Islamabad - Thousands of children from 34 big slum communities of the federal capital are deprived of basic facilities of life and need immediate attention for enrolment in schools.

“A well-equipped building for the National Child Protection Centre (NCPC) is our dire need with separate staff for each section including helpline to cater needs of children from marginalised areas of the capital,” remarked Director NCPC Muhammad Yousaf Shah. He was speaking at an event on World Day against Child Labour that is observed on June 12. Besides government, private sector and philanthropists should come forward and join hands with them for providing more facilities at the NCPC premises as children are the future of the country and street children have equal rights like others, he said.

Currently 63 children including 37 boys and 26 girls are getting education in NCPC school to whom free pick-and-drop services, uniform, books and other facilities are provided to enhance their interest in education, he informed. He said the NCPC is also running a toll-free help line 080011515 round the clock and seven days a week to take a quick action on the complains regarding children and referred them to the relevant section for immediate response. The helpline was launched on February 27 and to date they received 65 calls, he said adding the centre did not have separate setup and staff for the helpline and managing it in current resources.

Students of a private university donated a library to the NCPC for children, he informed and added that with the cooperation of other more activities could be provided to children.

The children of the NCPC non-formal school working under ministry of law, justice and human rights presented tableaus, songs, speeches and shared their stories at the event.

A nine-year-old boy Muhammad Iqbal, who has been studying in the school for the last two months, presented a speech in which he narrated his tale of journey from selling flowers to entering NCPC. He said it was his first experience of attending any school which opened a new world in front of him and now he is persuading his siblings and other community children with the importance of education in life.