Kids' first ward sabha today

To encourage children’s participation in  urban local bodies at the ward level, a Children’s Ward Sabha will be organised for the the first time at Vijnananagar Ward No 81 on Thursday.

Geeta Vivekananda, the area Corporator, will conduct the sabha between 10 am and 1 pm at Vibhuthipura Veera­simhasana Samsthana Mutt School located in the ward.

As many as 700 children are expected to participate in the ward sabha, comprising children from migrant communities, representatives of children's organisations at the ward-level and children from other marginalised groups.

Corporators from other wards, Mayor Sharadamma, MLA Nandish Reddy, various government officials, organisations and groups working on children's issues will take part in the sabha.

Children from across the ward have worked for several weeks to identify and prioritise issues affecting them the most and to be presented at the children’s meeting, said Concerned for Working Children (CWC), a child rights organisation working with the Palike.

“Issues that affect both the adults and the children alike such as education, health, protection, transportation and cleanliness, will be aired at the sabha.”

“Children will create awareness among government officials, and elected  representatives and demand action from them. The Children’s Sabha is thus a forum wherein the children are involved in the process of democratic participation,” stated a press release issued by the CWC. Highlighting the importance of Children’s Grama Sabha, Kavitha from CWC said the Sabha would facilitate children’s participation in  metropolitan city governance.

Know-how

The process will go a long way in encouraging children to understand the functioning of democratic structures. Also, it will serve as a critical platform to corporators to listen to the woes of the people and redress them, she added.

In 2006, the State government issued a circular making it mandatory for all Gram Panchayats in the State to conduct yearly children's gram sabhas.

The same model is now being implemented in the cities.

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