BOSCO Bangalore organized a training for the community leaders on 17 July 2019 as part of the Child Rights Education and Action Movement (CREAM) project. An open discussion among the leaders of Child Rights Clubs (CRC) with community leaders was facilitated at BOSCO’s new campus, Ramanna Garden, Bangalore. The chief guests on this special occasion were Ms. Veena- Assistant Labour Commissioner, Mr. Venkatesh- Senior Labour Inspector, Bangalore-Division 4, Ms. Anjali Ramanna- Chairperson, Child Welfare Committee-2, Bangalore, Ms. Nagarathna- Chairperson, Child Welfare Committee-3, Bangalore, Mr. Suryakanth- Inspector, SJ Park Police Station, Mr. Bharath Nataraj- Child Rights and You (CRY)-NGO, Mr. Lingamurthy- Senior Tech, KSR Railway Station, Fr. Mathew Thomas- Executive Director, BOSCO Bangalore, Mr. John Baptist D’Souza- Ananya-NGO, and Dr. Bhanuprakash- H.Siddaiah Referral Hospital. Fifty-one community leaders, 44 children and teachers from 12 Child Rights Clubs participated in the training. The training was organized under the able guidance of Fr. Regi Jacob SDB and the CREAM staff.
The discussion began with a prayer song by Ms. Roopa- Leader, CRC federation. Mr. Ramaswamy- Coordinator, CREAM project, Bangalore cordially welcomed the gathering. The chief dignitaries inaugurated the session by watering a plant. In the inaugural address, Fr. Regi explained the motive of organizing the open discussion; to create a platform for children to voice their problems and issues affecting them and hindering their potential development. Mr. Lingamurthy appreciated the efforts of BOSCO in helping vulnerable children in difficult circumstances. He also spoke about the effective assistance rendered through the presence of Task Forces (Child Protection Committee) at railway stations in rescuing children in difficult situations. After the inaugural session, the forum was opened for discussion. Children raised concerns related to child protection, participation, rights-violations and survival. The children were encouraged to write letters/emails to the Registrar of the High Court or to the Prime Minster to seek solutions to the persisting issues. The children were also briefly educated about School Development and Monitoring Committees (SDMC), adoption, foster care, laws on child labour and POCSO. The Child Welfare Committee has accepted the suggestion put forward by children to put up posters and awareness materials with information on whom to complain about cases of child labour, child marriage and any other rights violations. Children raised issues on delay in distribution of books in the school, enrollment of school dropouts and street children, illegal adoption etc. Ms. Roopa, Leader, CRC explained how the club members made efforts to enroll 25 school dropouts to mainstream education. Fr. Regi in his concluding remarks mentioned the effective participation of children and the effectiveness of united efforts to eradicate child rights violations.
It was a spectacular platform for the children to raise their concerns in front of the governing bodies. It highlighted the observations of children on rights violations and urged for an immediate response to the concerns raised.
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