UNICEF India

UNICEF has been working in India since 1949 advocating for the rights of children and young people.

For more information, please visit: http://www.unicef.in, http://instagram.com/unicefindia
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Bollywood stars come together in London to support children’s education in India
LONDON, UK, 21 August 2014 - Bollywood actress and UNICEF India Goodwill Ambassador Sharmila Tagore and actress and UNICEF Celebrity Advocate, Kareena Kapoor Khan are pictured with former BBC war correspondent and UNICEF UK Ambassador, Martin Bell OBE, and UNICEF UK Deputy Executive Director, Anita Tiessen at The Ritz on Wednesday evening (20th August) for a dinner to support UNICEF’s education work for children in India.Speaking at the event, Sharmila Tagore, who is celebrating ten years as a UNICEF India Ambassador, said; “Over the last ten years, I’ve seen first-hand, the work UNICEF does to ensure that the rights of every child are realised. Education is one such right. It is the passport to life; without it children are less healthy, less skilled, have fewer choices and less hope for their future. Yet, sadly, access to education still remains a challenge, for millions of children in India. I am privileged to be associated with UNICEF and support their work to improve the lives of children in India.”UNICEF India Celebrity Advocate, Kareena Kapoor, urged guests to pledge their support for UNICEF, commenting; “I recently visited Rajasthan with UNICEF to see child friendly schools and to meet some of the girls and boys that are benefitting from these programmes. I was inspired to see spaces which are child friendly. These are places where children are full of joy when they interact with teachers, where children feel safe and secure and where interactive and creative tools are used to ensure that children are happy and learning.”Anita Tiessen, UNICEF UK Deputy Executive Director, said; “Sadly quality education still remains a challenge in India, particularly for girls – where the dropout rate at primary level is 41%. This is often because of attitudes towards the value in girls having an education or schools not having adequate and safe sanitation facilities. When girls drop out of school they become more vulnerable to child marriage, early and unsafe pregnancies, and it has a lasting impact on their future earning power.“By working with the Government and partners to roll out our education programmes in India, UNICEF can ensure more children, both boys and girls, are going to school, learning, and have a better chance of reaching their full potential.”For more information about UNICEF UK please visitwww.unicef.org.uk<http://www.unicef.org.uk>Image: © UNICEF / Bircan Tulga / 2014

Bollywood stars come together in London to support children’s education in India

LONDON, UK, 21 August 2014 - Bollywood actress and UNICEF India Goodwill Ambassador Sharmila Tagore and actress and UNICEF Celebrity Advocate, Kareena Kapoor Khan are pictured with former BBC war correspondent and UNICEF UK Ambassador, Martin Bell OBE, and UNICEF UK Deputy Executive Director, Anita Tiessen at The Ritz on Wednesday evening (20th August) for a dinner to support UNICEF’s education work for children in India.

Speaking at the event, Sharmila Tagore, who is celebrating ten years as a UNICEF India Ambassador, said; “Over the last ten years, I’ve seen first-hand, the work UNICEF does to ensure that the rights of every child are realised. Education is one such right. It is the passport to life; without it children are less healthy, less skilled, have fewer choices and less hope for their future. Yet, sadly, access to education still remains a challenge, for millions of children in India. I am privileged to be associated with UNICEF and support their work to improve the lives of children in India.”

UNICEF India Celebrity Advocate, Kareena Kapoor, urged guests to pledge their support for UNICEF, commenting; “I recently visited Rajasthan with UNICEF to see child friendly schools and to meet some of the girls and boys that are benefitting from these programmes. I was inspired to see spaces which are child friendly. These are places where children are full of joy when they interact with teachers, where children feel safe and secure and where interactive and creative tools are used to ensure that children are happy and learning.”

