World Children’s Day 2023 fosters transformative power of children and young people to ‘Innovate for Equality’
Young people exhibited innovative solutions for social good. Iconic landmarks across India light up in blue in support of children’s rights and equality
New Delhi, 20 Nov 2023: Fourteen young innovators from across India came together to showcase their ingenious work to ‘Innovate for Equality’ in an exhibition organized by UNICEF in partnership with the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) marking the World Children’s Day 2023.
The exhibition was inaugurated by Meenakshi Lekhi, Hon’ble Minister of State of External Affairs and Culture. Speaking in a panel discussion focusing on equal opportunities and empowerment for children through promoting innovation, Minister Lekhi said, “While innovation has always been pivotal for higher productivity and economic growth, it is also crucial for bolstering the growth of girls and boys. The foresight and visionary initiatives of the Government of India helps foster a culture of innovation among youth, one example is the Atal Innovation Mission and Startup.”
The variety of innovations presented by the talented young innovators had a common penchant across all, to address barriers faced by different workers such as farmers and construction workers, persons with disabilities, the elderly aiming to ease their labour and improve their productivity and quality of life.
Notable highlights included Smart Gloves for communication, Hope Arm for para-athletes, Shoe for the visually impaired Step & Sow Shoe for automatic seed dispensing, and a real-time sign language translator.
Ms. Cynthia McCaffrey, UNICEF India Representative, opened the panel discussion by sharing the significance of World Children’s Day and stressing on the importance of instilling innovative thinking by giving girls and boys equal opportunities.
“Girls and boys, when given an equal opportunity to think, learn, experiment, and innovate, tend to develop gender-sensitive solutions to problems that affect them most. Innovative thinking encourages children’s awareness of both the challenges and opportunities around them. India’s climbing the ranks from 81st to 40th in the Global Innovation Index is a solid indicator of the potential of India’s innovation and the talent of India’s youth – several of whom we met today.
“UNICEF believes in working for and with children to harness their creativity and ideas to help address inequalities and to raise young voices to support equal and empowering access to opportunities for all children and youth everywhere.”
Speakers in the panel included Prof. P. Jha, Dean, IGNCA, Ms Deepali Upadhyay, Program Director, Atal Tinkering Lab;Mr. Daya Shankar, National Hindi Editor, Digital News18, young innovators and Ms. Cynthia McCaffrey, UNICEF India Representative.
Nikhil Lemos is a 15-year-old young innovator from the Vikram Sarabhai Children Innovation Centre in Gujarat University, a first of its kind centre for children and young people in India. Talking about his innovation, Nikhil said, Medital is a new solution to stay on track with one’s medication and healthcare routine,” said Nikhil, “I am happy to show my innovation today on World Children’s Day, a global day for us, the children. I made the gadget to help people never to forget the medication they need to take. Meditel has a bottle and a pill holder, and an inbuilt alarm system you can set up for up to six times a day. You will never miss taking medicines on time. Today I met and learnt about other young innovators and entrepreneurs from across India. I hope this creates a ripple effect among young people in our society – to innovate and impact our society, especially for girls and boys.”
Dr. Sachchindanand Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA said, “Art and creative expression is an integral part of human culture, being human means to think, explore and innovate. Innovation is about creativity and culture promotes creativity,” and added that the IGNCA partnership with UNICEF is a step in this direction.
The World Children’s Day is UNICEF’s Global Day of Action for children, by children, and annually commemorates the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child – the most universally ratified human rights treaty. India marks the World Children’s Day by lighting blue iconic public buildings and heritage monuments throughout India, in support of children’s rights and wellbeing.
In Delhi, the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President Building), the Parliament House, IGNCA, Prime Minister’s Office (North and South Block), Qutub Minar – a heritage monument, along with the India Gate and UN Offices lit up in blue lights. #GoBlue is a symbolic expression that has yielded tremendous results over years in drawing much-needed attention to rights #ForEveryChild in India and globally.
Across states in India, Raj Bhawans (Governor House) and Legislative Assemblies also went blue for children along with railway stations and airports. Other iconic monuments across the country that lit up in blue include Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminal and the Municipal Corporation (Mumbai), Governor's house, Church gate station and International airport, the Charminar (Hyderabad), Hussainabad Clock Tower and Lucknow University, the Jahaz Mahal and India's first private station RaniKamlapati Station in Madhya Pradesh, the Howrah Bridge, the Bidhan Sabha, Nehru Children's Museum, Metcalfe Hall, Press Club, Birla Industrial & Technological Museum, Birla Planetarium, and 10 places of worship from across religions, Ellis Bridge, Ahmedabad Airport and Municipal Corporation in Ahmedabad, and Raj Bhawan, Legislative Assembly, Police HQ in Assam, MP Tourism buildings across Madhya Pradesh.
Last week, UNICEF Global Ambassador David Beckham, joined legendary cricketer and UNICEF Regional Ambassador for South Asia, Sachin Tendulkar during the ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final to encourage equality for all children with focus on empowerment of girls and women through cricket.
This World Children’s Day, join UNICEF’s ‘Change the Game’ campaign in partnership with ICC to pledge for equality for all girls and boys https://cloud.info.unicef.org/worldcup
Take the pledge and#BeAChampion #ForEveryChild.
For b-rolls and pictures of heritage monuments which went blue across the country: https://weshare.unicef.org/Package/2AM408LMDPVS
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