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Little Parliamentarians

© CBM/NCN
filed image of Children's Parliament meeting held in Pennagaram Block of Dharmapuri District

In rural villages of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Kerala the community members are witnessing groups of school going children sitting under trees, discussing issues concerning their rights. These kids are members of children's parliament, an initiative that supports children to speak on issues concerning children.

Neighbourhood Children's Parliament (NCP) was initiated in 1998 and currently has more than 30,000 children as its members. The NCP is one of the largest child driven organisations in India and has received several prestigious awards, such as the UNICEF San Marino Alexander Bodini Award for child rights action in 2009.
 
Not just education, the little parliamentarians discuss different issues such as disability, school dropouts, health and hygiene, supporting underprivileged children and issues concerning the girl child. They pass resolutions, amendments, develop proposals, appeals, and submit petitions based on local issues to the relevant authorities. The children's parliament is well structured, organised and follows the system of ‘Sociocracy’, in which all members have the power to recall appointed ministers in case they do not perform.
 
CBM has supported this initiative from 2010 and has been able to make children understand the difficulties faced by children with disabilities. To address these issues, the members have formed a new ministry for disability. The elected minister represents children with disability and brings up their problems in order to find solutions through the children's parliament. They visit the homes of children with disabilities to convince their parents and school authorities to enrol them in school. They have also passed a resolution that 'None of the members will disrespect or make fun of people with disability'.
 
Earlier the children with disability were members but they did not participate. Now their active participation has helped increased enrolment and decreased school dropout for all children. Parents too, see the benefit of their children’s involvement in the inclusive children’s parliament.
Thumbnail for video "Highlights of 2nd T20 World Cup for blind 2017 finals" Thumbnail for video "Highlights of 2nd T20 World Cup for blind 2017 finals"

Highlights of 2nd T20 World Cup for blind 2017 finals

The highlights of T20 World Cup for the blind finals held at Chinnaswamy Stadium Bengaluru, India


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