New Delhi, Feb. 5, (ANI): The National Child Awards for exceptional achievements in various fields including academics, arts, culture and sports were conferred here on Thursday.
United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi distributed the awards in recognition of their exceptional abilities for 2007 and 2008 that comprised a medal, cash prize and a citation for each child.
Sonia Gandhi on this occasion said that the children are the assets of the country and all efforts should be made to protect their rights.
Expressing concern over recent incidents of atrocities on child, Sonia said that there was a need to strengthen labour laws to check the child labour and to run campaign to stop child marriages and discrimination against girl child.
Minister for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury said on the occasion that the achievements of the children give glimpses of their amazing talent and awards are recognition of their talent.
Renuka said that in coming years, India would be the youngest nation in terms of number of youth. Hence nurturing the talent of the children would ensure bright future for the nation.
Expressing concern over the incidents of female foeticide, Renuka said, "Government has strengthened various legislations and has established machinery to protect the rights of the children but there is need for mass awareness to ensure effective implementation of these legislations."
Highlighting the Government's initiatives for empowerment and welfare of girl child, the Minister said that there have been the untiring efforts of the Government to ensure that the girl child is allowed her rightful place in the society with respect to right to life, right to nutrition and right to equal treatment.
"To bring the issues concerning girl child into the broad national conscious, the Government has declared 24th January as the National Girl Child Day," she added.
A postal stamp to commemorate National Girl Child Day was also released on the occasion.
Releasing a stamp to commemorate National Girl Child Day, the Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Thiru A. Raja said that Indian tradition has always accorded a very high place to women in society.
National award for Child Welfare were also presented to 10 organisations and three individuals for rendering valuable services for the welfare of children.
Three well-known personalities, Dr. Azariah, Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Meena K. Jain, Karnataka and Shri Maheshbhai S. Kothari, Gujarat were also awarded Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Award for making outstanding contribution towards service to children. (ANI)