“YES, I ASPIRE for that kind of world. A world where people respect each other, where everyone gets justice, where there is no fear of war and everyone shares everything and lives happily. We have come to India Social Forum with a dream of such a world. We children also want to be a part of this new world.” These were the echoes, which I could here when I walked into the seminar hall of CR4WSF where children from all corners of India had come to express their grievances.
A girl named Rani had come from Kalyana. She said, “I used to study but I had to give up my education due to my family’s financial conditions. When asked if she gets a chance to study, would she like do so, she replied yes immediately.
Another girl called Manorma also shared her experiences and views with the people present. She said, “There are no health facilities, no education facilities, for children like us. And if we want to study then either the fee is too high for our parents to afford or our parents ask us to get married and work in the kitchen.
A social activist, Razia Salim Abbas, who was also present at CR4WSF, highlighted the importance of such events. She said “ Our world has a profit based economy where no one cares for children, their health and their safety. Here at WSF we have tried to unite children from all the states of India so that the government can here their outcry.”
Swami Agnivesh, a renowned personality, presented a comparative study between children and adults. He said, “Children are as pure as the elixir of life. Their minds are free from the evils of discrimination of caste, creed, colour and sex, which are very prominent in adults. Elders should learn something from them. Children even set an example for the politicians who have nothing else to do other than fighting.” He vehemently opposed the concept of English medium school and said that teaching should be done in the mother tongue.
Enakshi Ganguly Thukral, one of the panellists, emphasized that though India has the tenth highest GDP in the world, it also has the highest infant mortality rate, malnutrition, child labour and child abuse. Her speech ended with a promising song whose lyrics were “hum honge kameyab”
Pamphlets, which asked to prohibit all forms of child labour and the clapping of the children present, sounded like the rain God was showering his blessings and their dancing at the tune of “tu na na tu na na na” (the tune of Malgudi Days) conveyed only one message that “jab har bachche ka ho adhikar, mumkin hai ek naya sansar.”