Thousands of children from New Delhi's slums marched through the streets on Saturday (November 14) and demonstrated outside Prime Minister Mrs.
Thousands of children from New Delhi's slums marched through the streets on Saturday (November 14) and demonstrated outside Prime Minister Mrs. Ghandi's house.
They proclaimed their lack of the basic necessities of life on Children's Day, when sweets were distributed to children, and children's functions held throughout the country.
The children, many of them Harijans (untouchables), looked filthy and hungry-looking. They were brought in busses to the former residence of the late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Mrs. Ghandi's father, and from there they marched down to Mrs. Ghandi's house.
They screamed demands for food, clothing, shelter, education and medicines.
As armed policemen held them at bay about 20 years from the Premier's house, Mrs. Ghandi was giving away sweets to uniformed children from Delhi schools.
Children's day is observed in India every November 14th, the birthday of late Prime Minister Nehru.
The demonstration was organised by the Bharatiya Harijan Sangh (Indian Untouchables' Association), and the slum-dwellers Association.
The Sangh President Mr Ram Swaroop Vidyarthi, said the demonstration would focus attention on the plight of millions of poor children "who are starving and dying for want of the basic necessities of life."
He described the distribution of sweets and other functions throughout the country on children's day as "a show and delusion".