Source: The Hitavada      Date: 26 Nov 2017 11:34:34

IT is a matter of great pleasure that a top official of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Mr. Justin Forsyth, has acknowledged the success achieved by the country in bettering the lives of the children. There has been a 67 per cent reduction in under five mortality and the literacy rate has gone up manifold within a decade. Today’s children have become smarter. Many of them are dazzling on global fora. They are much more confident and can handle latest gadgets with an ease. This has become possible because of better learning opportunities available for them. It’s also an outcome of a burning desire among parents to have a better future for their children.

With the focus on children increasing, there is hardly any wonder that the country has made a progress on this front. Unfortunately, the progress has not been equal throughout the country. While some of the States have performed better on child development, there are others, like Jharkhand and Bihar, where children are still facing caste discrimination and lack of access to resources. The responsibility to change the situation rests with the society as well as the Government. Casteism is a deep-rooted malaise affecting the progress of the nation. Unfortunately, many political leaders adopt a double-standard on the issue. They publicly speak about burying casteism. But they don’t practice what they preach. Their electoral strategies are based on caste lines. Since leaders are the role models of the society, people tend to follow them, making it difficult to remove the bane of casteism. If leaders stop playing caste politics, it will help a great deal in removing the deep-rooted social evil, much to the advantage of the society and children in particular.

Children are the future citizens. As the country aspires to become a super power in near future, it is necessary to invest more in children and pay greater attention towards all-round development of the children. They must be protected from the ill-effects of the social media. Since India is a leading light in IT sector, the UNICEF official has pinned a hope on it to be a role model. The country must stand to the expectations of the UNICEF in the interest of our own society.