On 28 November 2019, a special children’s Grama Sabha was held in the Government Higher Primary School, Metikurke, Hiriyur taluk, Chitradurga, Karnataka. Mr. Prakash, President of Metikurke Gram Panchayat, presided over the Grama Sabha. Mr. Kumarswamy, Cluster Resource Person (CRP), Hiriyur; Mr. M. Rajanna, Block Resource Person (BRP), Hiriyur, Chitradurga; Anganvadi supervisors, Anganavadi teachers, Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA), Ms. Shanthala, Panchayat Development Officer (PDO), Hiriyur; Ms. Shilpa, Counsellor, District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) Chitradurga; Mr. Kemparaju, activist for child rights protection; Mr. Mahanthesh, Social activist, CREAM, CHITHRA Don Bosco, 20 adults and 65 students participated in the grama sabha.
The programme started with a prayer song and was inaugurated by the lighting of a lamp by the dignitaries and student representatives. After an introductory session, the children began a dialogue with the officials, addressing the issues they faced in the school and village. Children raised concerns such as the need for school compound walls and gate, maintenance of classrooms, lack of adequate playground and sports equipment, toilets with the provision for water, installation of a water purifier in the school, clearing of drainage close to the school and in the village, and tarmac roads in the village. The Gram Panchayat president assured the students that their concerns would be discussed in the panchayat meeting and immediate action taken about the problems.
Mr. Mahanthesh endorsed the importance of child rights and the UNCRC and highlighted the issue of school dropouts in the taluk. Mr. Chithralingappa, Assistant teacher, thanked all the dignitaries and the children for utilising the grama sabha to address important issues regarding the infrastructure development of the school and village.
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