Prominent child rights activist, Thomas Jeyaraj, no more


Thomas Jeyaraj, who was the founder and director of the Centre for Child Rights and Development, died on Wednesday

Senior child rights activist Thomas Jeyaraj, who was the founder and director of the Centre for Child Rights and Development (CCRD) died on Wednesday. He was 64 years old, and had suffered a massive heart attack.

Over the last four decades, Mr. Jeyaraj has worked in the forefront of several child rights interventions in the State as well as at the national level. He was a former state convenor of the Campaign against Child Labour, Tamil Nadu, and was also serving as the State co-convenor of the Tamil Nadu Child Rights Watch (TNCRW).

โ€œMr. Jeyaraj was one of the first persons in the country to start an organisation that had child rights in its name. He was extremely dedicated to the cause and was actively involved in both working for it at the ground level and in policy making,โ€ said A. Devaneyan, activist and director of Thozhamai.

Mr. Devaneyan said that Mr Jeyaraj would keenly encourage several younger child rights activists to work at the ground level with concerns regarding child rights, and was a dedicated mentor as well. โ€œHis demise is a massive loss to our community,โ€ he added.

The TNCRW, in a statement, said that they would continue working towards Mr. Jeyarajโ€™s dream of creating community-level child protection mechanisms and ensuring a conducive environment for children to live in and prosper.

The final rites were held at the CCRD office at Pattipulam, Mamallapuram on Wednesday afternoon.

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