Bengalureans will get a chance to showcase their love for the city this Valentines Day. The Bengaluru Civic Fest organised by IChangeMyCity (an initiative of Janaagraha) along with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will be held on the 14th of February at Freedom Park from 10 am to 8 pm. The festival will be a platform where various civil society organisations and groups discuss their work, government agencies communicate their work with citizens and school children will discuss their participation with local governments. The festival will see the presence of BBMP mayor and Corporators.
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Sapna Kareem, coordinator, Civic Participation, Janaagraha, said that there is tremendous energy currently in the city where a lot of citizens are engaging in addressing civic issues and participating in local governance. She added that Janaagraha felt the need for a platform where civil society organisations working on civic issues could share their experiences and knowledge. This will enable other citizens to learn from it, use it in their context or join the effort, she said.
Government agencies such as Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), Bangalore Water Supply and Sewage Board (BWSSB) etc have also been invited, where they could communicate their work to the public, and the citizens can interact with them. The Bengaluru civic fest was held last year as well where civil society organizations had participation, but it was held at a small scale. Organisations can register to be part of the fest till January 28th and can reach the organisers on the number 8296806098.
Janaagraha has been organising civic festivals for the past decade and the focus has been on children’s participation in governance. During the Bengaluru Civic Fest, children from various parts of the country will display through dramas, poetry and other forms, their work with local governments. Sapna says that as part of their IChangeMyCity initiative, they had invited ideas from children and schools across the country, and children from shortlisted schools will display their work on engagement with local governments.
Srinivas Alavilli who is with the group Citizens for Bengaluru says that they are excited to participate in the fest. He says that they are looking forward to discussing especially with the youth and children their work and ideas on sustainable forms of mobility, and strengthening of local governance through the effective functioning of ward committees.
In addition, the fest will see a variety of events such as story telling, rock show, theater, magic show, Yakshagana; and will involve the participation of college students in several of these events.