Shakti Vahini, a national level voluntary organization which runs CHILDLINE (1098), Gurgaon collaborated and supported with PEDALYATRI group and GURGAON KI AWAZ – FM channel in Gurgaon in their initiative to organise a cycle rally from Gurgaon to Ajmer. The group of cyclists including professionals, Doctors, Lawyers etc. covered a journey of 320 kms from Gurgaon to Ajmer in 22 hours to generate Awareness on Child Labour/Child Trafficking.
To boost the morale of twelve residents, who cycled a distance of 320km from Gurgaon to Ajmer on February 5, an inauguration programme was held at Deputy Commissioner office at Mini Secretariat on Friday. At the programme, a street play was held to raise awareness on the cause, before the cycle journey was flagged off by Shri R S Kataria, DC Gurgaon. The mission of the campaign “Cycle to liberate Childhood” is to raise awareness against child labour and trafficking.
The citizen’s initiative is aimed to send a message that child labour is unacceptable in society. It is also to help bring joy to children who are forced to work in factories, dhabas and fields and worse still, as domestic help.
The program was supported by THE BODY SHOP. The Body Shop is currently running the “Stop Sex Trafficking” signature campaign to mobilize the masses in support of this cause.
The inauguration Programme:
The Programme was flagged off by Sh. Rajender Kumar Kataria, IAS, the Deputy Commissioner of Gurgaon on 4th February, 2011 at 3pm at the Mini Secretariat, Gurgaon. As a part of the inauguration programme a street play was conducted at Deputy Commissioner’s Office at the Mini Secretariat. The programme was attended by the Child Welfare Officer, Gurgaon, the cyclists, representative from GURGAON KI AWAZ, three representatives from the Body Shop and nearly 100 residents of Gurgaon.
During his speech Mr. Kataria said, “The problem is very deep-rooted and despite many orders having been passed, it is still there. The solution to this problem lies in raising awareness among people. We are working on this, and at the same time, the administration will reiterate that no government officials should be, in any way, be a part of child labour.”
He added,” Child Labour should be fought by the NGOs with the support of the Residence Welfare Society as these societies are playing an important role in the society.” During his speech Shri Kataria requested all the citizen to call 1098, if they find any child in need of care and protection. A special thanks was given to the team of THE BODY SHOP Ms. Savita Dhami, Marketing Head, Mr. Suvendu Sahoo, Chief Financial Officer and Ms. Aastha Sharma, Values Head for lending their helping hand all throughout the campaign. The rally was flagged off by Shri RK Kataria, DC Gurgaon..
The Journey Begins….
The cycle ride for 320 Kms. to Ajmer was started at 4am on February 5, 2011 from the Huda City Centre Metro Station. The cyclists were supported by 50 volunteers from Shakti Vahini, who undertook 6 street plays on the route to sensitize people on issues like child trafficking and child labour. The rally was supported by the Gurgaon Administration. The Haryana police arranged escort vehicle from Huda City Centre till Haryana border. The schedule for the cyclists to cover 320 kms:
|Huda City Centre||0||3:40||4:00|
|Manesway||22||5:06||3 mins. break||5:09|
|Dharubera||45||6:18||3 mins. break||6:21|
|20 km point||65||7:21||3 mins. break||7:24|
|Bawal Highway||83||8:18||22 mins. break||8:40|
|20 km point||103||9:40||3 mins. Break||9:43|
|20 km point||123||10:43||3 mins. Break||10:46|
|Pragpur||144||11:55||5 mins. Break||12:00|
|20 km point||154||13:00||5 mins. Break||13:05|
|Shahpura (After city)||174||14:15||10 mins. Break||14:25|
|Chanwaji (After city)||194||15:25||3 mins. Break||15:28|
|20 km point (Daulatpura)||214||16:28||3 mins. Break||16:31|
|Gopalpura Ajmer BP crossing||240||18:16||3 mins. Break||18:19|
|16 km point||256||19:19||3 mins. Break||19:22|
|16 km point||272||20:22||3 mins. Break||20:25|
|16 km point||288||21:25||5 mins. Break||21:30|
|16 km point||304||22:30||3 mins. Break||22:33|
|16 km point||320||23:33||10 mins. break||23:43|
The cyclists reached the destination at 23:55 with a delay of 12 minutes.
Altogether 6street plays across the route from Gurgaon to Ajmer and one street play as a part of the inauguration programme in the Mini Secretariat added another feather in the Cap of the Awareness Programme, the Citizen’s initiative “CYCLE TO LIBERATE CHILDHOOD.” The street Plays were organized for creating the awareness to combat Child Labour and Child Trafficking among the people. Street Play is the best suited to explain to the villagers the kind of life a child labour is forced to lead and the hardships they face. The street plays were performed to create awareness about need for education, emphasizing on the need for improving access to education and quality of education, to eradicate child labour from the society. The performers used simple local language to make the villagers understand the issues more easily and effectively. This plays an important role in informing the parents about various tactics used by the traffickers for persuading them (parents) to send their children along.
To sensitize the children present there Shakti Vahini volunteers distributed pamphlets of CHILDLINE (1098) among the children as well as the present gathering.The street plays were organized at Behror, Kotputli, Shahpura, Daulatpura and Gopalpura. Through these plays mainly the village people were targeted as they are victims of many child abuses.Through this street play initiative approximately 5000 people are sensitized in different places. The gathering present there promised to share the message for anti child labour and ani child trafficking among their neighbors. Also 500 petition against Trafficking of Children were signed.
The street plays were started by a song on Child Trafficking for Labour supported by the instrument ‘Dafli.’ The mesmerizing sound of the instrument and the song sung by the performers attracted the gathering. The performers who are professionals in the field of acting showed in their play about the trafficking of a child and how he gets involved in the child labour and abused by his/her owner. The play also showed the conditions of the child labours in the city as well as the rural areas. The children are harassed by their employer for minor mistakes; they are being tortured, not being paid. Some of them are not even allowed to meet their parents. The play also pass the message that as the children are low paid, don’t take the decision of their exploitation they are always in demand for child labour. At the end of each play the pamphlets of CHILDLINE (1098) were distributed among the gathering and also requested them to call 1098 at any time if they find any child in need of care and protection.
Link to PICASSA Albums
- On ride against child labour, they will cycle 320 km to Ajmer in 22 hrs (shaktivahini.wordpress.com)
- NCPCR writes to state govt (shaktivahini.wordpress.com)
- DC spots child labourer in MCG office, orders probe (shaktivahini.wordpress.com)
- Children issues need urgent attention: DC GURGAON (shaktivahini.wordpress.com)