Swami Shantanandji, Kapil Dev, Shantha Sinha, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Cecilio Adorna, Victoria Ralph and Nafisa Ali join hands to take the pledge to create a violence-free, stress-free world for children
Art of Living and UNICEF join hands to work for child rights
New Delhi: On October 1, 2007 the Art of Living Foundation and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) unveiled a joint declaration to further the cause of child rights and protection.
The ‘New Delhi Pledge of Child Protection’ was unveiled by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and UNICEF’s India representative Cecilio Adorna at an event held at the India Islamic Cultural Centre in New Delhi.
The declaration envisages that the two organisations will strive to:
· identify and change attitudes, traditions, customs, behaviour and practices that violate the rights
· advocate for governmental commitment to fulfilling protection of child rights
· stimulate, encourage and sustain open discussion and engagement on child protection issues
· lobby for protective legislation and enforcement
· supplement and enhance the capacity of those around children
· improve and upgrade children’s life skills, knowledge and participation
· act as watchdog and monitor and report on child protection issues
· promote and run services for recovery and reintegration
The event was attended by prominent personalities including celebrated cricketer Kapil Dev, social activist Nafisa Ali, chairperson for the Commission of Protection of Rights of Children Shantha Sinha and President of Rama Krishna Mission Swami Shantanandaji.
Later, the gathering took a pledge to create a violence-free, stress-free world for children everywhere.
His holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar expressing his views on the occassion
Speaking on the occasion, Sri Sri said, “Unfortunately, pride has got associated with violence. We need to reverse this. For this, we will need to impart some special education to the children and training to the teachers.”
He said it would be crucial to teach our children that it is wiser to turn the other cheek rather than being violent. Saying that the media have an important role to play, he said people we should work to ensure that television and cinema don’t portray too much violence.
Echoing Sri Sri’s views, Kapil Dev said the media has a key role as sometimes they focus on negative issues. “This partnership is the most beautiful thing and it gives us strength,” he added.
Emphasising the need for making schools more child-friendly, Adorna said, “Each one of us is a voice that represents the protector of children’s rights. Those of us in positions of influence must exercise this influence. The voice of the Art of Living through His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and & his followers will be crucial.”