Sanjana Sanghi draws attention to importance of educated and skilled youth

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~ Celebrates her birthday with children in Delhi slums ~

5th September, New Delhi:  Drawing attention to children at-risk of entering into the labour force, Bollywood Actor and Youth Advocate for Education for Save the Children, India, Sanjana Sanghi celebrated her birthday with the adolescents from Geeta Colony slum in New Delhi. She visited the Multi Activity Center there to promote access to basic learning skills for children engaged in harmful work, so as to prepare them for formal schooling.

Echoing on an urgent need to rehabilitate these children & adolescents through bridge schooling, Sanjana said, Although the incidence of child labour has decreased in recent years, it is still a widespread reality in most parts of India. According to the official figures, the incidence of child labour has decreased by 2.6 million between 2001 and 2011. However, the decline was more visible in the rural areas, while the number of child labourers has increased in urban areas. These children work in different sectors such as agriculture, industry and the service industry.  Moreover, mass school closure spread over the last two academic years due to COVID-19 has impacted 320 million learners, and severely enlarged additional risks, including child labour, child-trafficking, child abuse, and childhood poverty”.

She added, “These realities have impacted children on multiple fronts including their education, health & nutrition, safety and emotional wellbeing. If supported, engaged and empowered, children can teach us so much more through their stories, resilience, curiosity and solutions. As Save the Children’s advocate for the Youth, I firmly believe that education enables agency, voice and choice for generations and wholeheartedly support all endeavours towards it”.

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Pragya Vats, Head of Campaigns at Save the Children said, “If supported, engaged and empowered, children can teach us so much more through their stories, resilience, curiosity and solutions. Agency of children is a prerequisite to welcoming behavioral change in the society.” Alongside, Avinash Singh, leading Programmes in Delhi for Save the Children added, “Room to Grow is a programme designed to prevent and protect the rights of children engaged in child labour has become one our models to address lack of education. The MACs are a sustainable solution that can be adapted into Resource Centres for children out of school and integrated into the Municipal Corporation in Delhi.”

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Save the Children is running 16 Multi Activity Centres across Delhi through this project. MACs have been integral in establishing on-ground presence across urban slums or remote pockets in urban regions. Establishing MACs has been critical in mapping out the number of children at-risk as well as those engaged in various forms of labour in the intervention area. While government education system offers free and compulsory education for children in the age group of 6-14 years, working children contribute significantly to the category of out of school children primarily due to financial constraints at the household level, for which support services are non-existent. Moreover, existing primary schools do not cater to the diverse developmental needs of vulnerable children, particularly those exposed to abuse/violence and children working in the unorganized sector. In this context, MACs contribute in bridging the last mile to education and protection services.

About Save the Children 

Save the Children is an International NGO working in 120 countries across the globe on issues related to education, health and protection of humanitarian/DRR needs of children, especially those who are the most deprived and marginalized. In India Save the Children is working across 14 states on the same issues. .

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