Don Bosco PYaR, Gulbarga, organized Special Children’s Grama Sabha at Kadani Grama Panchayat, K, on 10 November 2014 as part of the Children’s Day Celebrations. “Every Grama Panchayat should become increasingly child-friendly by identifying and redressing the issues faced by children”, said Papamma Habalkar, CDPO, Gulbarga Rural, in her inaugural address. Vittal Chikani, Member, CWC, Gulbarga said that everyone should join hands to ensure the protection and promotion of child rights and the safety of children by accessing appropriate authorities and existing safety mechanisms. Bharathesh, Member, DCPU, Gulbarga and Fr. Prasad, Project Director, Don Bosco, Gulbarga spoke on the occasion. ICDS staff, district health officers, project staff, school teachers and over two hundred children participated in the programme.
Issues Raised by Children
Children expressed their concern regarding the lack of water and sanitation facilities in the schools, the unhygienic and unclean village surroundings and main streets. There is no sufficient number of teachers in the school and the quality of the mid-day meal is apparently poor and there is no playground, children added. Vidyavathi Patil, PDO, Kadani Grama Panchayat, in her reply said that redressing the water and sanitation woes and improving the school infrastructure would be the top priority. She appealed everyone to help in maintaining cleaner village surroundings and in creating a child friendly atmosphere in the Panchayat.
Impact of the Programme
The children said that Children’s Special Grama Sabaha is a unique forum to express their opinions and concerns. The general public welcomed the gesture to improve the participation of children in the local government.