Established in 1954, Universal Children’s Day is celebrated by millions as “a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children”. The annual celebrations aim to increase awareness and change global attitudes to children’s rights and welfare.
Many countries of the world observe this day on 20 November which marks the day on which the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.
Observance by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, a member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, has participated in these global celebrations over the years to raise awareness about children’s welfare and holistic development.
This year, children from the Swaminarayan Sunday School commemorated Universal Children’s Day on Sunday 23 November 2014 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London.
The special assembly began with a short introduction by Shiv Thakkar, a student at the School, emphasising the Day’s aims and history. This was then followed by an inspiring video presentation depicting the power children have to change society for the better.
Darsh Patel, also a member of the School, further elaborated upon the ‘power of children’, explaining their innate innocence and firm determination. He also drew upon well-known examples of child-devotees from Hindu scriptures to provide inspiration and courage for the current generation.
Manoharmurti Swami shared examples of children who have inspired positive change in their lives as well as those of their families and wider society. He also reminded the audience of the various anti-addiction drives organised by BAPS Children’s Forum. He further shared Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s message ‘In the joy of others lies our own’, discussing the various activities and opportunities Pramukh Swami Maharaj has initiated for children internationally.
In conclusion, Nitanshu Limbachiya, Sharad Patel and Ayush Patel performed prayers for peace, joy and well-being for all children around the world.