Our children have been freed from many economic and social ills

It is a popular saying that the film of childhood cannot be screened once again. Childhood, which enriches an individual with wisdom that could be used during the entire lifetime, is also the most cherished period of life in which a human being blossoms and is coloured with a shining golden hue.
As adults, it is a great opportunity bestowed upon us to peep into the world of children, which is vividly decorated with picturesque colours and divine tunes. It is my belief that International Children’s Day invites us to look at children with heartfelt emotions and fond memories of our childhood which cannot be relived and remains only in our memories.
We have been able to free our children from most of the economic and societal challenges which hindered us during our childhood. By providing education and health services to every rural village without any discrimination, we have been able to reach the satisfactory levels of social development similar to those of developed countries. Acting against child labour and ensuring every child’s right to education, we have been able to ensure the fulfillment of the requirements of all international agreements and conventions.
However, there is one legacy of our childhood that is lost to the children of today. That is the freedom of childhood that we have enjoyed.
It is our responsibility and duty as adults to find out the ways to give back the childhood freedom and the vivid, coulourful abstract world which has been stolen from today’s child due to highly competitive education, urbanisation and the transformation of lifestyles.
I am confident that the International Children’s Day programmes organised this year under the theme, ‘March with courage, Provide strength to children’ will remind us of that responsibility.
While declaring my fullest commitment to the aim of the International Children’s Day to ensure a secure wold for children, I wish the programmes organised to mark International Children’s Day every success.
Maithripala Sirisena
President