, important that the children and the youth are taught to be socially aware early on.
According to United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), anyone and everyone under the age of 18 is entitled to certain rights. These rights, broadly, Right to Survival, Right to Protection, Right to Participation, and Right to Development talk about the basic human rights that every child and youth should be made available to. We must do our best to make sure that these rights are afforded. How can we ensure that?
By educating the children and the youth about their rights, you help them grow into responsible citizens of tomorrow. By knowing their basic rights, they can protect themselves from any kind of exploitation at home or elsewhere. As unpleasant as it might sound, in India, the number of underprivileged children and youth exceeds that of those who are not. In a country where most children never complete school and child labour is rampant, spreading awareness about rights might not be the easiest thing to do. But, it is the first step towards ensuring a better tomorrow.
Encouraging debate and discussions
The children and the youth need to be encouraged to talk about their rights. Children need to be empowered with the ability to tell the right from the wrong. This is only possible when they are given a healthy, interactive environment. Debating social and cultural issues and questioning conventions and learning things helps in cognitive growth of children and youth. Think about the 10-year old Tedx speaker from India for instance. Gone are the days when children are restricted to comic books and fairy tales. The children and the youth of India are thinking and their thinking minds should only be applauded encouraged.
Allowing to share views on pertinent issues
The children and the youth are curious and restless. Thanks to social media outreach, these young people from the most obscure locations of the country can now come out and talk about things that matter. Social media has given a platform for the youth to become more active in the society. It is important that these people are allowed to share their views on issues that plague the country.
Resources need to be made available for the children and the youth. For example, if you say they have the right to education, make sure that education is made available; yes, even to those who cannot afford it. If you say they have the right to survival, make sure that they have access to food and shelter. Just bestowing the rights upon someone does not cut the deal.
Each one of us is accountable and responsible to help uplift the children and the youth of this country. We can start at our own homes by encouraging the young members to be socially and culturally aware. They should be encouraged to gain knowledge and share ideas and opinions with the world. They should be shown the way to develop into a rational and decision making individuals. The young generation cannot be ignored and their voices should not be undermined. Encourage and allow them to shine and then no one can stop India from getting a better tomorrow.