Children’s Participation

Children’s Participation

Children’s Collective: Bal Panchayats

To protect and promote children’s right to participation, various opportunities (formal and informal) are created in our programme. Children’s Committees and Councils are one such platform which help build leadership skills among children, express their opinions freely and encourage them to have that opinion taken into account in any matter or process that concern them at home, school and community.

Children (8 to 18 years) are mobilised to form groups and numerous activities are organised to inspire their creative minds. These activities enable them to open up and share concerns. Fostering a sense of governance and ownership through formal elections and officiating positions, children learn to navigate through formal democratic processes – several children emerge as natural leaders. They have raised issues (as many as 126) such as access to clean drinking water, quality education, solid waste management, safety of girls and corporal punishments. The collectives thus prepare children as change agents, who learn to demand their claims and begin to shape the development agenda around them. For example, in Puducherry, the Bal Panchayat has set up a mobile library to promote reading and writing amongst children and their parents. The Library was inaugurated on Children’s Day by Welfare Minister of Puducherry Mr Kandasamy.