Fifty-three per cent of children below the age of 18 in the country are sexually abused and most do not come forward to report it, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and children's rights activist Kailash Satyarthi said.
He was interacting with schoolchildren here on Wednesday. He added that his organisation, the Bachpan Bachao Andolan, had decided to make Karimnagar a child-friendly district or Bal Mitra Gram.
The initiative, the BBA's website claims, seeks to create villages where every child is free from exploitation, receives education, recreation and health facilities and their voices are heard in the community in an environment of friendliness and dignity.
He said that, as part of initiative, more than 600 villages in the country were now child-friendly.
"To become a child-friendly district, children should not be abused in any manner and every one of them should be sent to school," he informed the gathering.
Satyarthi said that the government needed to spend more funds on the safety of children and the participation of the corporate sector was also required.
He lauded the efforts of local Member of Parliament B Vinod Kumar who had introduced a private member bill demanding protection of rights of orphans.
"Children are makers of history and the development of the country was not possible without them," Satyarthi said.