Nearly 200 children took part in a model gram sabha meeting at Kittampalayam, near Karumathampatti in Coimbatore, and placed before it a set of 15 demands.
Federation of Children’s Movement for Right to Participation organised the gram sabha to ensure a sense of participation among the children. Co-ordinator of the event said that lack of participation and the resultant low turnout in polling had been a major bane for democracy. Making children realise the need to participate in democratic process and voice their opinion.
The meeting was organised in the lines of the Children’s Gram Sabha in Karnataka. Seven model gram sabha meetings would be organised for children.
Those who responded to the children included Panchayat Union Chairman of Sulur A. Rajendran, Panchayat President R. Jothimani, Head Master R. Saroja of Government Higher Secondary School-Vagayamapalayam, and V.K. Jayaraman – Assistant Elementary Officer. The demands placed by the children included creating awareness among parents on the need to educate children, street lights to enable children to move around fearlessly, compound wall around the school to protect plants, filling vacancies of teachers, sanitary workers for schools. Most important demand was that teachers should not beat children in schools. Panchayat officials should frequently monitor school activities.
Supply of noon meal should also be monitored. They wanted libraries to be set up in Kittampalayam and Kulathupalayam.