VIMUKTI Pothnal (Raichur District):
Over 328 children from the 11 villages that come under the Manvi
Taluka limits participated in the “Makkala Grama Sabha” (children’s
gram sabha) at two panchyats in different places demanded immediate
intervention of officials concerned in redressing their grievances.
By successfully listing out problems being faced by children,
especially those living in rural areas, these children became a role
model for their counterpart in other parts of the Taluka.
The children, guided by the non-governmental organizations Vimukti
Charitable Trust (VCT) and the Concerned for Working Children had
made all efforts to make the gram sabha a grand success.
The Gram Sabha started with the prayer song by a group of children.
The meeting was chaired by Mr. Amarappa Public Development Officer
Gram Panchayath, Utaknoor. He said it was important that the State
Government conduct capacity building programmes to equip panchayats
and officials and all civil society groups which would be engaged in
ensuring that the children’s gram sabhas realized their full
Utaknoor Gram Panchyat President Mr. Govindappa, Mr. kuber high
school head master, Mr. Sadashivappa Tadkal head master, Anganvadi
teachers, Vimukti staff heard the grievances of the children.
Delivering the keynote address, Vimukti Director detailed the need
and importance of conducting such gram sabhas. The children raised
issues such as problem of drinking water and lack of sanitation
facilities in their villages. They also brought to the notice of the
authorities issues such as child marriage and child labour that were
prevalent in the villages. Problems being faced by people in rural
areas, especially school children, owing to the failure of
Electricity Supply regularly dominated the proceedings.
The authorities expressed their helplessness over sorting out the
problem of power supply as the Government had to deal with it. They
gave an assurance that in the next action plan of the GP, some
percentage of the funds would be used for children’s welfare
The Panchayat authorities assured the children of sorting out
problems regarding drinking water and sanitation facilities. Not
satisfied with oral assurances, the children sought an
acknowledgement from the authorities for having received their
complaints and wanted them to fix a deadline to solve the problems.
The authorities told the children that they would come back to them
after presenting the issues before the departments concerned.
Vimukti staff took great step to bring back the dropouts and child
laborers to schools. To achieve this, they planned strategies like
sensitizing the parents about child rights and the importance of
At the end of Grama Sabha, the Vimukti collected opinions of
children who attended it. A primary school student, Suresh from
Uataknoor village said that - Till now we used to share our problems
only in front of our parents but after participating in this Grama
Sabha, I got the confidence that I can share my problem in front of
so many people and I am hopeful about getting solutions for our
problems. - He opined that after the implementation of the Child
Rights Grama Sabha, children need not feel inferior and suppress
their feelings and opinions.