Students pledge to engage in local governance, urge parents to do the same

In a two-day awareness campaign, school students talked about the importance of "active citizenship".

The civic club members of Cambridge School, K R Puram, Children’s Movement for Civic Awareness (CMCA) organised an awareness campaign on Active Citizenship, in a two-day campaign, last month.

Children signing a pledge to be active citizens. CMCA campaign at Cambridge School. Pic courtesy: CMCA.

The aim of this awareness camp was to spread the message that the time has come for us, the citizens of Bangalore to snap out of our apathy and engage in local governance

An awareness stall was set up in the school on the concept that for our city to transition from a ‘bad’ deteriorated city to ‘good’ one, the citizens have to go through a ‘transformation zone’ Basically a city is what the citizens are. The citizens have to shed of apathy, get themselves aware of the problems in their neighbourhood/city, understand their responsibilities as a citizen and participate in governance ie engage with the local government to start with as the local government touches their day today lives. Cooperate, complain and confront the government if necessary, to solve civic issues in their locality.

The BBMP central helpline number, BWSSB helpline number and auto complaints and child helpline numbers were also disseminated to all visiting the stall. The children urged the adults to feed these numbers in their mobile and start using them. The active citizenship scorecard was also administered on many adults. Questions like "Do you know you ward number? Who is the Corporator for your ward? Have you ever complained about any civic issues with the government agencies?" were asked. Many didn’t know…The visitors pledged that they will be active citizens of namma bengaluru and do whatever possible to participate actively in making this a great city, by signing a banner.

CMCA campaign at Cambridge School. Pic courtesy: CMCA.

An awareness movie titled ‘The right move – My Rights are my life’ was also screened. The movie reinforced the message on engaging with the government. The movie features a 14-year-old who takes it upon him get the road in his neighbourhood tarred. The movie was followed by a ten minute discussion.

The campaign was aimed at students from standard 3rd to 10th. The school also invited neighbouring government and private schools to participate in the event.  Close to 70 government school children participated on the first day. On the second day, parents were also invited.

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