Staff Reporter – Kolkata
UNICEF celebrated its 70 years in India today at Nicco Park, Kolkata with 150 children from Government Child Care Institutions. “Today, 11 December, is celebrated as UNICEF Day every year. This year, it is even more special as we turn 70 years in India,” shared Mr. Mohammad Mohiuddin, Chief, UNICEF Office for West Bengal. Nicco Park collaborated with UNICEF to celebrate this occasion and opened their gates for these children who were given free joy rides and treats.
The event was formally flagged off by Hon’ble Minister of State, Dr. Shashi Panja. “It is a moment of celebration, but we are also taking stock of the unfinished agenda. The Government of West Bengal and UNICEF will continue to work together to end all forms of violence against children. While we are encouraging the parents, communities and children to report and urging the authorities to take quick actions against accused, we must understand ‘prevention’ will be key to end this issue,” stated Dr. Panja, following the formal inauguration. UNICEF has been working closely with the Government, police, judiciary, communities and children to create more awareness, creating child-friendly spaces -child-friendly police stations, child-friendly courts. The state is now rolling out a School Safety Programme to ensure that children are safe not only in schools but also on their way to school. Communities, parents and children are coming together to prevent and report
more actively. “UNICEF and Government cannot do this alone. We need everyone’s support- parents, teachers, children, media to join in the movement and add your voice, support and take a stand for children. Talk to your children, teach them to say no, report immediately to CHILDLINE at 1098 or to the Child Welfare Police Officer at the nearest police station in case of any incidence. Even if you hear or see any form of violence in your neighbourhood, community or on the streets, raise your voice, intervene, stand by the children so that they know they are not alone,” shared Mr. Mohammad Mohiuddin. For the children, it was not a usual day. While they were enjoying the joyrides and playing in the Nicco park ground, busking in the winter sun, we hope and dream of a day when every child will have a safe childhood and a future full of promises and endless possibilities.