Friday, 27 May 2016

#FairStart for Every Child to Curb Persisting Inequities

#FairStart For Children

Wednesday, May 25

UNICEF HQ, New Delhi

#FairStart for every child to curb persisting inequities is a great initiative taken by UNICEF India. The 'Fair Start' film unveiled by the organization as part of a social and social media campaign has drawn the main attention to a chronic disease of our society which is about inequities being faced by a large section of children in our country impacting their survival, development and growth severely. 

Children from various backgrounds participated in this impactful film that gives an insight into the lives of children who have tremendous potential but get fewer opportunities to grow up healthy and safe due to their environmental and societal issues. They have very less chances to attend school and to gain formal learning. They have higher chances of getting married as children.

Caroline Den Dulk, Chief Advocacy & Communication, UNICEF India stated that every child must get a fair chance in his/her life and deserves adequate nutrition, safety, protection, education, health care, and emotional growth. This campaign is focused on these purposes and it aims to draw attention to the lives of many children across the country who are deprived of these fundamental rights, often at times concluded simply based on where they are born. Every child in this country, and on this earth must get a fair and equal amount of opportunities  in life, irrespective of their ethnicity, gender, caste, region, or religion. Girls in India deserve an equal chance in life too, but on an average 2.22 million girls marry early every year in India, and 23% girls between 15-19 years of age experience physical or sexual violence.

The 'Fair Start' film has been produced with the participation of  group of children from various segments of life who brought their own real life stories to the film set. These kids played cast and crew themselves with the help of professionals in film, arts, and acting. The crew included Sahil, Cameraman who learned the art and tricks of shooting from some known professional. Sahil is just fourteen and wants to be a successful cricketer in his life. He studies in an English Medium School and helps his uncle in laundry work. He has his mother and a sister at home.  His father passed away 3 years back.

We also met Suraj, 10, Art Director, and Belinda, 13, Costume Designer.  Suraj has three sisters and two brothers. His mother is having a hard time selling corn. He prefers to help his mother at her work as and when he is able to. His father is an alcoholic and fights at home. Suraj has an ambition of becoming a scientist when he grows up. 

Belinda goes to a municipal school. Her brother Shawn is Cameraman/Director of this film. She works at home after school hours. She aspires to becomes an accounts executive when she grows up. Shawn, 15, has six siblings. His father left home many years back and mother is not keeping well for quite sometime. That made him to mature up fast and take the responsibility of his family. He decided to work and earn money for his home. He cleans gutters to make his earnings. He aspires to go to school as he is not able to due to his circumstances. He loves playing football. He is very helpful and caring by nature whereas his sister Belinda is shy in nature. 

The message of #FairStart is quite clear. Everyone has to share the responsibility in sharing the message, spreading it across communities and social media, doing whatever possible in this regard, and participate in the activity. It is not going to bring results in a short span as it involves a change in mindset and acceptability. Giving a chance to these kids brought out wonderful results from them at such a young age. The same holds true for all other children who are craving for a fair chance in life. 

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