A 17-year-old girl of a city private school has authored and published a guide book for children with an aim to make them aware of their legal rights and various child protection schemes of the government.
Crime against children, especially sexual abuse and assault, have been on the rise in the recent weeks.
Yashna Batra, a student of The Shri Ram School Aravali, has also formed an action group — Selflessly Yours — that will take up issues relating to child rights in the city. The group has 12 students who aim at working closely with underprivileged children and children with disabilities.
“I used to volunteer for a non-governmental organisation (NGO) Asha Grih that focussed on child welfare projects. There, I met a girl who narrated her story of violence and torture. I was completely moved by her experience. After hearing several stories of real life tragedies of children related to sexual and emotional violence, I decided to venture out of my comfort zone and launch an initiative to undertake corrective efforts,” Yashna said.
She also presented the first copy of her book to the Union cabinet minister for women and child development, Maneka Gandhi, on October 3.
Yashna has published 1,000 copies of her book which will be distributed in various schools across the state. “I am also planning to translate my book in Hindi so that it can be read by more children,” she added.
Taking the cause further, Yashna, organised interactive sessions with professionals from diverse fields including entrepreneurs and social welfare workers, who educated children on their rights. She also coordinated sessions with experts on child welfare from the United Nations that helped develop students’ personalities.
Yashna is keen on spreading awareness about child rights across the country. “As children in the country are least aware about their rights and what they should do in cases of child abuse, they easily fall prey to such violations,” she added.
She has also launched the Haryana chapter of ‘Peace Gong’ which is part of the media and information literacy initiative of Rabindranath Tagore Foundation. It is a children’s newspaper aimed at giving young people a platform to write and develop understanding of social issues and to promote participation of children in community building.