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Media should highlight Stories on Child Rights

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Bhubaneswar: Children are always being invisible from the main stream social development process. Even though, media report the issues on child rights and baby sale, balance should be maintained by journalists while publishing news on human stories and others, said Tarun Basu, Chief Editor, IANS here today.

Addressing a State level workshop on ‘Role of Media in Protection and promotion of Child Rights – with Focus on Excluded Children’ organised by five NGOs – AAINA, CCWD, PECUC, RARE and SOVA with support from Save the Children at Bhubaneswar, Mr Basu focused on the stories being published in media. “There are number of articles and clauses in Constitution, 18 specific laws and 17 child centric policies, schemes and missions are in place for protection of child rights in India”, he added. In reference he mentioned that child sex ratio is declining day by day, 3 million girl children with more 2 million male children are missing every year, child sex abuse has increased by 40% in last year, 26 million children are malnourished and the number of reported child labourers in 2012 is 12.66 million – looking at this media has a genuine role to ask questions highlighting these situation.

‘Children are the future of the nation and media has a specific role in generating awareness on their rights related issues to make government and society at large accountable towards fulfilling those rights’ opined Veenita Pandey, Deputy Editor, Dainik Bhaskar. ‘Child centric stories are no longer today considered as soft stories, rather it should be carried out by the media houses with a significant focus having a human angle in it and in the context of a larger social perspective’ she further added.

Speaking on the occasion Prof. Bijay Bahidar, eminent Political Scientist discussed about the inclusion of excluded children in education and Prof. Rita Ray, Utkal University opined ‘media is very powerful and can impact on society but media at times also needs to be analytical in their report’.

‘We look forward to further work with media in championing the cause of child rights’ said Sasanka Kumar Padhi, Odisha State Program Manager for Save the Children. Manipadma Jena, Senior Journalist chaired the session and encouraged media persons present to write more positive stories of change.
Ranjan Mohanty, Secretary PECUC welcomed the guests in the workshop and Bharati Chakra from Save the Children extended the vote of thanks. A film on social exclusion interventions in five districts of Odisha named ‘PRARAMBHA – The Beginning’ was released and shown in the workshop. Journalists from state and district level along with NGOs working on child rights issues were present in the workshop.

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