Monday, 16 December 2013


BREADS organized the inauguration of State Network of Child Rights Clubs under project CREAM – Child Rights Education and Action Movement on 29th and 30thNovember 2013. CRC leaders from 10 districts in Karnataka, accompanied by a supportive teacher from each district and CREAM team, all totaling to 84, had come together at Don Bosco Provincial House to share their experiences, learn from peers’ efforts and stage a network that will anchor efforts on a large scale.



This networking effort will help children understand the challenges and issues faced by children like them in different regions and explore options based on each others’ experiences. Prior to this state level network, district level networks and 3 regional networks had been formed.



On 29th, the children were given an opportunity to share their CRC experiences district wise. Facilitated by Fr Joy Nedumparambil, Executive Director – BREADS Bangalore, the children made the best of this opportunity expressing their concerns and obtaining clarity on the purpose behind establishing such a network. Surprisingly, the children headed off to little debates and discussions in between, curious about similar issues receiving different approaches in the project districts. Whether it was child marriage, child labour, access to quality education, the programme offered a canvas of opinions from children that enriched the overall experience for the staff as well. Later during the day, the children were divided into three groups and asked to deliberate on the following questions:

1.      What is the most important issue concerning child rights, according to you?

2.      Why is it important to address this issue?

3.      What can be done to address these issues through the State Network?

4.      What do you think should be the role of a State Network of CRCs?

Post these discussions, the members of the State Network were elected.



On 30th, the Network leaders – Mr Bharath Kumar (Bangalore) and Ms Spoorthi (Davangere) geared up to present the unanimous inferences from group discussions to eminent guests on board – Mr C G Hungund, Member, Karnataka State Human Rights Commission, Fr Edward Thomas, Member, Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Fr Koonan Thomas, Vice Provincial and Director – Youth Services, Bangalore Province, Fr Puthenpurayil Kuriakose, Head – YaR Commssion and Fr Joy Nedumparambil, Executive Director – BREADS Bangalore. Post the formal inauguration by lighting the lamp, Mr Bharath Kumar presented the group’s concern on multiple issues that affected children – Child sexual abuse, child marriage, female feticide, bonded labour, discrimination, trafficking. While Mr C G Hungund congratulated project CREAM for establishing this network on its anniversary, Fr Edward Thomas reiterated that children are equal and significant stake holders in protecting child rights. Fr Kuriakose, expressing his pride for these children said that they portrayed hope for many others who were deprived of their rights and insisted on the difference education can make. After Fr Koonan Thomas wishing BREADS to spread the message of CREAM across the nation, Fr Joy Nedumparambil briefed the audience on the genesis of CREAM and shared the obstacles faced in Bellary district for the implementation of Human Rights Education in schools. Ms Spoorthi felt that this stage offered an opportunity to learn about issues in other districts and promised to work for the betterment of children with support from all stake holders through CREAM. Teachers from the districts were also given an opportunity to share their experiences with CRCs and opinions on choosing the way forward. Their enthusiasm compelled BREADS team to declare that child friendly, proactive teachers from the project districts will be duly recognized. The 10 members of the network then came up on stage to plan campaigns on a specific issue for the year 2014. Out of school children and Child Marriage were chosen as the issues of concern and the children decided to organize 4 events at the district level (in 10 districts), 2 events at the regional levels and 1 mass campaign at the State Level in 2014, marking the 2ndanniversary of the project.


In effect, this programme once again outlined that what we were working for – Right to Participation for children – was making its visible impact.




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