Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Schools roped in for civic action programme

Schools roped in for civic action programme

The Hindu Business Line

THE Bala Janaagraha programme in Bangalore has drawn4,000 children from 70 schools, over 200 teachers, and community members supported by corporate partners. The programme is meant to inculcate good citizenship among children through community actions. It also aims at increasing civic awareness and bringing together teachers, parents, corporates, colleges and other institutions to learn citizens' responsibilities in improving the environment.

Bala Janaagraha was started in 2002 by Ramesh and Swati Ramanathan with 170 children from five schools and other institutions. It was being run as a partnership between local communities, schools and Janaagraha, an NGO, and supported by many companies, institutions and volunteers.

Bala Janaagraha is a structured programme conducted over 15 sessions, with eight sessions held in classrooms during schools hours and is aimed at children from class six to eight.

Teachers participate in an initial training session on the content and methodologies of the programme. They, in turn, conduct the programme in the classrooms. Janaagraha is responsible for the programme design, overall planning and execution, while the partners sponsor various modules and conduct the programme.

The objective is to `Catch them young' to prepare them as responsible citizens by motivating them to participate in the civic issues, said Ms Sunita Nadhamuni, Coordinator of Bala Janaagraha.

"From reporting to authorities on a leaking pipe or a hanging electrical cable to taking community initiatives for crime watch, traffic patrol, maintaining clean sanitary neighbourhoods or in simply following the law scrupulously, we believe good citizenry is the key ingredient to healthy and vibrant cities," she said.


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