A noble mission by Satyarthi's NGO in Bandipur villages

A noble mission by Satyarthi's NGO in Bandipur villages

A noble mission by Satyarthi's NGO in Bandipur villages

The Bachpan Bachao Andolan, whose founder Kailash Satyarthi has been selected for the Nobel Peace Prize, is making a difference to the lives of tribal children in the villages bordering the Bandipur National Park (BNP) in the taluk.

A total of 28 children have been freed from bonded labour in these villages and admitted to schools by the State’s only unit of the Andolan in Bandipur. Five other children have undergone counselling and they will be admitted to school in the next academic year. The Andolan has taken under its wings 476 children in the six-18 age group in these villages.  
Satyarthi started the Andolan’s office at Mangala village in 2010, when he visited the village on his way to Bandipur from Bangalore.

The Andolan is working to uplift the conditions of children in the 507 households, having a population of 2,200 people, in the 14 villages bordering the BNP. 

One of the key activities of the Andolan unit here is the starting of the Bala Panchayat. Child members are elected to the Panchayat, in each of the revenue villages, through elections and this teaches them the rudimentaries of the country’s electoral process and local self government.

There is a president, a vice-president and 11 members in each of the Panchayats. Children in the 6-18 age group form the electoral college and the contestants. The president is changed on a rotation basis every year.
Three representatives from among the Bala Panchayats are taken to Delhi whenever the Maha Bala Panchayat is held there. Three representatives each from 28 states take part in the Maha Bala Panchayat. They get to meet Satyarthi in Delhi, and they are educated by him on the child welfare projects being undertaken by the Andolan.

At the weekly meeting of the Bala Panchayat, local issues are discussed apart from the Andolan’s projects. Children of the Bala Panchayat take part in the Gram Sabhas and highlight the grievances of their schools and villages.

Libraries have been started in the five revenue villages and they function through scientific methodology.

Through streetplays

The Andolan has been working towards eradicating child labour, child marriage, the menace of dowry and other social evils. The children are creating awareness in the villages through streetplays.

While G C Narayanaswamy has been working as the convenor of the Andolan unit here, Jyoti is the assistant. They have been working towards making the mission a success in these villages.