National Children’s Day (Bal Divas) was celebrated on Sept. 9 at Navjyoti Center in Surkhet, Nepal. Though the event falls on Sept. 14, it was celebrated early in Surkhet due to terminal exams.

Nepal is the land of festivals and colorful events. One of the most favorite non-religious events in Nepal is Children’s Day. Originally this day was celebrated on Aug. 19, coinciding with birthday anniversary of Queen Ratna, Queen Mother from 1972 to 2008. Queen Ratna was very famous for her social work and helping children. Although the government of Nepal is working on the improvement of life of children, many of them live on the streets or work at dangerous places. Many children have to work to earn money instead of attending school.

At the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth’s ministry in western Nepal, ten child clubs and Navjyoti Co-operative were present representing150 children. The activities of the day were organized by Navjyoti Co-operative as well as Navjyoti Center. The slogan of the event was “Child-friendly rule: honors child rights”. There were games to accommodate different age groups and a cultural program was organized by the child clubs. Children performed various dances typical of their culture. Skits and folk songs were based on children’s rights. The chief guest was Prem Acharya, a child welfare officer in Surkhet who highlighted the responsibilities of children as well as parents in implementing a child’s rights. The program was presided by Deepak B.K., chairperson of the Child Club networking committee of Navjyoti Center. Many parents were present on the occasion to cheer their children.