Bala Janaagraha is a practical civic education programme which aims to empower school children in urban India with civic knowledge, skills and values and a sense of ownership and responsibility towards their society. It informs students of their rights and responsibilities as citizens, and brings to life the functioning of local governance by stressing the relevance of the ward. In doing so, the programme aims to create a new generation of change agents – the custodians of our future communities.
Quarter two, 2012 was a remarkably busy and productive time for the Bala Janaagraha programme. Final scaling efforts resulted in an unprecedented 146 partner schools signing onto the programme across 5 cities, encompassing about 10,300 students. The programme was also bolstered by the recruitment of four new facilitators.
The second quarter saw significant leaps forward in the programme's reach thanks to the newly-instituted franchise model. The programme was implemented for the first time in Pune and Ludhiana via a partnership with Takshila Education Society that runs the Delhi Public School (DPS). Likewise, an historic MoU signed with EduMedia, allowed Bala Janaagraha to be implemented in 11 new schools in Bangalore and nine new schools in Hyderabad. A qualitative audit to obtain feedback from students, principals, and EduMedia facilitators was conducted with very impressive and heartening results.
Bala Janaagraha was awarded a generous donation from Dell Corporation in quarter two. This included a cash component as well as an in-kind donation of 44 desktops for installation in less-privileged partner schools. These PCs will help students access the programme's E-module for the first time.
DPS Patna conducted its civic fest during quarter two (the school's academic session differs from Bangalore). Student presentations were nothing short of exemplary, with one group even managing to interview the Chief Minister of Bihar in relation to their civic project on urban roads. Upon hearing their concerns, he promised action would be taken, and this was later followed up by the Road Construction Department Secretary who allocated 60 lakh rupees to straighten and widen the road, and ensure proper drainage.
The third quarter will see the selection of school-level civic projects for the mini civic fest to be held in December. These events will generate the participants for the Civic Fest Finals in January. The programme will also focus on continued delivery of the Bala Janaagraha E-Module throughout December. Finally, the Bala Janaagraha management team will conduct feedback surveys with key stakeholders – students, principals, volunteers and facilitators – to assess the health of the programme.
Deccan Herald newspaper has given Bala Janaagraha a dedicated half - page space every week Friday in the student NIE edition for articles, quiz, civic issues, students / BJMs feedback etc. for 52 weeks.
Below are a few issues published in this quarter.
July - Issue 3
on 3 July, 2012
July - Issue 5
on 17 July, 2012
August - Issue 10
on 21 August, 2012
DPS, Patna Civic Fest - Comments from Chief Minister, Bihar
Distribution of Dell systems to Government model PS - Mallasandra
Distribution of Dell systems to schools personally by programme manager - Valli Narasimha
Children learning from the E-module (EduMedia)
EduMedia School Partner Facilitator - Prema at Srirama Vidyalaya
DPS, Patna Civic Fest - various children projects