Shantha Sinha

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A profile

From the archives of India Today

She was the chairperson, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights


Masters in Political Science from Osmania University, Hyderabad, and a Ph.D from JNU.

Usually to be found

Working with children through the M.V. Foundation or championing their cause from her Janpath office.

I want to ensure that every child gets an education and stands for his/her rights in school,” says Shantha Sinha, who, astounded by the lack of agencies specialising in protecting children’s rights, founded the M.Venkatarangaiya Foundation in 1981. The foundation, which has rescued 1,00,000 children from work in 500 villages across Andhra Pradesh, runs a bridge course for such children in the nine to 14 age group, to enable them to catch up with regular school children.

In recognition of her efforts, she was awarded the Magsaysay Award in 2003, and appointed the first chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, giving her ample opportunity to diversify her field of operation, from Chattisgarh to Rajasthan. Be it corporal punishment in schools or contesting the notion that only poverty can lead to child labour, she works towards just one mission— returning the most valuable thing to children, their childhood.

-by Gunjeet Sra

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