11 Parliamentarians awarded for work on Child Rights

NEW DELHI : Eleven parliamentarians, six from Lok Sabha and five from Rajya Sabha (list appended below) were awarded the annual Parliamentarians’ Group for Children Awards during a virtual event held today.

Parliamentarians’ Group of Children (PGC) is a platform that convenes, informs and engages Members of Parliament (MPs) on issues of children’s rights. Every year, the PGC Awards recognize the work of parliamentarians who have contributed significantly towards improving the lives of children in India through legislative and constituency level action.

Along with the winners, the virtual event was attended by Shri Gaurav Gogoi, Hon’ble MP, and Chairperson of the PGC; Smt. Vandana Chavan, Hon’ble MP and Convener of PGC; Dr. Heena Gavit, Hon’ble MP and Convenor of the PGC; Mr. Yasumasa Kimura, UNICEF India Representative a.i.; Ms. Zafrin Chowdhury, Chief of Communications, Advocacy and Partnerships, UNICEF India and other dignitaries.

Shri Gogoi reiterated the PGC’s commitment to engage the Parliamentarians to work towards the cause of children’s rights. “As Parliamentarians, we can make an impact by not just highlighting children related issues but also working towards fulfilling their rights. Today, children are exceptionally aware about their rights and as Parliamentarians we must give their opinions a greater importance.”

He urged the parliamentarians to include children from their constituencies in the policymaking process. “This will go a long way in increasing the children’s social and political awareness as well as provide a platform for them to present their ideas, demands and concerns to us. Going ahead, we must put our more sincere energies in working towards the same,” he added.

Congratulating the MPs who won the PGC awards this year, Mr Yasumasa Kimura said, “It gives me immense pleasure to see the passion and the commitment of India’s Hon’ble Members of Parliament towards upholding child rights and it gives me hope that today’s leaders are doing their utmost for our children. It’s been a difficult and challenging year of the pandemic, especially for children. Social economic recovery in pandemic times must be child centric and Parliamentarians are uniquely placed to take these issues to the Parliament for highest level discussion and policy action. Children rely on your support to take India forward to the next level.”

Dr. Heena Gavit, Hon’ble MP and Convenor of the PGC, said that the pandemic has adversely impacted children in all aspects of their lives having to  adapt to completely new methods while simultaneously going through trauma and life changing experiences.“It becomes even more important that the wellbeing and needs of children are addressed and their rights are realized. We must ensure that children are included in the development process. Only if the benefits of development reach the children, the most vulnerable and marginalized sections of society, then only can it be called inclusive, and we as Parliamentarians must strive to facilitate the same.”

In a vote of thanks Ms. Zafrin Chowdhury, Chief of Communication, Advocacy and Partnerships, UNICEF India congratulated the winner MPs and commended their role in championing the cause of children in India. She urged for even stronger collaboration and role of PGC as a non-partisan, self-governed unique platform for realizing child rights both at the policy level and on the ground at constituency level to build an inclusive, safe, healthy and enabling environment for children in India to grow and thrive.

Following are the Hon’ble MPs who were felicitated with the PGC Awards this year:

Lok Sabha:

Name Constituency/ State Party
Shri Rahul Ramesh Shewale Mumbai South-Central, Maharashtra Shiv Sena
Shri Vishnu Dayal Ram Palamu, Jharkhand BJP
Smt. Geetha Viswanath Vanga Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh YSRCP
Smt. S. Jothimani Karur, Tamil Nadu INC
Shri Sudhakar Tukaram Shrangre Latur, Maharashtra BJP
Smt. Goddeti Madhavi Araku, Andhra Pradesh YSRCP

Rajya Sabha:

Name State Party
Shri Tiruchi Siva Tamil Nadu DMK
DrAmeeYajnik Gujarat INC
DrAshok Bajpai Uttar Pradesh BJP
Shri Ravindra Kumar Kanakmedala Andhra Pradesh TDP
Dr Fauzia Khan Maharashtra NCP