You are never too ‘young’ to make a difference. And that is what nine-and-a-half year old Archana Bisht and 12 year old Laxman Singh Negi did — made a difference to the lives of people in the village where they lived.
The two are representing India as child journalists at the “Annual Day of General Declaration” of United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The youngsters from Naini (Khansar) and Mehalchauri Villages respectively in district Chamoli in Uttaranchal will be a part of this meeting to be held in Geneva, Switzerland on September 15.
About 30 children from across the world are participating along with representatives of various governments, UN Human Rights Mechanisms, UN bodies and NGOs, in this initiative by the UN Committee on Rights of the Child.
The theme for this year is ‘Speak, Participate and Decide---the child’s right to be heard.’ Archana and Laxman have been selected on the basis of their participation and performance at the Child Media project organised by Plan India in various villages in India.
Their spontaneity, maturity and the difference that their contribution made to the development of society were also taken into account. Highlighting the relevance of the theme, the excited children said, “It is important for our voice to be heard because we have the right to express our thoughts.”
Laxman's cartoon strip depicting the adverse effects of drinking snowballed into a huge movement against drinking in his village and nearby areas. Archana on the other hand, has involved herself with rallies in her village to create awareness about environment conservation.
The youngsters will be a part of weeklong interactions and sightseeing at the UN Headquarters in Geneva. So what are they expecting there? “It’s going to be very cold out there,” they replied with innocence.