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TEACHERS WHO OPPOSED CHILDREN PARLIAMENT NOW WELCOME CHILDREN'S PARLIAMENT- CR PALEM, BOGOLE MANDAL, NELLORE DT.
By Fr Bellamkonda Sudhakar
Hyderabad, Aug. 10. The Children's parliament at CR Palem (Bogole Mandal Nellore Dt.) is in the dalit hamlet. The children attend the local government school. Some of them are in the high school. The teachers did not show any appreciation of the Children's Parliament when it was started. They were of the opinion that it was distracting the children from their studies. They used to discourage the children from participating in the Parliament meetings. But today the sarpanch, the villagers and the teachers have high regard for the children's Parliament. There are many more children wanting to become members of the Parliament.  
The high school at CR Palem, Bagole, Nellore had no drinking water facility in the campus for a long time. After the midday meals the children who had not brought water used to go to nearby houses to get water. The teachers did not think of remedying the situation. The students too got accustomed to living with the problem.
In the Children's parliament meeting, the education minister brought a report on the water problem in the school. Out of the many problems the Prime Minister N. Sai Lakshmi selected this problem for discussion. Many members suggested that they should approach the sarpanch of the village to get a water connection to the school.  A resolution was passed to request the sarpanch for drinking water for the school.
In the beginning the sarpanch did not pay heed to this request by children. The teachers advised the children to concentrate on the studies and not waste time on such pursuits. But the children insisted and repeated the request to the sarpanch a third ...fouth time. Finally the sarpanch Mr. Poliah relented and agreed to get the water to the school.
Finally on the children helped the plumbers to lay the pipes and set up the tap. When the water started flowing  everyone, not only used the water but also appreciated the persistent work done by the members of the children's Parliament. Though the children met with opposition and discouragement from several sections including the teachers, they succeeded in getting the water to the school. Today the sarpanch, the villagers, the teachers have high regard for the children's Parliament. There are many more children wanting to become members of the Parliament.  
''Children's parliament is a forum for children to exercise their ''Right to Participation''.  ''Participation'' is the core of democracy''. By participating in the development of the neighborhood, children practice ''citizenship'' and qualify to be full fledged citizens.


Usually, around thirty children (6-14) in the neighborhood form into a group under the guidance of a child-friendly adult. They elect a prime minister, a speaker, a home minister, a health minister, an education minister.........as many ministers they choose to have. They meet once a week to discuss the development of the village particularly the children of the neighborhood.  
The prime minister is the leader; the speaker is responsible for keeping the parliamentary procedure in the discussions. The Home minister gives a weekly report on the violations /progress of child rights, the health minister reports on the health of children, the education minister on the progress made by children in their studies................... After all the reporting is over, the prime minister selects a topic for the discussion by the house. All members express their opinion on this topic and a resolution is drawn up. An action plan is made to implement the resolution.  
Bosco Seva Kendra has organized over 200 Children's parliaments in Andhraparadesh.
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