Children’s Parliament, organized by Liberal Association for Movement of People (LAMP) was inaugurated by His Excellency Shri Viren J.Shah, Governor, West Bengal, in the lawn of Raj Bhawan, Kolkata on the 14th February, 2002 amidst great enthusiasm. About one thousand Children participated in the ceremony which was also attended by several dignitaries namely, Hon’ble Shri Biswanath Chowdhury Minister-in-Charge, Dept. of Women and Child Welfare & Social Welfare and Jails, Prof. Shashwati Ghosh, Dr. Gouripada Dutta, Shri Mohit Roy, Shri Hasanul Islam, Shri Swapan Mukherjee, Ms. Patricia, Project Officer, UNICEF. On the 15th and the 16th February, 2002 Children’s Parliamentary sessions were held at the pavilion Hall of the Rabindra Sarovor Stadium, Southern Avenue, Kolkata.
At the inaugural ceremony a sit-and-draw competition of the participant street children was held and the best three competitors were awarded prizes. Moreover, cultural expression of street children’s aspirations was presented and gift packets are given to all the Street Children participants.
The main objective of the Children Parliament was to hold elaborate discussions on various issues like, Education, Health, Shelter, Sports & Culture, Vocational Training, Child Rights as mandated by UNO and accepted by the Govt. of India.
The Parliament resolved to set up a co-ordinating organization termed “Sishu Jagat” for the street children. The committee consisting of 51 children, representing 31 voluntary organizations was formed. Shri Sujan Chakraborty was unanimously elected President of the committee. It was also decided that subsequently a working committee of 11 children would be formed.
The Children Parliament passed the following resolutions:
- The Street Children must have opportunity for education up to the secondary level.
- All children must be given vocational training.
- The Parliament is not against development of any area, but there must not be any eviction of squatters from government land without arranging their proper rehabilitation.
- The adult members of the families of Street Children must be given opportunity for work throughout the year, so that street children can be enrolled into full time education process.
- There must be an effective plan for providing health care for the Street Children.
- In cases of ill-treatment, torture of children, the offenders must be severely punished. National and State Commissions for children should be formed and they must keep a watch over the matter.
- Delinquent and misguided children must be brought under proper correctional process and for this purpose suitable reformatory asylum for them has to be established.
- National and State Commissions for children must be formed immediately and should ensure proper implementation and supervision of all development programmes for children.
- In all the Govt. and Non-Govt. homes for children more facilities must be made available for their proper growth and development.
Some organizational matters were also discussed and the following decisions taken:
- If and when 21 children jointly apply for membership, they would be recognized as a unit of “Sishu Jagat”. Annual membership fee for each member was fixed at Rs.3/-.
- Every member of “Shishu Jagat” shall be given a Photo Identity Card.
- If nay member faces any problem be should report it to “Shishu Jagat” which will take necessary action for the solution of the problem.
- Every member must attend a school for Street Children in his/her area.
Every Unit must meet once a month for discussions of its activities and the result thereof.
- Every Unit should make proper arrangements for sports and games of its members, publication of a journal and holding of cultural functions on days of public importance.
- Every Unit should keep a touch with the supporting Govt. and Non-Govt. institution of its area, local municipal Councilor and other distinguished persons.