Berhampur: Children from 30 slums in Berhampur practised journalism to ‘make their voice heard’ specifically on issues of their living neighbourhood. Xmas vacations made children and child clubs to engage, with an innovative activity to report their inner feelings and expose their inherent qualities of reporting to an activity, issues, their neighbourhood situation and their ambitions.
Children’s voice hardly heard, published in public forums and they even don’t get a chance to speak their feelings and what they think. And their participation is very limited in their communities and cities because they are invisible to the society, community and above all to the government. Article 17 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) acknowledges the important function performed by the mass media and encourages media organisations to disseminate information of social and cultural benefit to the child and to develop appropriate guidelines for ‘the protection of children from information and material injurious to his or her well-being’.
Children and child clubs are in the process of learning and sharing their views and opinions through variety of reporting actions like writing small poems, tiny essays, drawings, testimonies, pictures of their slums and funny things. This brings a lot of interest among the children and they are truly enthusiastic to do this repeatedly in their neighbourhood. Today the child club members demonstrated their potential expression skills through sticking their tiny writing pieces in public walls in 15 selected slums in Berhampur city. In this edition child club members decided to focus on water issues like scarcity of water and poor water supply. Community leaders and children inaugurated these pieces in their respective slums with a gathering of slum communities. The wall magazine is named as “Amma Kahuchhu Aama Katha” published at Gramdevati Bauri street, Goudabandh street, Lanjipali Telugu street, Dhimira Bauri street, Hanuman Nagar canal huda, Jagannath Nagar, Raghupati Nagar, Ambapua, Old Berhampur, KhodasingI new Bauri street and Khodasingi old street. Child federation members decided to publish the wall magazine during coming days in coming days. The magazine will be published once in each month in all the 30 slums. Previously it was decided to publish in each 15 days but due to class room and tuition education and home work burden the children decided to publish once in each month.
It is noted that Youth for Social Development (YSD) working with more than 2000 children in 30 slums in Berhampur since 2012. YSD able to form 27 child clubs and a city level children’s federation. Children are engaged in doing variety of activities in their neighbourhood. YSD has been working to ‘make Berhampur a child friendly smart city’ and to ensure government should provision basic services to the children living in urban poverty and ensure children participation in city planning, governance and development.
Child club members such as Bala Das,Smruti Sahu, Pinky Das, Muna Das, Suraj Das, Rinky Patra, Mamali Das and Radha Das took actively participation and from YSD Chandan Sahu, Sujata Bisoi and Sasmita Behera facilitate child federation members to make wall magazine for all.