21st Yudhvir Memorial Award
Prof. Shantha Sinha
For her pioneering role in protecting Child Rights. by The Trustees of Yudhvir Foundation
Children are routinely referred to as the future of the nation. Yet little has been done to nurture that resource in India.
Shantha Sinha sublimated her personal tragedy of the sudden death of her husband at the young age of 29 years by taking up the crucial cause- protection of the rights of children. She articulated the definition of the term ‘child’ and detailed its rights. Thus she proclaimed that every child not in a school is a child labourer. She inspired a group of young volunteers to rescue child workers in Ranga Reddy district of Andhra Pradesh. Through her concept of ‘bridge camps’ rescued and illiterate over-age children were given, besides free board and lodging, capsule courses of instruction to make them eligible for main line schools. Her work then spread to other districts.
She challenged the old concept of Non-formal Education and obliged the State, and later the national government to scrap the scheme and adopt her innovative and comprehensive approach.
She has thus shown a rare empathy, vision, courage and perseverance in initiating a campaign for the full development of children. She has given a new and meaningful life to hundreds of thousands of children, especially female children. No wonder then that her trail-blazing work has been recognized and replicated across India and even internationally. It was indeed most appropriate that she was chosen as the first chairperson of the National Commission of Child Rights in 2007.
Shantha Sinha has, through commendable work, advanced the ideals of the late Shri Yudhvir.
While conferring the 21st annual award of the Yudhvir Foundation, the trustees wish her continued success and greater glories in her laudable mission.