Anita Tiessen, UNICEF UK Deputy Executive Director, said; “Sadly quality education still remains a challenge in India, particularly for girls – where the dropout rate at primary level is 41%. This is often because of attitudes towards the value in girls having an education or schools not having adequate and safe sanitation facilities. When girls drop out of school they become more vulnerable to child marriage, early and unsafe pregnancies, and it has a lasting impact on their future earning power.

“By working with the Government and partners to roll out our education programmes in India, UNICEF can ensure more children, both boys and girls, are going to school, learning, and have a better chance of reaching their full potential.”

For more information about UNICEF UK please visitwww.unicef.org.uk<http://www.unicef.org.uk>

Image: © UNICEF / Bircan Tulga / 2014

In his Independence Day Speech Prime Minister Narendra Modi put emphasis on the importance of Sanitation - of #toilets4all, and the need to protect the dignity of women who have to defecate in the open. 

Women and girls face shame, a loss of personal dignity and safety risk if there is no toilet at home. They have to wait for the night to relieve themselves to avoid being seen by others.

With half of the country defecating in the open, building toilets is important but it is just part of the solution. More importantly, mindsets have to be changed. A cultural revolution is needed to put an end to a practice that has a horrendous impact in society, including the 61 million stunted children under five and the needless deaths due to diarrheal disease.

We all have a role to play in ending open defecation. This is not only about those who don’t have toilets… stop for a second and imagine the power for change if the remaining population, some 500 million people, actually stand up and raise their voice.

Together we can work towards a cleaner India!

Due to the prevailing social and cultural norms, women and girls, have little or no value and respect, and have a lower socio-economic status.

An imbalanced sex ratio, which is the result of a gender-biased sex selection, is a clear reflection of how the society values women and girls.

The Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech addresses these concerns and brings to light the value of girls and women in our country. Much more needs to be done to #ENDviolence against girls and women and give them equal rights in society, including:

- Strong enforcement of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act.
- Political will to take action.
- Awareness raising and promotion of mind-set change against son preference and the value of girls.

We need to make our country safe for all girls, for all children. #ENDviolence

Here is some of the data on Violence Against Girls and Women in India by National Crime Records Bureau - this is only a fraction of the real picture.

The recent comments made by the Prime Minister in his 68th Independence Day speech are a very encouraging message for the country, ones which we hope will be followed with strict action in this direction. Urgent action by the Government of India in partnership with civil society is needed to:

- Promote intensive awareness raising of society as a whole, communities, parents, teachers, and children themselves. A campaign showing political commitment and promoting zero tolerance and legal action to abuse should be promoted.
- Ensure stringent enforcement of legislation: JJ Act, POCSO Act, IPC and related Criminal Ordinance.
- Strengthen data collection systems, in particular to track the status of the case in the legal system.
- Enhance capacities of medical sector and teachers on how to detect and respond to violence.

We need to make our country safe for all girls, for all children. #ENDviolence

Bollywood Actress and International Recording Artist Priyanka Chopra inspires teenage girls to aim high with UNICEF

MUMBAI, India, 10 August 2014 - Bollywood Actress, International Recording Artist and UNICEF India Ambassador Priyanka Chopra met with young women in Chandrapur, India, to mark International Youth Day[1] and to witness how their lives are being transformed through the Building Young Futures programme, which is run in partnership with Barclays.

 

Priyanka Chopra has been supporting UNICEF’s adolescent work in India for eight years. During her visit she met young women from the Building Young Futures programme, locally known as Deepshikha, and saw how they are being empowered to help fulfil their potential.

 

Building Young Futures is a global partnership between Barclays and UNICEF that aims to unlock the potential of young people from disadvantaged communities. Through the programme in India young women are receiving peer to peer support in developing the life, enterprise and financial skills they need to overcome the challenges they face to become strong, financially independent women as well as agents of change in their communities. This includes learning how to save, building business plans, developing their own enterprises and learning how to network as well as building confidence, understanding girl’s rights and leadership skills.

