Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 8:
Seven children from Odisha, who participated at Children as Actors for Transforming the Society (CATS) Conference held at Caux, Switzerland from July 25 to August 2 were felicitated today by the mayor of Bhubaneswar Ananat Narayan Jena, a release from Humara Bachpan said.
The children were felicitated with certificates and gifts by the mayor of Bhubaneswar in presence of their parents.
The group of children who participated in this conference were Jasmin Nissa, Rupak Gouda, Sasmita Mohanty, Sonalisa Panda, Sagarika Das from Bhubaneswar and Subhadra Sabar and Mohit Sabar from Berhampur.
“These children have made us all proud by participating in the international conference. They have shown that child participation is an imperative need for attaining sustainable changes. I hope and wish such opportunities are given more to children to help them become better child leaders and bring sustainable changes in their communities”, the Mayor of Bhubaneswar Mr. Ananta Narayan Jena said on this occasion.
These young child advocates- from Bhubaneswar and Berhampur- were part of the Humara Bachpan Campaign, a national campaign for safe and healthy environment for children living in urban poverty. The program was supported by Netherlands-based grant making organisation Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF), which works on issues pertaining to young children in India.
This conference was designed for children, young people and adults who are engaged in promoting the participation of children (upto the age of 18).
The theme of this years’s CATS conference was Children as Advocates for Change.
“It was an eye opener. We got a platform to represent our country where we could share our ideas on how our dream neighbourhood can be created,” said thirteen year old Jasmin Nissa, child leader from Humara Bachpan Campaign, who
lives in the slum next to the Science Park here.
The child leaders spoke about the discrepancies between the city of Geneva and Bhubaneswar in terms of sanitation and public transport. They pointed out that the city of Bhubaneswar should emulate such planning systems which would make Bhubaneswar a much cleaner and child friendly city like Geneva and Caux.
“We want the city of Bhubaneswar to be like the next Geneva.”, Rupak, a child leader from Science Park slum said.
At Caux these children from Odisha won the hearts of the many participants as they shared their issues and work that they were doing in their communities for inculcating child friendly components in urban policies.
They were widely applauded for their initiative and were encouraged to continue with their fight as child advocates to bring in sustainable changes in the society.
Ruchika Social Service Organization also gave gifts to congratulate the child leaders at Felicitation Ceremony. Mr.Nishikanth Mishra , Chairman of Dream Team Sahara was also present at the event along with Mr.Debashish Seth, Corporator of Unit IX, Bhubaneswar.