Universal Childern’s Day: Let’s uphold the spirit of the day
Hilda thought long and hard about the words of the speaker. She had just attended a seminar on Universal Children’s Day; and the speaker of the seminar spoke at length about the purpose and the spirit of the day.
“The Universal Children’s Day, celebrated on November 20, each year, was first proclaimed by the United Nations’ General Assembly in 1954,” the speaker had said. “The day was established to highlight and serve a number of purposes for the good of children. The first purpose is to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children; the second purpose is to benefit and promote children’s welfare and the third one is to celebrate childhood in general.”
The speaker had gone on to elaborate on the role of governments and various organisations to achieve these aims. But Hilda was only thinking about the role she could play to make a difference for the good of children in this regard. She felt bad about the sad plight of under-privileged children as was detailed by the speaker.
“Children in many poor and war-torn countries are suffering,” the speaker at the seminar had added. “They do not get adequate food, proper clothing and basic health facilities. As a result they are malnourished and suffering from various diseases. Many have died while suffering. Moreover, many children around the world are abused in various ways and forced to do manual labour or beg. While government and NGOs are doing their part for improving this situation, as little as it may be, it is also up to each one of us to do our part in this regard. Even if each one of us does a little bit in this regard, a lot can be done for the children of our country and those around the world.”
Hilda thought all day about what the speaker had said and the next day she talked about it with her friends. She asked for suggestions as to how something could be done for the good of children in accordance with the spirit and purpose of the Universal Children’s Day.
“Well there are a lot of things we can do to help children around us,” her friend Sasha said. “We can give away our clothes, books and toys that we no longer use, to poor children. There are also welfare centres which request donations from people so we can request our parents to make donations there. We can also give academic lessons to poor children of our neighbourhood and those of our servants. And then we can also request our parents to sponsor a poor child so that the child gets basic food, health, clothing and education facilities.
“We should also take care, and raise awareness about, not teasing or making fun of children with any disability. Having said that, I think our responsibility in this regard also extends to helping our younger siblings in all aspects of their lives. We should take care of them and the problems they might be having. If nothing else, at least we can read them stories from storybooks or help them with their school homework.”
“I think in accordance with the spirit of the day, it is would also be good to communicate with other children around us and those around the world,” Alizeh said. “This way we can get to know about them, their problems, lifestyles, etc. All this would facilitate in mutual understanding and sharing of problems and ideas. Moreover, we would broaden our horizons by getting to know about what is happening around the world and the opportunities, problems, etc., out there. And then we can send and share inspirational Children Day messages to our friends and family.”
“Won’t it be nice if we ask our class teacher to have some sort of presentation or class assignment on Universal Children’s Day to raise awareness in this regard,” Shahnza joined in. “As an assignment, each student can be asked to research a particular country as regards to how children live there. We can then compare each student’s findings with the way we live.
“We can have a sort of parliament in our class with the classroom divided in three or four parties. This way we can discuss and debate children issues. We can also read the ‘United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child’ in the class to know and share everything about children’s rights. A copy of the convention is easily available on internet. Or else, if possible, we can also request our school’s principal to have a speech/debating competition to raise awareness on the purpose of the day and the children’s issues.
“The school authorities can also be asked to hold competitions like drawing competition, poetry competition, solo acting competition, a special talent competition, etc., so as to enhance school children’s talent and skills. And then, we can also write letters or articles on the purpose of this day for newspapers. This would all serve the objectives and purpose of having this day.”
“What can be done in school can also be done at home,” Fatima suggested. “We can request our parents, uncles and aunts to have a sort of grand family get together. And in that we can ask our elders to share their experiences as kids and give advice for the benefit of the children of the family. And if any of our siblings or cousins has a talent or special ability in any area, we can encourage him/her to give a demonstration of that talent or ability. Children can even discuss any problem that they might have; or share anything that has been troubling for them.”
“As I heard, there are many organisations working for the improvement of children’s lives, such as SPARC, SAHIL, Save the Children, CRLC, etc.,” Hilda added. “We can join them or contact them, with our parents’ permission, to find out what we can do.
“Let us make a resolve that each one of us would endeavour to do something to make a difference in a positive way, in our lives and those of other children.” Hilda held her hand forward so as to take a promise from her friends and they all held her hand and gave her their commitment. Hilda felt satisfied at her achievement and wished that other children would also follow her footsteps.