Children being used to canvass for candidates : The Tribune India

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Children being used to canvass for candidates

ECI’s directive being openly violated

Children being used to canvass for candidates


Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 14

The Election Commission of India had issued strict directives on February 5 prohibiting the use of children in election-related activities under the Protection of Child Rights Act 2005. But these are being violated with impunity in this part of Malwa that falls under Malerkotla and Ludhiana districts.

“The commission has conveyed zero tolerance towards use of children in any manner during the electoral process by parties and candidates,” reads the relevant paragraph of the ECI’s directive.

Yet, children are being used to raise slogans, carry flags and insignia of various political parties, apart from highlighting the agenda and achievements of parties and their candidates through poems and songs.

Parents too do not hesitate from compromising the safety of their wards and are taking them to election rallies and meetings, luring them with sweets, toys and gifts.

However, a majority of the organisers of election events held in Amargarh, Raikot and Payal Assembly segments of Fatehgarh Sahib Lok Sabha constituency and Gill, Dakha and Jagraon Assembly segments of Ludhiana LS constituency displayed their indifference to this issue.

The Tribune has found that children are being exploited to raise slogans and distribute posters, besides attending election-related meetings in the region. Numerous NGOs claiming to be working for the rights of women and children are also participating in these events and merely witnessing the violation of the rights of children as silent spectators.

Though teams of designated government personnel have been attending scheduled election events of all candidates, not one of them has bothered to report the violation.

#Malwa #Mandi


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