The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

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Citizens Association for Child Rights-CACR , is a network of like minded citizens concerned about ensuring child rights with specific focus on ensuring good quality of education and health for all children.

The network comprises of citizens who will visit neighbourhood municipal schools and clinics, and participate in various programmes like School Management Committees, Computer Literacy Programme and Virtual Classroom projects, etc. and oversee the overall functioning and quality of education in municipal schools.

We at CACR believe that regular interaction and discussions with the hierarchy of the Education Department and sharing of observations and suggestions with them periodically will ensure improved accountability and proper distribution of facilities and amenities for children enrolled in these schools.

Citizens Association for Child Rights very strongly believes in supplementing the system and does not believe in creating parallel systems. We believe that the urban privileged public has immense power to influence and impact the lives of affected children for the better through government interface and participation.

In each ward we are a group of like-minded people who volunteer for this issue.

The network is being formed in Mumbai in the following Municipal Wards:-

  • H {west }ward of Mumbai covering Bandra (w), Khar (w) and Santacruz (w)
  • M {west} ward covering Chembur, Ghatkopar and Mankurd
  • H { east} ward comprising of Bandra (e), Khar (e) and Santacruz (e) east including Kalina and Vakola
  • K {east} ward covering Andheri (e), Vile Parle (e), and Jogeshwari (e)
  • K {west} ward covering Andheri (w) and Vile Parle west including Juhu.

The effort is to build a locality based effort to address the issues affecting children and underprivileged communities.

Short Term Goals

  • Enrol children in BMC schools.
  • Ensure student retention in schools.
  • Extend civil rights (ration cards, housing etc.) to deprived communities.
  • Activate systems under the Right to Health.

Long Term Goals

  • Build a voice for affected children and community rights.
  • Build a network of urban citizens to be able to take on the role of demanding accountability and better advocacy.

PHILOSOPHY & RATIONALE

Education is a fundamental right in India and only the government has the resources and reach to take education to all children. Besides education rendered by the State is to be secular and a means of integrating society by working to bring children of all castes, classes, gender and religions together. Schooling provided by the State has a vision of creating a just society. Can you afford to undo this in today’s time?

Agree that the government schooling system is crumbling. But there is hope if we take action and participate in the efficient running of schools from infrastructure to learning. At least we can try and start from our neighbourhood municipal school. If we succeed, we would have strengthened the system and made it possible for many more children to experience formal education. If we fail, we know we at least tried to exercise our democratic right.

There can be no change without a dream, a hope and an effort. If one wants to ensure that justice is done then one has to participate as a ‘rights conscious citizen’ demanding what ought to be.

If you pay taxes and are concerned about roads, electricity, water, garbage disposal, infrastructure etc. then so also be concerned about education and all other child rights issues. It is our duty to build a child rights sensitive India.

CACR has taken on as its focus the ‘Right to Education’

Education became a fundamental right in the year 2001. It is the right of every child to have access to free, equal and good quality education! Several government schemes and initiatives have been taken up to ensure children go to school but opportunities and conditions of schooling remain unequal.

Let us work together with the Education Department to improve the quality of education in all BMC schools.

We have devised a set of ‘Monitoring Indicators’ that we use while we visit Municipal schools to collect data about the functioning of the school. This data is then shared with all members of CACR and with the Education department. Further action on effective implementation of schemes and ensuring quality education for all children is to be planned and implemented together.