Child Rights Friendly Panchayats

Posted on October 06, 2012

In an exceptional display of Children’s participation and Children’s Right to Self Determination, children of various Panchayats in the Kundapura Taluk in Udupi have been successfully advocating for Child Friendly Panchayats.

The Problem:

In 2012, twelve children drowned in open wells and tanks in the villages of Kundapura. Open tanks also called Madagas in the local language are traditional water harvesting systems. They are of prime importance to agriculture and other water needs of the community. However, the deaths of children has been a common occurrence since the last few years. Every year during the rains, a few children fall prey to these unguarded and open water collecting bodies.

The Process:

Children of these villages identified this as an urgent problem that needs addressing. The children’s unions of each Panchayat took it upon themselves to collect information about these ponds in each of their areas. They used various mechanisms such as mapping, interviewing with the families, focused group discussions to collect this information. Children then took this information to their elected representatives in the Government at village and district level.






The Solution:

District and Village Governments have issued directives regarding necessary fencing work that needs to be done. Various villagers, youth groups and others have volunteered their time and resources to make these water harvesting structures safe for children. Awareness drives were conducted in all schools, children’s unions and at village meetings to inform everyone of the problem and to collectively work towards the solution. A social monitoring system has been set up to keep a check on the developments.


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