To celebrate the World Children Rights Week and upcoming Global Hand Washing day, Shishu Aangina: Children and Women Development Center organized a day long program exceptionally for 60 primary and secondary students of Chupair High School and Proteeva Model Academy in Kaliganj on 3rd October, 2020 at "Shilper Shikore,” Baghdi, Jamalpur Union, Kaliganj, Gazipur. The day was celebrated by maintaining health protocol system and social distance. The Chairman of Jamalpur Union Parishad in Kaliganj was one of the main collaborators of the event.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, all schools, colleges, and universities are closed, children have been locked at home since last 7 months, though, in some cases online classes are going on, but the children from rural community do not get the full benefits of it, they are deprived of this opportunity, they are not able to meet with the relatives and friends, these children are somewhat mentally upset and demoralized. So, the students were invited to "Shilper Shikore;” a farmhouse surrounded by greenery where they could get together under the open sky and feel a sense of freedom. To engage children and help them open their mind, an art competition was organized for children of junior classes and prizes were distributed among the winners. The children from upper class (Class VII-VIII) were asked to write their thoughts about child rights and an award was given to the best writer.
The event was highly interactive, as they were invited to talk about their feelings about child rights and express their dream as Shishu Aangina wanted to hear their voice. Most of the people mentioned about mental stress due to online class and homework. When asked about their perception regarding the difference between boys and girls, a girl stated, “girls get married much earlier and they were not given any opportunity to continue their education.” One of the boys said, “when I see that the parents are trying to make a discrimination between my sister and myself, I try to protest”. The girls also mentioned their interests in sports. However, few girls also expressed their fear in speaking in public. At this stage, Mahmuda Rahman Khan, Gender Specialist and General Secretary, Shishu Aangina discussed issues of gender equality and the role of children.
One of the volunteers demonstrated the right way of wearing masks and discussed the importance of wearing it and all the children promised to wear masks when they would be outside their home. To highlight the important of hand washing especially, during COVID-19 pandemic, student volunteers, a girls and a boy were invited to demonstrate the hand washing with soap and later an interactive session was held to help them understand the importance of hand washing and disinfecting their hands.
Union Parishad Chairman Farooq Ahmed, who was present on the stage and a collaborator of the event, applauded the initiative of Shishu Aangina and promised to provide all possible support in the future programs. Chairman of Shishu Aangina and owner of the Shilper Shikore, Artist Tayyabuzzaman Topu congratulated and thanked all the children and teachers and the UP Chairman for attending and participating in the program. He briefed about the activities, mission, and vision of Shishu Aangina. The female member of the Union Parishad was also present. Eight teachers from two schools were present at the occasion and they expressed their gratitude to the organizers. She also promised to organize several sessions for the children in future, such as developing their public speaking skills, help them with adolescent health, nutrition, menstrual hygiene etc. Mahmuda also invited students to come up with ideas and let her know about their own interest. At the end, Mahmuda Rahman Khan thanked everyone and ended the ceremony with light refreshments and distribution of masks.
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