New Delhi, May 11: More than 100 academicians, teacher union representatives and social activists have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to take appropriate steps to safeguard children’s right to survival, protection, education and development during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The memorandum sent through the Right to Education (RTE) forum recommended immediate and necessary actions to ensure child rights are protected to effectively tackle issues like out of school children, child labour and child trafficking.
“Extraordinary circumstances demand extraordinary measures, and every measure should be in accordance with the values and provisions of the Constitution of India. These measures must have a humane approach and provide a level playing field for all,” the memorandum said.
“If there is too much focus on online modes of teaching, then majority of children especially from marginalised communities will be deprived of their right to education. Educational materials could be provided along with relief and dry food packages by the government. We also need to ensure that children are protected from risk of violence and abuse during the lockdown,” it added.
The memorandum has been signed by academicians from Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University among others, representatives from various child rights bodies and prominent social activists such as Aruna Roy and Nikhil Dey.
Universities and schools across the country have been closed since March 16 when the central government announced a countrywide classroom shutdown as one of the measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
Later, a nationwide lockdown was announced from March 25, which has now been extended till May 17. (PTI)