The Mumbai Smiles’ children’s parliament begins
Children’s Parliament: arrival
The day began with the collection of the 35 boys and girls between 13 and 18 years old who were going to spend their day working on understanding their rights and how to defend them. These young people, selected during last few weeks from all the communities with which we work in Mumbai, eagerly awaited eight in the morning when they would begin their journey to the place of the day, the college of Social Work.
At nine in the morning everyone was already gathered and the session began with a good breakfast and tea, which would allow everyone to be ready and fit to participate and also get to know each other.
Sessions and dynamics
The first part of the session was focused on the knowledge of rights, define what a right is and the main international and Indian legal frameworks that contemplate them. From this more theoretical session, we continued with group dynamics that allowed debate and proposals to be made on:
- respect for rights in their communities.
- the relevant authorities to resolve such violations
- and concrete proposals for action
The boys and girls divided into groups made proposals about the problems that they think affect their communities badly:
- access to drinking water.
- the hygienic conditions of their neighborhoods
- the periodic demolition of their homes
farewell: punto y seguido
Finally, they took homework: visit the nearest police station; the city council district; the nearest public health center and other NGOs such as Mumbai Smiles, in the area, that can be involved in solving these problems.
There was also time to enjoy the food, the company and the surroundings. It was a great day! And we hope to soon be able to report that this team of young people has achieved some change in the direction they propose.