Seminar on Universal Children’s Day held

NAWABSHAH   -   chil­dren from different child rights clubs have urged the district and provincial gov­ernments to invest funds and take extraordinary steps to protect the right to life, survival, health and educa­tion in the district. They re­vealed alarming statistics on education and child welfare in the district. During a sem­inar organized by Hari Wel­fare Association (HWA) on the occasion of the Universal Children’s Day in Benazi­rabad here Sunday, the child leaders said that 32 percent of the children were out of school, with 53 percent be­ing girls, primarily due to poverty, lack of government investment, awareness, and high rates of corporal punishment. Additionally, 48 percent of the district’s population had never at­tended schools, including 26 percent of females, per­petuating a cycle of illiteracy rooted in a feudal structure, they told. The child lead­ers who spoke on the oc­casion including Areeba, Fiza Fatima, Yushfa, Farwa and Yusra who emphasized the prevalence of corporal punishment in nearly all schools, hindering students from reporting due to fear. They highlighted the scar­city of basic facilities and nonexistent schools in some areas, further obstructing education provision. Malnu­trition emerged as a critical issue, with 55 children ex­periencing stunting due to poor nutrition. Lack of im­munization was evident, as around 40% of the district’s population,particularly in rural areas, lacked immu­nization. Child clubs re­ported 885 cases of violence against children in 2021, including sexual abuse, ab­ductions, missing cases, and child marriages. Akram Ali Khaskheli urged the govern­ment to address child labour and bonded labour, preva­lent issues in all districts of Sindh. He remarked that in the tribal districts of Sindh, the lives of peasants and workers’ children were mis­erable, devoid of fundamen­tal rights, particularly the right to education. Owing to persistent tribal feuds, these children face significant obstacles in accessing ba­sic education. Instead, they frequently find themselves involved in agricultural ac­tivities or aligning with their fathers in the kacha areas, thereby perpetuating the legacy of tribal conflicts. The child leaders demanded in­creased funding for schools, female teacher appoint­ments and rigorous moni­toring. They also urged the expansion of immunization programs to rural areas and initiating special services for malnourished children.

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