Dr Arun Kumar

Director, Training, Research and Alternative Communication at Committed Communities Development Trust 

CWC is a pioneer institution working with children and their rights. Its work on child labor is path-breaking, as it dared to dream and travel beyond the official and the mundane posturing and sloganeering of what appeared politically correct.  

To admit that child labor was very much a part of the Indian landscape and, therefore, it required engagement, that working children needed protection, that all laws and acts must keep the best interests of the child in mind, may today sound obvious, even ‘natural’ to many of us. But it wasn’t so in the 1980s. From thinking about a union of working children to realizing and linking it with local governance and child rights – was pretty much unthinkable when CWC began in 1985. It was only logical that the concern would extend from the issue of child labor to the entire gamut of child rights.  

Committed Communities Development Trust is fortunate to have got the opportunity to work with CWC closely. We partnered them in two national level seminars on Child Participation and a book on the same issue (Participating with Children: Dreams and Experiences, CCDT, Mumbai, 2011). The experience and insights that CWC brings to a collective is quite enriching.

As we know, Child Participation remains the most difficult of all rights to ensure as it demands nothing less than a complete democratization of social spaces in every sense of the term CWC’s relentless work in this field in recent years is inspiring several fellow-travelers to question one’s engagements with children ever more critically and seek ways in which the subjectivity and agency of the child could be encouraged and celebrated.

Today we walk together, exploring, learning and advocating ways that would ensure voice to the voiceless and rights and dignity to the deprived and marginalized children.  
We are extremely proud and happy to hear that CWC has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. It’s a significant and timely recognition of its wonderful work with children. 

Here is wishing it all the luck and success!