“Last summer, about 400 [of us] gathered at the Central Plaza of sector 17 Chandigarh for an unusual activity. It was one that I wouldn’t normally associate with traditional schooling. Fancy us children taking to the streets demanding our Right to Education and that to Health! Imagine our feeble voices opposing governments for the misuse of funds dedicated to the same! The immediate reason for our rally was the fact that 1.5 million euro that had been initially devoted to the Education budgets are now being used to felicitate the Indian Cricket team. We feel that such a move is unethical… …Children came out in cricket attire with posters and musical instruments. A boy from a Dalit background introduced his life story and read the declaration. It read, “We are the children of India. We are not voters but we believe that the voices of children can be stronger than the votes of adults. We ask for your support, your assurance that our future is India’s first priority!” This experience sure gave us a taste of the power of our collective voice.”

– Durgesh Kumar Atwal (student at St Johns Christian Brothers College in Chandigarh, India and a member of the Nine Is Mine Campaign Group)

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