GUWAHATI, Sept 22 - Sishu Panchayat members organised a Sishu Sabha in Pub Mohura Gram Panchayat, Golaghat to share findings and recommendations on issues affecting children in their communities in the district, today.
Members of the Sishu Panchayat shared findings from the social audit conducted by the children and placed their recommendations before the Panchayat and other officials in the district.
It may be mentioned here that the Sishu Sabha was organised by the UNICEF Assam, with support from Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University, North East Social Trust and Sadou Asom Moina Parijat.
The Sishu Sabha is an opportunity for the members of Pub Mohura Sishu Panchayat to put forth their findings and recommendations on issues of children and adolescents from their Panchayat. The recommendations of the Sishu Panchayat members are based on their findings from home and school visits, and community resource mapping. More than 80 Sishu Panchayat members had been involved in the process of data collection along with the respective ward members.
Speaking on the occasion, Sangita Borthakur, Assistant Commissioner, Bokakhat, applauded the initiative and said that Sishu Sabhas are an important initiative to strengthen child participation and should become part of the Panchayat Raj institution structure.
The initiative, which started in six Gaon Panchayats of Bokakhat in Golaghat district earlier this year, focuses on two aspects � building capacities of children and adolescents to become more informed and articulate their concerns specifically in the context of five priority areas, like reducing maternal and infant mortality rates, protection of children from violence, etc.
The focus is to provide platforms to adolescent groups for creating awareness and advocacy and build their capacity to engage directly with decision-makers, at all levels.
Juri Das, president of Pub Mohura Gaon Panchayat, in her address, accepted the recommendations of the Sishu Panchayat and said that her Panchayat will be working on those recommendations.
Tahseen Alam, Communication Officer, UNICEF Assam said, �The recommendations by the children will help the Gaon Panchayats to develop a plan of action for the overall development of children in their respective panchayats.�
Tasaduk Ariful Hussain, chairperson of North-East Social Trust said in his presentation that �Sishu Panchayats are helping the Gram Panchayat Development Plan in many ways: first, it is bringing out issues of child protection, secondly, giving a voice and platform to children and thirdly developing the capacities of children to become more informed political leaders.