The Constitution of India defines ‘a child’ as ‘every human being below the age of 18 years.’ The Constitution regards them as a separate legal entity under the Indian Judicial System. This age limit is also regarded as the criteria for attaining a voter card, driving license, and solemnizing marriage.
At Gurukul The School, one of the CBSE schools in Ghaziabad, we firmly believe that if you don the hat of a parent, it becomes obligatory for you to recognize your child’s rights, provided under The Constitution of India.
The Constitution of India grants all persons under the age of 18 some special specific rights, which are:
- Article 21A
‘The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine.’
This right is in furtherance of Article 21, which states The Right to Life and Dignity. According to the State’s highest court, The Supreme Court, ‘a dignified life of an individual cannot be assured unless the right to education accompanies it.’
Article 21A gives consideration to the following aspects:
- Here, the term education mentioned includes the education till the elementary level of school.
- The term school mentioned here is deemed to be any neighborhood school.
- Here, the obligation to provide education falls upon the government at the Centre, State, and Taluka levels.
- The term free used here means no child is liable to pay any fees that further deter him from pursuing education.
- Here admission to the class appropriate to the age of the child to be done
- This article also provides for the prohibition of any sort of physical punishment and mental harassment of the children
- Article 24
‘Right to be protected from any hazardous employment till the age of 14 years.’
This implies that children below the age of fourteen cannot be employed to work in any factory or mine or engage in any other hazardous employment.
Several other laws have been passed in pursuance of the Article 24 in India:
– The Factories Act, 1948
– The Mines Act, 1952
– The Child Labour Act, 1986
- Article 39 (e)
‘Right to be protected from being abused and forced by economic necessity to enter occupations unsuited to their age or strength.’
In other terms, it states that the health and strength of workers, irrespective of whether men, women, or children, shall not be abused or manipulated. Also, the economic condition shall not be the reason for entering such an unsuitable avocation for specific age or strength.
- Article 39 (f)
‘Right to equal opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and conditions of freedom and dignity and guaranteed protection of childhood and youth against exploitation and moral and material abandonment.’
A point to note here is that this article was added to our Constitution at a later stage, after Article 31 (draft) was taken up for debate in the Constituent Assembly on 22nd November 1948. The aim was to direct the State to safeguard the weaker sections of society and stimulate the ‘economic’ welfare of citizens.
- Article 45
‘Right to early childhood care and education to all children until they complete the age of six years.’
At first glance, Article 21 (A) and Article 45 both seem to state child education only. However, there is a minor difference in both with regard to the sets of ages they deal with. While Article 21A pertains to free and compulsory education for children from age 6 to 14, Article 45 ensures education for children up to 6 years only.
At Gurukul The School, ranked among the CBSE schools in Ghaziabad, we firmly believe that a vigilant and aware child only has the capability to transpire into a concerned and law-abiding citizen of the motherland. And we leave no stone unturned in putting this preaching into practice on our campus. If the info mentioned above could be of any assistance, howsoever little, for the most valued fraternity, the parents of our pupils, in raising street-smart and righteous children, we would deem our efforts to be worth it.