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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 148 | December 20 , 2009|


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Celebrating Universal Children's Day

AMANI, a student of one of the most reputed private universities in Bangladesh has been selling flowers to the people passing the Bijoy shoroni circle. Every time the signal turned red, she approached the private cars and other vehicles wearing a t-shirt inscribing 'JAAGO' to sell flowers to the passengers. There were many young people on the roads doing the same thing. Some were selling popcorns, some flowers and some candy floss. Like Amani, many young students were on the roads of Dhaka on 18 November to remind people of their duties and obligations toward the children who are living a very miserable life.

Monju, a 12 year old boy, sells popcorn at Gulshan-2 circle. At this very tender stage of his life, instead of going to school, he has to support his family - his mother and 5-year-old sister. Everyday, he wakes up at 7 a.m. and spends his whole day on the roads selling popcorn to the people on transports. But 18 November is very different for him than any other day. He did not have to go selling popcorn. Rather, he is enjoying his time in Wonderland Amusement Park along with some of the children who sells flowers, candyfloss, candies and many other items on the streets. It is more like a dream come true for them. They do not have to rush towards cars or any vehicles to sell their products. These are the stories of Amani and Monju and there are many other similar stories that took place on 18 November. On that day, around 500 underprivileged rejoiced happiness across the city. This year, Jaago Foundation celebrated Universal Children's Day with the underprivileged street children who face harsh reality in every single step of their life.

The day started with distributing breakfast among 500 children, which was not an easy job for the volunteers. But they managed to handle every thing properly. The kids were enjoying every bit of their time in the Wonderland. After the breakfast, they started roaming around and exploring the fascinating rides. The Wonderland authority privileged the kids by giving them a chance to ride all the rides as many times as they want for three hours. The joy knew no bounds for the kids. It seemed that they had the best three hours of their life as they were enjoying to the fullest. Lipi, one of the kids, could not even express how happy she was. She was riding only the bumping car over and over again.

''Eto moja kono eideo kohono kori nae..khuv vala lagtase'' she said.

After the rides, a magician came to show magic. The magician's spell left the kids totally mesmerized. The children took part in the trick which excited them more. Around 1 p.m., the volunteers served lunch to the kids. Due to the daylong activities, they were hungry and started pushing down the food. By the courtesy of Novartis Bangladesh Ltd, a health camp was there to check the health conditions of the kids that commenced from 2 p.m. Volunteers helped them out stand in a queue and maintain it. At the end of the day, many celebrities and guests came over to Wonderland to support the noble cause. Many of the celebrities stood at Gulshan-2 circle from 3 to 5 p.m. and worked as volunteers. They all had fun doing these activities and urged everyone to come forward and help the children get their rights. The whole day programme ended in the evening by giving away the total amount of money equally among the children.

Celebrities spontaneously participated in the process and gave away the money. Then the founder of Jaago,Korvi Rakhshand, thanked each and everyone for making the event a great success. This event was supported by Mojo, KFC, Pizza Hut, Novartis, Adcom, Radio Today, Alliance Group and others.

Throughout the world, 20 November is observed as Universal Children's day. To convey the significance of the day, Jaago Foundation arranged a campaign 'JAAGO' on the 18 November for creating awareness among mass people of the poor condition of the children who are deprived from all the rights and often discriminated. On this day, Jaago gathered around 500 street urchins from different important traffic hubs of Dhaka and ran a full day activity with them in Wonderland Amusement Park. While the ill-fated children were having a good time in the park, over 500 volunteers from different organizations and backgrounds stood in the traffic signal points. All day long, they sold various products that are usually sold by the kids. At the end of the day, the amount of money collected was disbursed equally amongst the 500 children. The key purposes of the event were to raise awareness among the people and inspire them to take part in the development of the country through developing the children.

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