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Child Participation in India Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Shweta, India Jun 27, 2006
Child & Youth Rights   Opinions


• Life is unfair

• If I trust, I will be hurt

• Nothing is in my control, give up

• What is in the future?

• Why me?

• Nobody likes me

• I am not important to anybody

• My problems are routine and less important. I have to survived today. It does not matter what will happen tomorrow. Who has seen tomorrow?

• “I must have done something wrong to be hurt and punished like this”

These ways of thinking impact a person throughout his/her life and may come in the way of his/her development.

So what will Participation do?

• Facilitate social, cultural, and economic change by influencing attitudes and power structures in society. This is to make the society more inclusive, rights based and enabling.

• Fulfil the Fundamental Rights - especially, Right to Equality, Right to Freedom including Right to live with dignity (derived from the Right to Life and Personal liberty), Right against exploitation, and the Right to Constitutional Remedies.

• Increase the quality of life of children and young people to help them achieve their full potential

• To facilitate Good Governance Practices

• To make the policies and programmes more relevant and responsive to the needs of children and young people

• To make the programs for children more sustainable


With the current scenario and the need to evolve models of child participation based on mental health impact on children, it is necessary that the guiding principles be framed. It is very important that India awakens to the fact that we too need to develop Quality Standards on many processes. The goals of participation need to be understood by all in a common manner. We need to find a common platform rather than each of us thinking that "I know the best!" Let us remember that participation cannot be tokenistic. Let us remember that No Participation or Tokenistic Participation will come in the way of ensuring our fundamental rights. We all are the right holders, and we all are the duty bearers as well!

The articles/books/papers by Save the Children as well as by Saarthak have been consulted while developing this article. However, most of my article is based on the perspectives developed while working at Saarthak (India).

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Shweta has been working in the development sector for the last 6 years. Her association started when she enrolled herself in the Post Graduation course in Social work. Her perspectives have grown with her work at Saarthak.
Saarthak is a Non-Governmental Organization, working in the field of mental health.

Child Panchayats
jamal siddiqui | Aug 16th, 2006
it's a good one....! Do you know about "Bal Panchayats" here in rajasthan one of our partner NGO is working on it...it is also on similar lines of Child participation. How do you link it with mental health? that is not very clear to me...its about rights i think. what do you think???

rights and mental health
Shweta | Aug 17th, 2006
rights are linked very much with mental health. and violation of your right (including right to participate) imjapcts your mental health directly. You can look at the secion on "mental health imapacts of non particiaption". it breifly shares how when we are not able to participate..our thinking pattners get impacted. these thinking patterns only then start defining our personality.

vas | Aug 31st, 2006
I agree with you.at a flower stall i met gajanand ,a lad of 14 .he works in hismorning ,in evening works for the flower vendor .he dropped school at 11 years t share family burden.he has two unmarried sisters,one widow aunt,to young brothers to look after.14 is not the age to think about family burden.

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