BANGALORE: Bala Janaagraha, an initiative of Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy (JCCD), a Bangalore based non-profit organisation, aims to teach students about local governance, and the impact one’s own engagement can have on the communities.
It is designed to give students a sense of ‘civic pride’, which is believed as crucial to cultivate democratically engaged citizens, who are knowledgeable of their own rights and responsibilities as inhabitants of a democratic India.
The Programme demystifies local government, introduces the political relevance of the ward and stresses the need for citizen’s participation in local governance.
The Programme does this, first and foremost, by asking students to examine the functioning of specific sectors within their own municipalities — (Local) Government, urban planning, water, electricity, health, social justice and safety — to find areas of deficiency and possible solutions that can be used as remedy to these deficiencies in future.
The Programme is built around several in-class sessions conducted by facilitators which draw from an exciting new resource book entitled ‘Me and My City’. An online component including an ‘e-game’ developed to further enhance the classroom learning is also added. A civic fest is conducted at which students can showcase the theme-based civic project work that they have worked on throughout the year.