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Several voluntary organisations have been working for the welfare of children
in the city of Vijayawada for many years. The last 15 years have also seen the
arrival of organisations specifically handling street children. Vijayawada is
very well known as the pioneering city in the state of Andhra Pradesh to care for such deprived children. However, the service rendered by these organisations though extremely commendable, remained more or less
in isolation from one another. The disadvantages of such a situation, such as
lack of a common platform for collective action for the benefit of these children at risk, was becoming more and more obvious
in the minds of several of the city elders. This made them to approach the then
Mayor, Mr. T. Venkateswara Rao to look for possibilities of initiating a network. The
mayor responded immediately with the idea of launching a forum in which Municipal Corporation itself would take a leading
Forum For Child Rights, Vijayawada" was set up under the presidentship
of honorable Mayor. The Forum includes NGOs, activists, well wishers and philanthropists in the city.
The Forum's objectives can be summed up in its motto:"Make Vijayawada A Child Friendly City".
It was officially inaugurated on August 14, 1997, the eve of the Golden
Jubilee of India’s Independence. The occasion was celebrated by city’s
street and school children by taking out a huge rally in the city and holding a convention to discuss their problems at Thummalapally
Kalakshetra. The Convention was chaired by Ms. Chitra Ramachandran, I.A.S., the
Collector, Krishna District, and Mr. T. Venkateswara Rao, Mayor and President of the Forum, Dr. D.T. Naik, I.P.S., Police
Commissioner, Rajat Bhargava, I.A.S., Municipal Commissioner were the guests of honours.
The street children from various organisations collectively demonstrated their histrionic talents in a play-let which
depicted the tribulations of their life on the streets. The performance captivated
the hearts of all present.