Kolkata, Dec 17 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS) CRY (Child Rights and You) is organising an exhibition of citizen photojournalism entitled Click Rights, on Saturday and Sunday.
The exhibition, which will be held simultaneously in five cities, displays citizens’ insights into the challenges faced by thousands of children while accessing their right to education. Citizens will also have the opportunity to sign a petition at the venue demanding quality education for all children in India.
Earlier this month, CRY invited citizens and volunteers to click photographs of government/municipal schools in their localities that lacked basic infrastructure, as guaranteed to all children in India by the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009.
More than 500 photographs have been sent in by concerned citizens and volunteers. They showcased the state of infrastructure in government and municipal schools across the 5 metro cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai.
The pictures sent in have shown numerous schools lacking cleanliness – many without toilets, and unhygienic conditions in those that do have them.
Dimly lit classrooms, broken chairs and benches also seem to have caught the attention of citizens who participated in Click Rights.
Children cramped in a single classroom or sitting on the floor is another common phenomenon that has been photographed, as has the use of playgrounds and classrooms to store construction materials.
A picture from Hyderabad even shows garbage dumped right outside the school gate. Shortlisted pictures will be displayed at various public places in each of the five cities.
Yogita Verma, Director, Volunteer Action, CRY, said, “The Click Rights initiative aims to use photography to raise public awareness about the lack of proper infrastructure in government/municipal schools.
“Through this initiative, citizens and volunteers can demand that the state and central governments ensure the right to a quality education to all children. This includes adequate infrastructure like school buildings, hygienic surroundings, drinking water and separate toilets for girls and boys.”
Atindranath Das, Regional Director, CRY, said, “20 months have passed since the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act came into being. Yet the photographs show that in reality it is a distant dream for the underprivileged children.
“Keeping this reality in mind, CRY solicits government action towards fulfillment of the provisions of quality infrastructure as guaranteed by the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009.”
CRY – Child Rights and You (formerly known as Child Relief and You) is an Indian NGO that believes in every child’s right to a childhood – to live, learn, grow and play.