Children in an online interaction with people’s representatives raised issues like school education, online learning, missing sports practice due to closure of schools, violence, and increasing use of tobacco by children.
The young students sitting at their homes in rural areas raised several relevant issues in context with the prevailing Covid-19. While a few had their own mobiles, others used handsets of their parents for the online interaction. A few of them wanted schools to reopen so that they can go back and meet friends, share and learn, as they find online challenging due to low bandwidth or lower mobile coverage.
Adolescents from 25 districts like Rewa, Sheopur, Khandwa, Damoh, Umariya, Rajgarh, Jabalpur, Bhopal, Raisen, Niwadi, Tikamgarh, Datia, Aliarjpur and Harda took part in the online interactive meeting with elected representatives, member of legislative assembly from MP.
Ajay Vishnoi, former minister health, Jaivardhan Singh, former minister urban Development, Hiralal Alawa, Sanjay Yadav, Ashish Sharma, listened to these adolescents and responded to their questions.
Ajay spoke on the motivational aspect for adolescents in times which are tough and encouraged children to take up newer things including sports in Covid-19 times.
Jaivardhan spoke on the importance of initial years in life of the child and need to focus on health, nutrition and education. He spoke on the role technology is playing in today's world and encouraged adolescents to speak out and share.
There is a need to invest more on the education and nutrition sector, said Sanjay, MLA from Bargi, Jabalpur. He said he is going to make 30 schools as smart schools in his consistency. Ashish MLA from Khategoan, spoke on the efforts of the State, and need to focus on education, schemes of State Government for children and effort of State to respond to challenges.
Dr Hiralal Alawa, MLA from Manwar, said that we as representatives of people will use these voices into the State Assembly discourse and call for the need to focus more on tribal challenges.
As a way forward Nirmala Buch, President Child Rights Observatory said that we will collate all the voices of adolescents, share with them elected representatives and the State so that they can be responded to and will follow up on them. She stated at the start that these meetings are part of the process of work organisation does to bring voices of adolescents to the attention of decision makers.