A GROUP of selected schoolchildren on Tuesday put Governor Dr Balram Jakhar to test, asking him various questions regarding children’s welfare and problems. At the end of the question-answer session, the children allayed the Governor’s fears on his performance, giving him cent marks.
The gist of the Governor’s answers to the volley of questions by the children was that it was the collective responsibility of society and the Government to take such action that provides all children with a happy, healthy and informative childhood.
The Governor and children interacted during the first phase of the programme organised jointly by the Bhopal station of the All India Radio and the UNICEF to mark the International Children’s Day for Broadcasting.
Children asked the Governor questions on the issue of child labour, basic needs, need of sex education in school to prevent and control HIV/AIDS, education and other facilities for the poor, handicapped and AIDS afflicted children as also children of AIDS afflicted parents and information on children’s rights.
The Governor during his replies emphasised on the need to alleviate poverty to root out most problems including that of malnutrition, child labour and lack of educational facilities faced by the children.
Later, addressing the gathering, the Governor said people would also have to look at problems of population explosion, decreasing agriculture (food) production, problems in the public distribution system and other such aspects to solve problems faced by the children. He said childhood was irreversible and it was the duty of all concerned to make it best for the children.
He lauded the grit and smartness shown by children in questioning him and said he expected that all children – especially rural children too get the opportunity to hone their talents in this manner. He urged AIR officials to organise similar programmes in rural areas. He also lauded UNICEF’s efforts in mitigating children’s problems saying these were welcome because they were for the betterment of future generation.
He also called upon Centre and all State Government to do their best in this direction. UNICEF state representative Hamid Al Bashir while speaking on the occasion said empowerment of children was important for sustenance of democracy in future and the show put up by children showed that they were empowered. He also raised the concern of HIV/AIDS with particular reference to children and adolescents.
AIR Bhopal Station Director Asha Shukla made the introductory remarks. The Governor was presented with UNICEF’s `The State of World’s Children 2007’ report. He also released the souvenir `Bhojwani Swarnima’ of the AIR.
In the second phase of the function children presented colourful cultural programmes including kawwali based on AIDS/HIV, drama, Kal Belia dance by slum children, sarangi recital, puppet show, Rai dance, vocal presentation, sarod recital, Langura dance and others. Children from Bhopal, Guna, Hoshangabad participated. The programme was conducted by two children Almas Khan and Akshay Dwivedi.