‘Improving Quality of Elementary Education (IQEE)’
- Raising awareness among children about Child Rights
- Involving children in discussions and planning for issues related to development of their village
- Providing a platform to children for sharing their feelings and experiences
- Giving a day to children to enjoy by engaging them in sports and other cultural activities
- Devri Bal Panchayat in Bindi Race
- Ghagsa Bal Panchayat in Bora Race
- Chiksi Bal Panchayat in Ball Race
- Ordi Bal Panchayat in Counting competition
February 15, 2009
CUTS- Centre for Human Development organized Bal Sammelan on February 15, 2009 at Center for Human Development (CHD), Chittorgarh with the cooperation of Save the Children – Bal Raksha Bharat under Improving Quality Elementary Education Project (IQEEP).
Total 336 participants including children from Bal Panchayat, animators, government officials, NGO representatives and representatives from donor agencies. Nitu Shahi, Programme Coordinator, Save the Children – Bal Raksha Bharat; Narbada Bhambi -Additional District Education Officer (Elementary); Mitali Gupta, Assistant General Manager, RPCD and Ms K Sundari, DGM, Ombudsman Cell, Reserve Bank of India, Jaipur; Rajeswari Meena, Pradhan, Panchayat Samiti Chittorgarh; Mr. Mahaveer Krishnya, Chief Medical and Health Officer; Govind Kabra, Chairman, Nagarpalika; Dr Sonica Sharma (Wife of District Collector); and BL Sishodiya, Senior Advocate attended the function and expressed their views. Amit Chowdhury, Madan Giri Goswami, Madan Lal Keer, Sanjay Moud, Neetu Joshi, Vandana Chauhan and Shankar Das Vaisnav were present from CUTS-CHD.
Amit Chowdhury, Center Coordinator, welcomed all participants by giving bouquet and briefed the purpose of the Bal Sammelan. The procedure was as follows;
1. Discussion on child issue
3. Cultural activity
1) Discussion on child issues
Narbada Bhambi said that children are our national asset. We must ensure quality education to them. Education must also inculcate a feeling of nationality in children.
Nitu Shahi was happy to interact with children and knowing that they have considerable knowledge about their rights, but she cautioned them saying that rights and duties go hand in hand. While demanding our rights we must be careful about our duties as well.
Rajeswari Meena was pleased to see the presence of girls in large number in Bal Sammelan. She said that it is the time for girls to step out and fight for their right for education. The community must support these girls and not hold them back at home.
Mitali Gupta & K Sundari expressed their pleasure to see children in large number at a single platform and discussing their rights. They wished all children for their better future.
Mahaveer Krishnya was jubilant to see children discussing their rights. He requested children not to leave school and be sincere in their education. He assured for better health services for children in villages.
Stressing on need of the quality education for nation building, Govind Kabra expressed his concern on the preset status of education in rural areas. He assured to carry out the advocacy work at the political front for the betterment of education and invited children to play their part in supporting their sisters and other girls in their society for education.
Dr Sonica Sharma thanked CUTS for its noble work in giving a platform to children to discuss their issues and problems. She encouraged children to show the world that they have the potential to excel and make changes in the society.
BL Sishodiya stressing on the importance of education claimed that education plays the role of the change agent in the society. The country needs educated people to make changes and help country to generate resources for eradicating poverty. Children have to play their part in generating resources. They should understand their duties as well along with their rights and concentrate on their studies. He requested teachers to avoid corporal punishment and help in creating child friendly environment so that children should enjoy their studies.
Game were organised for recreation & motivation of children. Bindi race, ball race, jute bag race and counting competition were played. The motive was to spread the message among children that instruction should be listened carefully at the beginning of any activity and then should be implemented following the rules framed and instruction given with due concentration. The winners were as follows:
Children prepared cultural programme for the occasion. The splendid performances were based on issues like child marriage, child labour, education, health & environment. Issues were presented through drama, dance and role-plays.
In the open discussion session, children were asked to express whatever they feel about their village, school, education and ways of improving education in their village. Few major points that came out during the discussion from children are:
Ghyani Kumari member of Bal Panchayat, Meeno Ka Kanthariya highlighted the problem of drinking water in schools. She also said that due to lack of toilet facility in school, children have to go for defecation in open space including girls.
Deepak Lahor member of Bal Panchayat, Ghagsa said that parents send their children to school but some children instead of going to school go for grazing cattle or playing games and do not reach schools. Parents should remain in regular contact of school authorities to prevent such incidences.
Bhavdev Singh member of Bal Panchayat, Hapakhedi opined that there is lack of technical education due to which a large number of youth remain unemployed. The Government must focus on ensuring technical skills at the village level so that a large number of youth can benefit from it.
Another Bal Panchayat member raised the issue of gender discrimination and requested elders not to discriminate with girls and give them equal opportunity to build their life.
Bal Panchayat members also raised issues like child labour and child marriage and requested people to exterminate social ills and give an environment to children in which they could enjoy their childhood without any apprehension.
The sammelan concluded with thanks giving from various participants to CUTS for its initiative in giving a platform to children where they could openly expressed their concerns and enjoy the day the way they want. Madan Giri Goswami of CUTS thanked participants and guests and expressed hope that people will come together to finish child labour and gender discrimination and help every child to get education.