“Being a World of Children Honoree has motivated me to have a larger vision of reaching out to more children. It has also been a very happy incentive and recognition to all my team, colleagues and staff.”
Andal Damodaran is one of India’s greatest advocates of children’s rights, particularly in her actions to fight against child labor. Recipient of the Indian government’s National Child Welfare Award in 1985, Damodaran has focused nearly 30 years of her life to preventing female infanticide and the exploitation of children through child labor. In addition, her work has focused on providing protection and schooling for child beggars and training for India’s childcare workers. Through her work with the Indian Council for Child Welfare, she has helped to reduce the number of recorded female infanticides in the southern district of Tamil Nadu from 200 in 1991 to just seven in 2001.
Since becoming an Honoree for World of Children, Damodaran has been working diligently to influence national and state policies and programs for children in India. She has been traveling throughout India to identify issues as well as gathering suggestions for action. These issues include lack of health care, child labor and gender discrimination throughout all of India. Damodaran is also continuing her involvement with the formation of a national network of organizations and individuals called the India Alliance for Child Rights.
Looking back on her experience with World of Children, Damodaran’s favorite memory was meeting the children at the Hannah Neil Center. She believes their need for security, love and understanding strongly symbolizes that children worldwide are the same. For more information, please visit iccwtntsunami.blogspot.com.