Thursday, August 12, 2010

A library by the kids, for the kids

A child rights club initiated by CRT's associate director, Nagasimha.G.Rao, in 2006 has many success stories to share, the latest being a children's library run by it on their own.

This child rights club is in a village of 500 people called Chagaletti (fondly referred to by many as 'Chocolatey') that is 8 kms from the Bangalore International Airport.

The village has 90 children and the club has 30 children (20 girls and 10 boys) between the ages of 5-18 years.

The child rights club was started with the intention of spreading awareness on child rights and promoting child participation.

The most heartening facet of this has been the enthusiasm of the children and support from adults in the village. The children have taken up many activities and initiatives over the past three years to promote child rights like bringing drop-outs back to school, polio awareness drives, H1N1 awareness drives, mobilising funds for children affected by North Karnataka floods immediately after the disaster hit, monthly meetings etc.

With no library within 15 kms of the village, there was a great need for one to be set up. With the help of the Hippocampus Reading Foundation and Child Rights Trust, a library has been set up on 14th August, 2010.

The link to the article in Deccan Chronicle covering this can be accessed here.

Our hope is for this initiative to reach all children in rural Karnataka and that they all have access to the joy of reading and learning.

You are free to drop by at the Chagaletti library anytime. Do get in touch with us if you would like to support this venture or get more details.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Campaign against Child Labour-K (CACL-K)*organised a protest on August 2 against a controversial circular brought out by a Bangalore high school about provisions in the Right to Education Act

The circular, pointing towards their discriminatory attitudes, states that admitting poor children (as part of the mandatory 25 % reservation in the Act) will be "detrimental to the psyche of all the children". The circular goes on to potray underpriviliged children in a distasteful manner by implying that they could beat up other children and misbehave with girls and the school will have to watch helplessly.

The circular reads:

Kindly do not ignore this circular as it affects your child's future directly

Any child will have to be allowed into school and share the classroom with your child. Eminent psychologists have said that this will be detrimental to the psyche of all the children.

Once this Act is enforced, another child could beat up your child, smoke on the campus, misbehave with a girl or a teacher and the school will have to watch helplessly.

The school has since apologised for bringing out the circular. But what is unfortunate is that this alarmist and discriminatory attitude extends to many private schools and is not confined only to this school.

CACL-K, in the light of these negative attitudes being displayed by many private schools, held a protest on M.G. Road, strongly condemning such institutes and individuals.

Children protesting on MG Road
While the Right to Education Act is far from being perfect and there are many gaps to be filled, it is sad that a move looking towards allowing every child a chance to education, irrespective of background and status, should meet with resistance.

*CRT is the Convenor of the Bangalore chapter of CACL-K.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Intern Speaks: Alexandra Schlossarek from Germany

I started my three-month internship with CRT in 2005 and it was the most interesting experience in my life. I had already known about some of the child issues from university, but working in an environment with so many like-minded people really changed my perspective.

Alexandra in a saree with the CRT team

During my internship I went to different workshops and took trips to the country side which was a great experience. I also participated in a South Indian meeting of different NGOs working with child rights which helped me understand the pressing issues for children's rights not only in Bangalore but for the whole of India.

I think that CRT is making a great effort to spread awareness for child rights and standing up for every child not only in India but in the whole world.