 

In India there are around 243 million adolescents who are facing rising youth unemployment[2].  Life can be particularly hard for young women as they face the challenges of limited economic opportunities and access to training and employment, which reinforce broader issues of discrimination, early marriage, violence and poverty.

 

Priyanka Chopra said: “Girls have the ability to transform their own lives, develop their own enterprises and help grow India’s economy. The Building Young Futures programme being implemented by UNICEF in collaboration with Barclays is giving them the vital skills and support they need to make this happen.

 

“I met girls who have experienced incredible hardship in their lives.  Building Young Futures has given them a voice and confidence, or ‘daring’ as they call it.  These girls are working together, setting up businesses, planning their futures; they are empowered to handle the challenges life throws at them.  I strongly advocate that parents, care-givers and educators must give the girls more and more opportunities to grow in their lives.”

 

In India, by 2015, Building Young Futures will have empowered around 100,000 girls and young women directly and another 200,000 girls through the programme being scaled up by the Maharashtra Human Development Commissionerate.  The programme depends on UNICEF, Barclays and the Government of Maharashtra sharing their expertise.  It has helped these young women to build confidence, knowledge and skills, which gives them choices and the opportunity to build sustainable livelihoods.  The girls take their strength, and determination back into their communities, effecting significant change and helping to transform the wellbeing of even more women and children.

 

Ram Gopal, Chief Operating Officer, Barclays India, said: “Barclays is committed to supporting young people to develop the skills to fulfil their potential. Through Building Young Futures, we are able to empower these young women in India, teach them that they are equal to men, and help provide them with the skills they need to become economically empowered individuals. Building Young Futures is part of our global goal to support five million young people in becoming the next generation of achievers.”

 

Louis-George Arsenault, Representative for UNICEF India, explained: “Adolescence is an age of opportunity and UNICEF is committed to investing in young people and enabling them to transform society. The Deepshikha programme, which is currently being implemented in some districts of Maharashtra with the support of Barclays, has been extremely successful in providing girls and young women with the skills and confidence to start their own enterprises and we look forward to expanding this programme across the state and more widely in India.”

 

Priyanka met girls including Sadhana Chaudhari, who was discriminated against by her family and had to leave school early with limited skills. Sadhana, now 23 years old, runs her own tailoring business, and is setting up a group sanitary napkin business with other girls from her village.  She has become a leader in the programme, or Prerika as they are locally known, and is determined to pass what she has learnt onto other women in the community.

 

“Joining the Building Young Futures Deepshikha programme was a turning point in my life,” says Sadhana. “The Building Young Futures/ Deepshikha programme has given me confidence and now I can support my family.  I come to the training as I learn a lot from this.  I cannot do anything sitting at home, so I must come out and take charge of my own destiny.”

 

Notes to Editors

 

For further information, please contact:

 

UNICEF India

 

Swati Mohapatra, UNICEF Maharashtra, +91-993 023 5472, smohapatra@unicef.org

 

Geetanjali Master , UNICEF India, +91-981 810 5861, gmaster@unicef.org

 

Sonia Sarkar, UNICEF India, +91-981 017 0289, ssarkar@unicef.org

 

UNICEF UK

 

Kate Wills, UNICEF UK, + 44 (0)7880 292 429/  0044 (0)7966 935 639 kwills@unicef.org.uk

 

Georgina Thompson, UNICEF UK, +44 (0)207 375 6167  gthompson@unicef.org.uk

 

About Building Young Futures

 

Building Young Futures is a global partnership between Barclays and UNICEF, set up in 2008, that aims to unlock the potential of disadvantaged young people by providing them with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to set up their own businesses and find work, as well as achieve a stronger economic future for themselves and their communities.  The programme runs in Brazil, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Uganda and Zambia.

 

In India Building Young Futures is locally known as Deepshikha.

