The Department of Women and Child Development, Directorate of Social Welfare, Government of West Bengal took the initiative to bring the Children-in-Conflict with Law (CCLs) residing at Dhrubashram, Ariadaha (Observation/Special Home for boys) to participate and took the epic step to bring these CCLs to perform at the American Center program along with other children.
U.S. Consul General, Kolkata Helen LaFave said: "If children are given the necessary tools to succeed, they will. Providing them with a sense of self-esteem and identity is the magic wand that will transform their lives."
This was followed by the dance performance interspersed with audio visual presentations on the eight partner organizations.
The entire program was conceptualized by the children and organized by survivors of human trafficking from Kolkata Sanved.
The children, ranging in age from six to seventeen, were selected from eight partner organizations; All Bengal Women's Union (ABWU), Organization for Friends, Energies and Resources (OFFER), Apne Aap Women's Worldwide (A2W2), Mukti Rehabilitation Centre, Hamari Muskan, Child In Need Institute (CINI), New Light and Dhrubashram.
In addition to celebrating Children's Day, Kolkata Sanved's video team, comprising youth from marginalized communities, screened their film titled 'Icche Dana' (Wings of Desire) which focuses on the 'right to education'. This event not only marked the celebration of Children's Day, but also emphasized children's right to participation and self-expression.
Rachel Sunden, Deputy Director, American Center Kolkata, said: "The American Center has been closely working with Kolkata Sanved and other organizations on the fight to end Trafficking in Persons and child rights issues. We believe that every child, irrespective of socio-economic background, has the right to live in dignity and express themselves freely."
--IBNS (Posted on 12-11-2013)