BREADS Bangalore organized a Child Rights Education and Action Movement [CREAM] Evaluation Dissemination meeting at the Legislators Home/Shasakara Bhavana – 2, Bangalore, on 29th April 2016. Dr. Kripa Alva, Chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights graced the occasion as the chief guest while Fr. Edward Thomas, Director – Missing Child Bureau, DCWD; child representatives Master Bharath, President of the State Child Rights Club network, and Kumari Priya, President of the Child Rights Club, Mysore, were the guests of honour. Ms. Philomena, Director – Department of Public Instruction, Govt. of Karnataka, presided over the programme.
Fr. Joy Nedumparambil, Director – BREADS Bangalore, welcomed the chief guest and other dignitaries to the evaluation dissemination meeting and presented a brief description of the project CREAM along with the successes and learnings through its implementation in 10 districts of Karnataka.
The chief guest Dr. Kripa Alva along with other dignitaries inaugurated the programme. In her inaugural speech she said that though there were Child Rights clubs in every school, they were not functional and should be revived soon. She intended to make all efforts to ensure that every school, including private schools have Child Rights clubs. Child Rights education should be a part of the school curriculum and ensuring education to every child would lead to empowering the child to exercise her rights. Dr. Alva said rather than ‘Shale Kade Nanna Nade’, it should be ‘Shale Kade Namma Nade’ which implies that it is the responsibility of every adult to ensure the education of children in schools.
Master Bharath spoke about his achievements consequent to being involved in the Child Rights clubs (CRCs) facilitated by CREAM. He also said he wouldn’t have known about child rights if he was not in the club and that has changed his life. After the felicitation of the guests of honour, children from 10 districts of Karnataka shared their experiences of being part of the Child Rights club in their schools. Children themselves have solved issues of other children like dropping out of school, child marriage, and unavailability of midday meals at schools. They have taken the appropriate path to exercise their rights with the help of the CREAM staff and the knowledge gained through the CRCs. Ms. Philomena Lobo gave the presidential address, congratulating the children who spoke and were empowered to be leaders. She noted that properly functional CRCs were missing in Karnataka and acknowledged that the lacuna has been filled with the immense effort of BREADS through the CREAM programme.
BREADS also facilitated a discussion with experts in the field and NGOs working closely with children. Representatives from ten NGOs working with children were present for the discussion where suggestions to strengthen the CRCs, improve their sustainability, and extend their implementation in more districts of Karnataka were proposed. Many also congratulated the children on their positive growth after they shared their experiences. The programme ended with a note of thanks.