UNICEF, AoL to join hands in gearing up on child issues

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New Delhi, Oct 1 (UNI) Gearing up for the cause of child rights and protection on the eve of October 2 International day of non-violence, UNICEF and Art of Living foundation (AoL) signed a MoU on creating ''A violence-free, stress-free world for children everywhere'' here today.

Addressing the function at India Islamic Cultural Centre , MoU Signatories Mr Cecilio Adorna Representative UNICEF India Country Office and Mr Dhawan Representative of AoL hailed the partnership as marriage. Mr Adorna said, "Every duty bearer needs another duty bearer in order to work better and in this case we not only need co-operation of each other but also need to change the attitude and mindsets of people around, the immediate protector of a child, so that a protective world can be given to children''.

Stating that around 275 million children every year become victims of domestic violence, turbulent home life, terrorism and sexual abuse worldwide Mr Nimal CO UNICEF (UP) said this child protection programme would be implemented across India but it would be initiated in UP and Bihar first.

The four-point programme which had been envisaged to achieve the goal include mass awareness and community participation programmes, integrated schemes for child protection and judicial activism, strengthening of state protection tools like juvenile homes, shelter homes, after-care organisation, and pooling of resources and finances across the world.

Other dignitaries who participated in the programme were Sri Sri Ravi Shankar AoL president, Dr Shanta Sinha National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Nafisa Ali social worker and activist, Former Indian cricket team captain Kapil Dev, Mrs Victoria Rialp child protection office UNICEF, Shantaram president Ramkrishna Mission schools and representatives of World Bank, UNIADS, USAID and UNIFEM.

Commending the work of AoL which is presently running 86 schools in rural and urban parts of India, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar the chairperson of AoL exemplified the life of a small bird who knows how to feed and take care of its young ones. He encouraged human beings through this example to do the same and consider every child as his own, adding that lack of social health was the real problem.

while Kapil Dev said, "partnership is must in everything, Sachin could not have scored 10,000 runs without someone running with him and all the wickets he took was not possible if somebody was not catching it''. Providing right opportunity to these abandoned and helpless children might bring forth more Sachins and Dhonies he added.

Nafisa Ali also did not lag behind, she not only promised to take the movement worldwide as she is an active member of both UNICEF and AoL but also pledged to club the efforts with Children Film Society if proper interest is shown.

UNI

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