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State-level Child Rights Clubs Network Meeting on 13 December 2019 at KSCPCR Office, Bangalore

Forty child leaders of the Child Rights Clubs (CRC) from 10 districts of Karnataka met with the State Tribunal Judge and the officials of the Education department on 13 December 2019 to put forth their problems with the education system, as well as raise concerns about other issues in their home districts. Fostered and facilitated by the CREAM programme of the Bangalore Rural Educational And Development Society (BREADS), the children were fearless and articulate in their expression of Child Rights as they see it. The venue, KSCPCR board room, Krishi Bhavan, resounded with the sound of clear, frank young voices as they bowled over the judge and the officials with their questions and opinions.

The Child Rights Education and Action Movement (CREAM) of BREADS has been actively involved in the protection and promotion of child rights since 2012 in ten districts- Bengaluru Urban, Bidar, Ballari, Chitradurga, Davangere, Raichur, Mysuru, Ramanagara, Kalaburagi and Yadgir districts of Karnataka. It facilitates the creation of child rights clubs in every government school in these districts. Leaders from these clubs form federations at the district and state levels to represent the concerns of children at different forums.

Shri. Krishna Bhatt- the Karnataka State Tribunal Judge, interacted with the representatives of the state-level CRC network, providing counsel as well as encouragement to the children. The honourable judge accepted a memorandum from the children for the inclusion of a child rights module developed by CREAM into the education curriculum of Karnataka.

During the interactive session, children raised various concerns regarding child rights, especially with regard to education in their respective districts with Ms. Archana Nayak- Subject Inspector, DDPI South Bangalore, and Mr. Anil A.N – Education Officer, State DDPI office. Mr. Anil responded to the many queries of the children raised with respect to the problems faced by them regard to their education and access to it. Ms. Archana, sharing her own experience as a head mistress, stressed the need for child rights clubs in every school because they would be instrumental in protecting the rights of vulnerable children especially the girls. All the officials encouraged the children to continue their activism and advocacy at their local levels, and become pressure groups for their schools, villages and local administration.

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