Rt. Honorable President Mrs Bidya Devi Bhandari’s Speech at National Children’s Day 2016 Organized by Ministry of Women, Children, Social Welfare

Honorable Minister

Honorable Minister of State

Honorable Members of Parliament

Dear Children

Personalities being felicitated today

Ladies and Gentlemen!

I am very delighted to participate in the main event of National Children’s Day 2016 organized by the Ministry of Women Children and Social Welfare and to address the nation’s invaluable assets and bases of the future, our dear children residing in and outside the country. It is a matter of pride for all Nepalese that the Constitution of Nepal promulgated last year has provisioned many fundamental rights for children, thereby serving their best interests. On the occasion of this year’s National Children’s Day being celebrated with the main slogan “Propagation of Children’s Rights: Implementation of the Constitution,” I express my heartfelt congratulations and good wishes to all Nepalese children.

I have taken this day to evaluate the achievements of the past initiatives undertaken for children and weaknesses that remained, and an important occasion to vow commitments to fulfill our responsibilities to them in future. Though there are some positive achievements in the development of children, viewing the growing public expectations, there is no way to take satisfaction in them. In our society, there are widespread painful events of still births caused by the lack of minimum healthcare facilities, and many others embrace death after the birth in the absence of necessary caregiver services. Many children are facing physical and psychological violence from family, school, and community.

Despite the radical changes in political sphere in the country, the child-trade and risky child-labor has not yet been eradicated. Many children are still being victimized and living unsafely outside due to the last year’s devastating earthquake; yet many others are away from education, healthcare, and safe environment owing to poverty and social evils. Nepalese traditional social evils like child marriage, dowry custom, child labor and such other numerous harmful tendencies still prevail in the country. Because of such social evils, children’s rights are being curtailed. Falling into evil cycles of physical and psychological violence, the bitter truth in front of us is that they have to lose their lives in a number of circumstances.

The constitution categorizes such violence-prone activities as criminal acts and provisions the right of compensation for victims. Only with its appropriate implementation, children’s rights can be safeguarded in the true sense. It is necessary to provide appropriate family ambience for children to make them capable by developing their potentials. We all have to pay attention to create appropriate situations for children to be raised in a suitable family ambience, get education and healthcare facilities.

In this act, certainly the state has a heavier responsibility. Investments on children ensure our future to get righteous, capable, productive and energetic workforce. As today’s children are tomorrow’s valuable human resources, they are the foundation stones of social and economic development of the country. Therefore, assimilating the motto that “Let us increase investments on education and healthcare; let us lay the foundations of social and economic development,” it has become necessary for us to come together for its materialization.

Ensuring the social goodwill in the country, it is necessary for every generation to be physically and psychologically healthy to achieve the lasting peace; and for this, it is necessary  for all of us to pay attention to the implementation of programs like   protecting, developing , and ensuring children’s participation, thereby safeguarding and propagating their fundamental rights. In addition, every child’s access should be ensured to the services relating to their fundamental rights.

The development of children is a multi-faceted and sensitive subject matter. From pregnancy to first three years, that is, golden thousand days remain important duration for infants and mothers.  Therefore, I believe that the golden thousand days should be given priority by children development and woman empowerment project.

In the end, congratulating and expressing good wishes to all children on this special day, I thank all for providing me an opportunity to participate in the program; and I would also like to congratulate all those that are felicitated today.

Thank you !