Children representatives urge political parties contesting BMC elections
Children of slums of Berhampur have prepared a ‘children’s manifesto’ regarding their wishes related to protection of their rights as well as safe and healthy environment.
They have started to put forward this manifesto before different political parties involved in the elections for Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BMC). On Sunday representatives of these children met the top Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leaders of the city and handed over their manifesto to them with the request that the candidates of the party contesting the BMC elections.
Around 15 children representatives from slums met the BJD MLA of Berhampur RCC Patnaik and district president of the party Subash Moharana on Sunday. They discussed the points regarding their basic necessities and rights taken up in their manifesto with the MLA and the district BJD president. According to them they got positive response from these political leaders.
In next two days the representatives have taken appointments to meet leaders of other political parties in the city. These leaders include former Union Minister and Congress leader Chandra Sekhar Sahu, secretary of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Bikram Panda, State secretariat member of the CPI (M) Ali Kishore Patnaik etc.
Through continued efforts taken up since August 16, this ‘children’s manifesto’ had been prepared. An organisation of the city ‘Youth for Social Development (YSD)’ had provided assistance for the project. As part of the project public hearings had been organised in 20 major slums of the city, where children and their parents had discussed the basic issues related to life of children of their area. Basing on the opinions collected from these public hearings, the ‘children’s manifesto’ had been formulated, which has ten points.
The charter of demands in the manifesto include separate budgetary allocation for children in BMC budget, formulation of a comprehensive strategy to make Berhampur a child friendly city, take views of children into consideration during preparation of policies which would affect life of children. Lack of basic amenities related to sanitation, playing space, housing and unpolluted atmosphere also found place in the manifesto.
A major demand in the manifesto was construction of community centres for children in every slum and protection of children from hazardous elements in their localities. They also wanted protection of deprived children living in slums from all kinds exploitation, violence and abuse. The manifesto also put emphasis on proper implementation of all child development schemes in the city.