The rural problems never grabbed attention of mainstream media and therefore an urgent need was felt to highlight the rural issues in front of general public. The best way we could do it was by developing children as ‘journalists’. In this process with initial support of UNICEF, we trained 340 government school going children on ‘journalism’, the number further turned into 600, covering 80 percent participation of girls. After several extensive trainings, we published a newspaper named as ‘Phool Jaise- Bacho Ki Pahel’. The newspaper covers different columns strategically designed by the editorial body of children, which includes the local news, stories, jokes, riddles and extinction terms.

The child journalists publishes interviews and recognizes the persons contributing through good work in interior areas like teachers using innovative pedagogies to teach, Aaganwadi worker sincerely trying to improve the health conditions of women and children etc. They also initiate different movements to promote awareness and bring positive change in the society. One of which was about environment i.e. saving the local river ‘Palakmati’. Excessive sand was taken off from the river which was obviously harmful. They continued publishing the news on front page, creating awareness among local public and seeking attention of government to take action. This resulted government to form a committee actively working to save ‘Palakmati’.

In 2001 Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam read the newspaper and invited child journalists to meet him in Raj Bhavan Bhopal. He appreciated the work done by the organization and children, infact he mentioned about this meeting in his book ‘Target 3 Billion’ (page number 190-192).

Former President Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam with a copy of the newspaper at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Delhi.

 

CASE STUDIES