 

To find out more visit http://www.buildingyoungfutures.org/   

 

The impact of Building Young Futures / Deepshikha in India to date:

 

·         Over 6,000 adolescent girls started income generating activities

 

·         Over 5,000 adolescent girls and facilitators joined vocational training courses

 

·         Over 1,300 adolescent girls and prerikas (young women leaders) have resumed their education 

 

·         1,350 Adolescent Girls Self-Help Groups formed; 1,198 of these have bank accounts

 

·         These groups have generated savings worth over Rs 4.2 million (US$69,440/ GB£41,200 approx)

 

·         Over 400 prerikas being elected to local self-government institutions

 

·         292 child marriages averted

NEW DELHI, India, 07 August 2014 - With the enactment of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act in 2000, India’s juvenile justice legislations was brought in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and international standards, focussing on some of the key principles of juvenile justice: deprivation of liberty as last resort, restorative and reformative justice, diversion and alternative sentencing, and separate protection structures and qualified personnel.

The recent Union Cabinet approval of the Juvenile Justice Act amendment to empower the Juvenile Justice Board to decide whether a juvenile above the age of 16 years involved in a heinous crime is to be tried in a regular court, constitutes a real step back.

The UN CRC (article 40.1) states that children who are accused of offences should be tried separately from adults “in a manner consistent with the child’s sense of dignity and worth”. This is further supported through international standards like the Beijing Rules and the Riyadh Guidelines laying out procedures for the administration of juvenile justice and prevention of juvenile delinquency.

UNICEF urges the debate on the JJ Act amendment to be informed by widely available research findings and evidence: “Worldwide, evidence shows that the process of judicial waiver or transfer of juvenile cases to adult courts have not resulted in reduction of crime or recidivism. Instead, investments in a working system of treatment and rehabilitation of children have shown to lead to better results in reducing recidivism”, says Louis-Georges Arsenault, UNICEF Country Representative. 

He confirmed continued commitment to support the Government of India in strengthening the system, and advocates for reformative measures for all juveniles up to 18 years, irrespective of the nature of their offence, with an explicitly mentioned maximum period of sentencing, guaranteed with periodic reviews and revision of orders. 

“We also look forward to continue work with the Government of India and other partners to strengthen prevention through stronger child protection systems.”

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.  Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.  

For further information, please contact:

Caroline Den Dulk, Chief Advocacy and Partnerships, UNICEF India. 
Tel: +91-98-18106093; e-mail: cdendulk@unicef.org 

Sonia Sarkar, Communication Sarkar, UNICEF India
Tel: +91-98-10170289; e-mail: ssarkar@unicef.org 



It has taken almost two decades (1995 to 2014) to eradicate polio in India. 

Watching this inspiring film to see the amazing work done by thousands of front line workers, vaccinators and social mobilizers who played a significant role in making India Polio free. 

The legendary Indian film actor and UNICEF’s Goodwill ambassador, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan who has given voice over to the film says, 

“While I have played a role in creating awareness about the issue, my contribution in making India polio free is very small compared to what these frontline workers and social mobilizers have done in taking the two drops of life to every child in every single household especially in states like UP, Bihar and West Bengal. No challenge was big enough to stop them in their mission.”

#BREASTFEEDING is BEST FEEDING

In India, 180,000 children underfive can be saved if they are exclusively breastfeeding for first six months and breastfeeding is continued for two years or more along with appropriate complementary feeding.

#Globalbreastfeedingweek

Happy Breastfeeding Week

Breastfeeding provides the best and most sustainable start in life – it’s a basic right of every child! 

Support #breastfeeding mothers in your community! 

Breastfeeding has an extraordinary range of benefits. It has profound impact on a child’s survival, health, nutrition and development. Breast milk provides all of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals an infant needs for growth for the first six months, and no other liquids or food are needed. 

In addition, breast milk carries antibodies from the mother that help combat disease. The act of breastfeeding itself stimulates proper growth of the mouth and jaw, and secretion of hormones for digestion and satiety. 

Read More at http://uni.cf/1o9u48U #EveryNewborn