The ninth State-level Children’s Cultural Meet 2018 was held under the aegis of Manipur Alliance of Child Rights (MACR) at the Tribal Research Institute, Chingmeirong, Imphal (in Manipur) on Saturday.
The theme of the meet is – ‘Break the Silence, End Child Sexual Abuse, Let us Make Manipur Child-Friendly’. The Manipur Governor Dr Najma Heptulla, Law, Health and Art and Culture Minister L Jayentakumar Singh and Advisor, MACR and also former Chairperson of Manipur Commission for Protection of Childs’s Rights S Sarat Kumar Sharma attended the cultural meet as Chief Guest, president and guest of honour, respectively.
Addressing the function, Governor Dr Heptulla said that the theme of this year’s cultural meet is relevant in the current social scenario. Congratulating the MACR for putting up the important issue of sexual abuse of children into context, she said that the campaign launched by MACR from the month of August this year has covered 32 educational institutions and more than 10,000 students have taken pledge to stop sexual violence against children.
The Governor further said that there are other grievous challenges confronting the children which if not engaged appropriately can destroy the whole generation. The menace of substance abuse among the school going children is on the rise. Stating that “digital addiction” leading to cybercrime is another dimension of the challenges faced by the young generation, she hoped that with sincere and focused efforts, MACR will be able to contribute substantially in the fight against these evils.
The Governor also stated that the participation of a large number of children from valley and hills from different districts, different ethnic communities to a single forum will help in achieving communal harmony and emotional integrity amongst the indigenous people of Manipur.
In his presidential speech, Law, Health and Art and Culture Minister L Jayentakumar Singh said that there should be mass awareness on the various laws related to children which protects the legal rights of the children. He said it is the responsibility of each and every parent/guardian to nurture their children in the right direction. In the nine districts of Manipur, there are nine juvenile justice court, he added.
As part of the day’s meet, the Governor also presented Child Rights Awards to the Superintendent of Police (SP) Churachandpur Kabib K and SP Senapati M Pradip Singh for their outstanding work in the field of protection of children’s rights and ISTV Reporter N Sanajaoba Meitei for his commendable media report and stories on child rights.
Later in the afternoon, Children from different districts showcased variety of dances including folk dance, cultural dance, Thougal Jagoi, fashion parade, Kabui dance, Mao Jagoi, Thadou Kuki folk dance, choreography among others.