Youth icon film actor Ayushman Khurana join hands with UNICEF for child rights

Sep 11, 2020
New Delhi: Bollywood star and thought leader Ayushmann Khurrana has been chosen by UNICEF as its celebrity to advocate for child rights in India.

” He’s an actor who challenges the boundary of every role he plays. He will bring sensitivity, passion and a powerful voice for every child, with a specific focus towards ending violence against children,” UNICEF India’s representative Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque said here on Friday announcing Khurana’s association with UN agency’s programme.

Ayushmann’s support will help increase awareness about this important issue, especially now with Covid-19 heightening the risk of violence and abuse against children due to the extended lockdown and the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic, she said.

Accepting the UN body’s offer, the film actor said, “I am very pleased to partner with UNICEF as a celebrity advocate. I believe that everyone deserves the best start in life. As I watch my children play in the safety and happiness of our home, I think about all the children who never get to experience a safe childhood and grow up with violence at home or outside.”

With UNICEF, he said he  looked forward to supporting rights of the most vulnerable children, so that they grow up as happier, healthier, educated citizens in nurturing environments free from violence.

Violence occurs every day and is a reality for a large number of girls and boys in India. Often the violence is caused or perpetrated by someone the child knows and trusts. Violence happens in those places intended to be protective: at home, at school, in their communities, in specialized institutions for children.

It can also be online. As daily lives and families are disrupted by COVID-19, children may be at increased risk as illness, school closures, job loss and isolation measures put additional stress on families and may lead to negative coping mechanisms that may sadly include abusive behaviors against children.

Here are some disturbing data about violence against children:

.One out of five adolescent girls has experienced physical violence since age 15 and one in three adolescent girls married or in union has experienced violence by their husband or partners. (Source: NFHS 4)

.Every hour 5 cases of child sexual abuse are reported. (Source: NCRB 2018).

.50% of cases of sexual abuse are perpetrated by close family members or friends. (Source: NCRB, 2018)

.99% of school children are subjected to physical and mental abuse by teachers (Source: NCPCR, 2012)

.One in three children in India reported that they experienced cyberbullying. (Source: U-Report, 2019)