NGO CRY (Child Rights and You) on Saturday launched a nationwide campaign called 'Child in You' to mark Children's Day and to raise a voice for the education rights of the marginalized sections of the society.
The campaign will take place in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata form between November 17 and 25.
Regional director, CRY East, Atindranath Das, said,"Various activities are being organised as part of this campaign to make people realize that while many of us have fond memories of our childhood as we go back to revisit the child within all of us, there are millions of children in India who are still struggling to have normal childhood, which is their right."
According to an RTE status report published in June 2012, the annual average drop-out rate in primary section in 2010-11 was 6.8 while the total enrollment in this section in India is 18,01,476. The the dropout rate in the primary level is West Bengal alone was 6.5 where 3,13,749 less children were enrolled at the primary level in 2010-11 than the previous year.
In the Kolkata chapter, the event was attended by celebrities such as the lead singer of Bengali band Cactus, Sidhu, magician Maneka Sarkar, film-maker Satarupa Sanyal and singer Riddhi Banyopadhyay, all of whom shared their childhood memories.
Said Maneka: "Witnessing magic is becoming a child in a way. I feel that childhood can be terminated even at the young age, but it can also continue till old age."
The objective of CRY is to create a space for citizens to pledge their strength to "close the gap between a school and every child" through effective implementation of constitutional rights of children to free and compulsory education.
"We are not totally successful as magicians since we can´t bring books or create schools for these children with magic. There is right but no implementation. But what we can really do with magic, is to spend a share of the income coming from magic in their education through CRY," said Maneka.
"We are also opening a school called PC Sarkar School for Total Education from the PC Sarkar Memorial Fund, which will help the so called ´under-privileged´ to dare to dream as education comes in many forms. They should have the right to live with dignity and embrace total freedom," she added.
Said Siddhu, "Our song ´Halood Pakhi´ was such a hit because it touches the lost childhood memories."
CRY also intends to engage citizen´s to relive their childhood through experiencing installations designed by renowned architects and thereby developing a sense of empathy for the millions of children, deprived of this opportunities.
(Reporting by Shabarni Basu)