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Favorable environment to help children grow as self-dependent citizens

DHAKA, Dec 28, 2017 (BSS) - There must be diverse scopes for children to grow up as self-dependent citizens at every sphere of life as they are the future leaders to take up the helm of affairs in all disciplines in a society as well as a country or even beyond.

This is what the experts suggest as there's no credit in taking own decisions by depending on others. "No kids come independently out of the mother's womb but there must be all available amenities to help a child grow up as a self-dependent person," says Khandaker Ibrahim Khaled, Chairman of the juvenile organization Central Kochi-Kachar Mela.

The first five years of a child's life is the most important formative period when his or her personality and character takes shape in an atmosphere conducive for easy growth. In a sense, Khaled told a recent seminar, a small kid observes things and thus grows up in a natural environment of learning.

Professor Gouhar Noyeem Wara of Dhaka University said the voice of the children must be heard giving due importance on their existence both at family and outer levels. He also called for providing child-friendly training to the bureaucrats at the very outset of their joining the government jobs to help them keep the matters of children in minds while formulating national policies.

"We must think at first of ensuring a secured environment for the safe growth of a child-be it in villages or in towns," said Laila Khandaker, Director, Child Protection, Save the Children. Quoting from a study of the Bangladesh Shishu Odhikar Forum, she said as many as 264 children were killed and 501 children raped from January to October in 2017 in Bangladesh.

Khandaker Ibrahim Khaled, also a reputed banker, stressed especially upon moral education of the children at homes and in primary schools, which would ultimately remain ever inscribed in their minds to develop ideals, morale and sense of values when they reach different stages of life.

The present government under the able leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ensured all support to build a modern educated nation as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The Prime Minster gives highest priority on the safe growth of every child in Bangladesh, advising them to take lessons on patriotism from early life.

Parents, who can't allow their children to grow up independently might believe that they are doing the right thing, but actually they are causing harm to their child, protecting them from the harsh reality of life. There are parents, who hover over their children when they are toddlers or pre- schoolers, not allowing them to try new skills, behaviors or beliefs during their growth.

An experienced mother Ayesha Khanom says, such parents stick closely to their children as they tend to shield them from being hurt or disappointed. As a result, she observes, a child can seldom learn to rely on himself or herself and find ways of dealing with the issues on his/her own.

Some co-dependent parents are unable to let go of their children as they pass through adolescence and enter young adulthood. From a very early life, these parents begin unhealthy parenting patterns that slowly take over the originally healthy parent-child relationship.

Civil rights of the children are probably the least understood matter and most challenging to realize. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the first international human rights instrument to explicitly recognize civil rights of children.

Civil rights begin from the moment a child is born, providing the basis for all subsequent rights to which the child is rightfully entitled, like access to health and education, protection from all forms of economic and sexual exploitation, and justice when a child comes in conflict with the law.

More than one third of the world's children live in East Asia, South Asia and the Pacific. While Western cultures stress individual rights, Asian societies place greater emphasis on responsibilities of the individual towards family, community and society.

The support for Mother and Children envisions a group and community where mother and children grow up to be productive, caring citizens of a society. The support for mother and children advances their human rights and dignity of women, girls and children around a country like Bangladesh.

Since the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, Article 12 - the provision that children have a right to express their views and have them taken seriously in accordance with their age and maturity - has proved one of the most challenging to implement.

The right to be heard applies to every aspect of a child's life-at home, in school, in plays and leisure, in the media, local and national policy-making. However, although much progress has been made in many countries including Bangladesh, it remains the case that for too many children across the world, the right to be heard still remains unrealized.

Those from more marginalized groups are disproportionately denied the opportunity-disabled children, children from indigenous groups, children with undocumented parents, children in conflict with the law, and those living in extreme poverty. "Raising a child as a self-dependent person is just like helping him or her to grow as a self-confident citizen," observes Mohammad Mohsin of the UNICEF, Bangladesh.