Children take an oath to be active citizens

13 year old CMCA student stands up for his classmate’s Right to Education! CMCA students of class 8 demand that their Headmaster returns money wrongfully collected from students towards school books. Young CMCA student calls up BBMP helpline number to get garbage in her neighbourhood cleared.

These are just few of the noteworthy actions of CMCA junior citizens that were celebrated during SPOORTI 2012 – CMCA’s annual government school launch programme. The programme was on Saturday, Sep 8th at St Joseph’s Indian High School Grounds. It was inaugurated with the unfurling of the 4th pillar of democracy – active citizenship. 2000 civic club members from 25 government schools and three rural schools took an oath to be active citizens, to participate in governance and strengthen democracy.

SPOORTI 2012 – CMCA’s annual government school launch programme. Pic: CMCA

In a unique civic exhibition/fest, Children’s Movement for Civic Awareness celebrated the launch of their programme for the year in government and rural schools in Bengaluru and neighboring districts. CMCA stalls and games themed on active citizenship – democracy and freedom, engaging with local government, citizens’ rights and responsibilities encouraged young civic club members to be the change they want to see and to co-operate, complain and if required, peacefully confront government and others to secure their rights.

Through exciting games and interesting facts, the children realized the powerful role they play in being the hope for a better tomorrow. Several alternate stalls were also on display like Child Line, CUPA, Sahas, Trees For Free, Agasthya Foundation, KREDLE, Forest Department, TATA BP Solar and more.

The Chief Guest for the event was Justice Dr S R Nayak, former Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh and former Chairperson of Karnataka State Human Rights Commission. In his motivational address to the children, he said that educational institutions from primary to high school and even upto the postdoctoral level should teach children to think honestly and act in public interest. He stressed on the need to understand that the power lies within all of us and and if we are responsible we can choose a very good government for ourselves. In order to do that we need to become accountable and responsible. Our constitution has given us an important tool that is the right to vote and we must use this right and choose right people.

Dr Yellappa Reddy, Chairman – CMCA also addressed the gathering. Few of the children put up a very thought provoking skit on right to free and compulsory education followed by a dance and song.

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