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CHILDLINE India Foundation - National Children Meet Details

CHILDLINE 1098 SERVICE » 1098 Events » National-Children-Meet (Detail)

National Children's Meet (Detail)
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Year 2005-2006 marks ten years of CHILDLINE service. Ten years of the service calls not only for celebration but also reflection on one's relevance, an opportunity to share our learning's and deepen our interventions to help further promote the fulfillment of the rights of all children.

A key area identified has been that of enhancing children's participation in relation to the programme. Children have been an integral part of CHILDLINE right from its inception, beginning with conceptualizing the service, highlighting the areas of intervention, being volunteers for the service, to giving feedback in the monthly Open House Forums.
Over the past one-year the series of Consultations held with children, local administration and voluntary organizations have highlighted the issues children face in their homes, schools, workplace, and institutions. Attempts were also made to seek commitments from the relevant concerned Government agencies to deal with the issues.

To take the initiative forward, and arrive at an understanding of what children across the nation identify as priorities that need to be addressed, a National Children's Meet was organized in Mumbai from 31st May - 2nd June 2006.

The objective of the National Meet

  • To provide a platform at national level for children to articulate their issues, identify solutions, and formulate demands for addressing the same.
  • To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of CHILDLINE, in a manner, which will help, deepen and strengthen CHIDLINES's work with children in emergency situations.

Apart from these the event was also an opportunity for CHILDLINE to eflect and consult children on what they feel about CHILDLINE and its services and more importantly, how they would like to see it serve them better in the years to come.

CHILDLINE India Foundation - National Children Meet Details
On the second day children were organized into 12 mixed linguistic groups based on the issues for discussion. Six main issues identified were - child Labour and trafficking, education,
housing, health, police and zhildren living in institutions.

Each group consisted of 16-17 children from across India. Children were encouraged to talk about problems faced by them pertaining to the issue based on their experience. For instance children in the police group shared their view and experience with the police through their personal experience, as to how the police dealt and treated them. During the sharing, emotions of children were very evident. Fourteen-year-old Ajay was very upset and angry with the police, this was evident from his statement - "I was beaten like an animal by the police.I say there should be no police. Police is only for the rich and not the poor". This was then followed by group discussion on expectation and solutions from the stakeholders. Each group had a facilitator to facilitate the discussion.

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CHILDLINE India Foundation - National Children Meet Details Excerpts from discussion

On the concluding day children presented these issues to the allied system through creative medium such as theatre, puppetry, songs, and paintings. Experts from the respective fields facilitated the creative presentations.

No Issues Resource Person Medium
1 Police Kapil D/ Javed Puppetry
2 Health Katha Babu Song
3 Housing Vasudha Ambiye Song
4 Children in Institutions Pramod Pathak Theatre
5 Education Deepa Balsavar Painting
6 Child Labour & Trafficking Manjul Bharadwaj Street Theatre

Children from the institution group used the medium of painting to show a good institution and a bad institution. The paintings depicted what their current view of institutional life is and how they would like it to be otherwise. The presentation was concluded with a summarization of the points discussed in the groups.

The police group used the puppets for their presentation. This group showed both the positive and the negative and the positive sides of the police. Vijay one of the participants form Vijayawada shared his experience. Vijay wanted to join the naxalite group and punish
the police. Infact he also went in search of naxalites but was not successful. Through one of his friends he came in contact with CHILDLINE. Today my view has changed. "I have completed by 10th Std and want to become an IPS officer. I request the people sitting here to listen to the problems of children".

CHILDLINE India Foundation - National Children Meet Details

Children from the Housing and Health group portrayed their issued through songs. Children were encouraged to put on their creative thinking hats and develop their own songs with inputs from the resource persons. Children used this medium to show how garbage, lack of cleanliness in your surroundings and personal hygiene can lead to ill health.

Children from the child labour and trafficking group presented a theatre play and portrayed how children are harassed at home; they run away and are spotted by a broker who hands them over to a hotel. Here the children are abused. The children are then rescued and admitted into a school.

Like wise the Education group used painting to depict their viewpoints.
Following every creative presentation one of the representatives' from the group summarized the points discussed in the group and presented before the allied system.

Response from the allied system was elicited following each creative presentation.

The Allied System Panel consisted of

  • Mrs. Sumita Mukherjee - Director, State Relations,Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi
  • Mr. Parvez - Joint Director, Railway Board
  • Mr. Rathore - JAPU, Mumbai
  • Mr. Jaideep Singh Kochher - Director, Child Welfare,Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • Mr. Desavle - Deputy Commissioner, Dept. of Women and Child Development, Maharashtra
  • Dr. Armaity Desai - Trustee, CIF
  • Mr. Suprakash Chakraborty - DIG, Police.

Response from Allied System:

Mr. Desavle - in response to the presentation by Children on "Children in Institutions" stated that in some cases recognition and grants have been withdrawn from those institutions that are not functioning as per the stipulated norms.

Mr. Rathore - children to be presented before the CWC and rescued child labourers should be restored back to their families.

Sumita Mukherjee - requested the police to behave sensitively with children. Try to increase the female police staff. There is a need to bring about a change in their approach towards children.

The National Meet provided children from across the country an opportunity to interact and share problems faced by them. Children realized that they were not alone with these problems but there are others too facing similar problems. They came out with suggestions such as forming children's forum and electing a child representative in the parliament who would bring their problems into focus.
CHILDLINE India Foundation - National Children Meet Details


On the Sidelines

On a lighter note, apart form the serious issues based discussions, children had a gala time. On the first day as they kept coming in from various cities across India, entertainment stalls were set up at the venue. Children enjoyed themselves with games such as bursting the balloons, racing the car, tattooing etc. In the evenings they danced to songs of the famous hip-hop Hindi movie songs. It was not just the children dancing, but the adults too join the fun.

CHILDLINE launched the jingle "Dus, Nau, Auth." on this occasion. The lyrics for the jingle was written by Rizvi of Design Bar and music was composed by Mandeep Singh. It was a huge hit with the children and adults alike. One could just not help but dance to the song whenever it was played, which of course was played very frequently.

On the concluding day children were taken to the Juhu beach. Though it was pouring heavily, it did not dampen the spirits of the children or the adults. However the children were a bit disappointed as they were instructed not to go near the water. The group then drove to "Prathiksha" residence of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, a hot favourite among the children, whom the children could not meet as he was out of station.

In the evening a gala Bacha Party was organized. Children including the adults (escorts, coordinators, CHILDLINE directors and of course the CIF family) let their hair down and danced with gay abandon.

The National Children's Meet 2006 concluded on a positive note both as a celebration of its tenth year and with providing the children a platform at the national level to articulate their issues, identify solutions, and make recommendations for action.

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