Parhit Samaj Seva Sanstha

Bal Panchayat Brings about Surprising Changes among Children

Dwarka, in Birauli gram panchayat, is a village 20 km away from Pichhor development block of Shivpuri district. The village has Human Rights Centre and Child Rights Centre, run from the room of one Chatur Singh Adivasi, and these centres cover Vamna, Tal-ke-Tapara, Devgarh and Kararkheda villages. The Human Rights Centre educational books, human rights related books and material, government schemes application forms and meeting register. Similarly the Child Rights Centre has books and materials related to child rights and games material.

A cluster meeting is organised every month. This meeting is attended by two children (one boy and one girl) and two women from women group and two people (one man and one woman) from each village. This group is known as Core Group and the meetings are held to resolve problems and issues of the village. The organisation is an identity of Dwarka village. It has got several works done like well digging, RCC road construction, etc.

Seeing the success of youth group, the project toyed with the idea of forming children’s group. Initial discussions with the children were followed by games and meetings. In one such meetings children were explained the concept of Child Panchayat and told them that they can also make one. The children heard the matter with rapt attention. After election Murari became sarpanch and Binnu became up-sarpanch and 19 children became member. Murari shared his joy with the children by distributing lai (puffed rice) among the children.

In the first meeting, the bal panchayat talked of cleanliness. Murari and Binnu took responsibility about this and started telling the children to go take bath every day. In the second meeting the issue of all children going to school was raised and nearly all the children started going to school. After this a training of bal panchayat was organised and information about child specific schemes was given to the children in detail. Now the children started keeping eye on mid day meal, its quality and quantity.

The next year Binnu was promoted to class VI and she started residing at Kararkheda hostel. She started her learning in the training implementing in the hostel. As a result of her intervention, food quality drastically improved in the hostel.

On the other hand Murari is emerging as a leader in the Dwarka village. Whenever someone visits the village, s/he is most likely to meet Murari first, who asks him with respect the purpose of her/his visit and provides appropriate guidance. Bal Panchayat also collects the children for pulse polio programme and other immunisation drives.