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Children's Collectives - Delhi Child Rights Club
Delhi Child Rights Club was launched by children participating in the
Butterflies programme on Human Rights Day on 10th December 1998. With
adult's failure to protect children's rights in Delhi, the children took it
upon themselves to ensure action to promote and protect their rights.
Children pledged to form a citywide Delhi Child Rights Club as one
mechanism where-by they could work together towards creation of a child safe
and friendly city. Their Club enables children in Delhi to meet together to
find ways to increase awareness and action about children's rights.
Moreover, the Club seeks recognition as a forum of children who should be
consulted whenever city policies or decisions are being made that affect
them. Currently 13 organizations working with street and working children in
Delhi are members of Delhi Child Rights Club (DCRC). Their names are: Angaja
Foundation, Anubhav, Ashray, Ashadeep Foundation, Bal Sahyog, Butterflies,
Deepalaya, Delhi Brotherhood Society, Don Bosco Ashalayam, ICCW, Navjyoti (DPF),
Salaam Baalak Trust, and YWCA-Delhi.
DCRC has a core group, which has one child representative each from all DCRC
member NGO's. DCRC adult facilitators from each member NGO have also formed
another core group to assist children in DCRC activities and programmes
without interfering in children's right to participate. DCRC members meet
once in a month to plan their activities and implement it properly. DCRC
Leaders (Core Group) meeting is organized once in two months. With the
objective to chalk out their Annual programme calendar, DCRC members meet in
the beginning of every year.
Through discussions, workshops, drama, songs and games, DCRC members share
their experiences, plan and undertake actions (awareness campaigns, rallies
and programmes) which promote their rights. DCRC members also conduct
studies on issues concerning their lives and share it with decision-makers
and media. For example, in July and August 1999 the children held
'emergency meetings' to discuss a strategy for sharing their concerns as
child workers with politicians, in the hope that their views could be
incorporated in the Manifestos of Political Parties as the country was
readying itself for general elections. These meetings resulted in the
development of a 10-point demand, a memorandum of children's needs
and concerns as children and as workers that should be met by political
parties. With over 1000 signatures of children in Delhi, on August 5th 1999,
a delegation of child workers met and delivered their '10-point demands' to
the Chairpersons of Manifesto Drafting Committees of various major political
parties (e.g. Congress, BJP, CPI, CPM and Janta Dal).
Furthermore, through a 'community mapping action planning process' Delhi
Child Rights Club in early 2000 organised a series of action programmes in a
number of locations to raise awareness of their major concern regarding the
way adults drink alcohol and harass children.
In 2001, DCRC members through series of workshops discussed the
issue of education and 93rd Amendment Bill to the Constitution of India
related to education that was to be introduced in the parliament in November
2001. DCRC held a press conference to share their comments on the 93rd
Amendment to the media. They also sent their comments to the Speaker of Lok
Sabha. In the same year DCRC members had also organized workshops to
deliberate on the ongoing war on terrorism in Afghanistan and its effect on
children and released a report on the issue of "War and its Effect on
Children" on the occasion of UNCRC anniversary.
In 2002 DCRC members, through a series of workshops discussed the
issue of communalism and its effect on children. They also discussed
the Delhi Government's order to ban ragpicking for children below the age of
14 years. On both issues they sent their suggestions to the government and
In March-April 2003 members of DCRC had gathered information through
a series of workshops on the situation of children and women working in
informal sector. The children presented their findings to distinguished
guests from political parties, trade unions and national and international
press on the occasion of Child Labour Day (30th April). This was followed by
the release of DCRC report "India's invisible and Footloose Labour: An
Analysis of the Situation of Children and Women working in informal sector".
In the same year DCRC participated in a 'dharna'/rally organized on the
issue of formation of 'National Commission for Children' and registered
their protest in not consulting them while forming it. On the occasion of
Human Rights Day on 10th December 2003, DCRC released a study - report on
"How Safe and Child Friendly Is Delhi For Children" and shared the main
findings of the study to distinguished guests from Delhi Government,
political parties and media.
During 14th parliamentary elections (April-May 2004) DCRC members
prepared an 18-point memorandum and submitted it to the leaders of all
political parties and requested them to seriously work on those issues and
concerns in forthcoming 14th Parliament.
In the year 2004 - 2005 DCRC members held discussions on the "Commissions
for protection of Child Rights bill 2005" which was tabled in Parliament
and gave their suggestions to make it more child friendly and realistic.
In March 2006, DCRC had organized a 2 day consultation with their
members on the "Offences Against Children Draft bill 2005" with the aim
to give children a chance to raise their views on issues of their concern as
well as make the bill more effective and child friendly.
In July 2006 DCRC members got to know that Government of India is in
the process of preparing 11th Five Year Plan for the nation. In this
context DCRC members organized five state consultations and one national
consultation to review the initiatives on child protection in the 10th five
year plan and submitted a report to the planning commission on India that
"what children would expect government to do in the areas of child
protection through 11th five year plan".
On 30th April 2007 DCRC organized Child Protection Solidarity March for
Missing Children and submitted a memorandum to President of India -Shri.
APJ Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister of India - Shri. Manmohan Singh, Speaker of
the Loksabha -Shri. Somnath Chatterjee, Chairperson, United Progressive
Alliance- Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Minister of Women and Child Development- Smt.
Renuka Chowdhury and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha - Shri. L. K.
Advani so that every child gets a protection from all dangers of abuse,
exploitation and all missing children are restored back to their families.
To get more information on the news Clippings please click the link "News Clippings of Child Protection Solidarity March for Missing Children"
DCRC brings out its own Hindi newspaper called "Delhi Children's Times" once
in every two months. The child reporters associated with Delhi Children's
Times go around taking news and views of the adults on child rights issues
and in a manner play an important catalytic role in sensitizing them.
The first issue of DCT was published in April 2007 based on children's
contributions. The first issue was very rich in content as it covered
general people's views on child labour, education and other issues along
with interesting stories, poems, news, paintings creating and contributed by
the members of Delhi Child Rights Club, school children and children from