GUWAHATI, Oct 12 - The need for more concerted and sensitive efforts towards protection of child rights and awareness about children-related issues in the two powerful media – films and news media – was once again highlighted in two significant discussions hosted today by the 13th Knowledge Festival for Children on the AEI Field, Chandmari. With the focal theme of awareness about and protection of child rights, the ongoing fest today organised separate discussions on child rights and child protection in Assamese films and media sensitisation on child rights and child protection.
A near absence of children’s films in Assam and very little focus on the protection of child rights in other films was pointed out by a number of eminent personalities associated with the world of film and culture.
Film director Manju Borah, Secretary Cultural Affairs Madhurima Barua Sen, film critics Manoj Barpujari and Bitopan Borbora and film director Reema Bora took part in the discussion where the need for more children-centric films in Assam was highlighted.
Though some Assamese films made by filmmakers like Jahnu Baruah have touched the issues related to children, a lot still needs to be done for dedicated children-centric films in Assam. The panelists noted that Assamese cartoon films can also be a powerful medium to spread awareness about child rights.
Some other issues like the habit of watching quality cinema among people – including children – also cropped up in the discussion and thrust was given on screening and popularisation of quality cinema in the villages and interior areas of the State, schools and colleges.
Prashanta Rajguru, editor Amar Asom; Manoram Gogoi, director of Assam School of Journalism and Nitumoni Saikia, editor-in-chief of Pratidin Time took part in the discussion on media sensitisation on child rights and protection.
Several key issues linked to the role of media and its present status vis-à-vis child rights and protection were discussed in the session conducted by Dr Akhil Ranjan Dutta from the Department of Political Science, Gauhati University.
Delving on issues like whether the media is sensible enough and provides adequate space to child rights and child protection, the senior journalists noted that other than some individual efforts, the media in general in Assam, does not have a planned approach to child rights issues.
“Other than better infrastructure, we also need more journalists who are well trained to cover the issues related to child rights and child protection,” said Prashanta Rajguru.
“Media does not work in isolation; rather it is a reflection of the society. Our society in general has to be sensitive towards child rights,” said Nitumoni Saikia.
Some other issues like discriminatory attitude of media while covering children from different economic strata, were also discussed.