Bala Janaagraha Civic Fest Saw Online participation of 450+ Students

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Bala Janaagraha Civic Fest Saw Online participation of 450+ Students

Mangaluru: From innovative methods to manage waste in cities to creating an inclusive society for those with disabilities, the 7 th Edition of Bala Janaagraha’s Our City Our Challenge saw students submitting innovative projects that aim to resolve social, environmental and civic issues around us.

On June 11 th , Saturday, the young change makers were celebrated at Bala Janaagraha’s #CivicFest, an online fiesta attended by over 450 plus students’ pan-India. The event also marked the valedictory of the six-month Our City Our Challenge, with 73 of the 1389 projects being picked as winning projects. Winning projects were selected based on the type of issues picked up by children, magnitude of efforts taken by the young change makers to resolve them and the quality of civic engagement undertaken by them to become influencers and create awareness on the specific issues they tried to address.

Some of the best projects included those aimed at solving waste management issues in cities. Bengaluru’s waste issue often hits headlines. Hemapriya B S, Ankitha Nayana Raj, Nehal Shetty, Anvita R and Saanvi K.S landscaped their neighbourhood to understand the percentage of citizens following the process of waste segregation in their neighbourhoods TG Layout and Maruti Nagar.

They accompanied BBMP Pourakarmikas daily, during the morning waste collection routine and advocated the importance of waste segregation to residents handing over mixed waste. In 32 days, these awareness drives started showing results and now the Pourakarmikas report that almost every household segregates waste at source. Meanwhile, Aarav Jain and Adhyayan Sharma from Learning Paths School, aimed to solve the overflowing garbage bin issue. Through their project ‘Garboball’ they created an innovative bin which compresses waste into sheets and creates more space in the bin. Also, by installing netted hoops around the bin, they ensured that waste does not drop on the streets.

Likith S N, Aditya S Uranakar, Varun V Javagal and Adarsh Jadekar of 8th standard in BEL Vidyalaya (CBSE) worked to make streets safe for visually impaired people. They created an instrument which creates a buzzing sound with light indicators, which alerts people they are near a blind person, so that they can make their way and also offer help.

Niranjan J, Nanda Kishore D, Nithin Kumar Reddy. S and Mithun, 9th graders studying in Sujana Convent School, Bengaluru, built a prototype streetlight which works on light sensors and automatically turns on and off. “Quality of life in cities will be possible only when citizens take charge. Quality is not an accident. It is an outcome of consistent, intelligent, constant effort. Our education system must embed lessons that make our youth responsible so that they will shoulder the responsibilities and contribute to nation-building,” said S Kannan, Principal, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya , Bengaluru

“This is the seventh year of running the Our City Our Challenge initiative and what makes Janaagraha pursue the initiative with the same passion is the manner in which children respond to the initiative. Children come with absolutely no baggage which we often see in adults and hence the approach used by them to resolve their local civic issues is refreshing. The last two years has been particularly tough on children and yet the enthusiasm with
which these students have participated in the challenge initiative makes us believe that, with a little guidance and nudge, children are truly on the path to become active and responsible citizens in their communities” said Shivkumar Menon, Head, Civic Learning, Janaagraha

“The solution lies in everything we do and our choices. In the next 10 years, we need to bring about a change. We need to create examples that can be taken forward. Currently, the way we live, it seems we are at a war with our planet. It needs to change. We need to live in sync with our planet. It’s time to say enough. Everyone has a role to play. We need to change the direction of how we live and operate,” said Sameer Shisodia, CEO, Rainmatter

“For me, it’s a day of great hope and optimism. Each student here has taken the lead to take up challenges such as climate change, gender inequality, health, and sanitation issues etc., and find a solution to these. Through the Bala Janaagraha programme we aim to foster voice and agency for youth and children. We need new ideas, new leadership, and new initiatives to tackle challenges around us. We are proud to associate with our young change- makers who are taking up initiatives to improve the quality of life in our cities and build a healthy planet,” said Srikanth Viswanathan, CEO, Janaagraha.

The program was successfully executed with the support of Cisco and Rainmatter Foundation. In a collective effort, the 4696 participants of Bala Janaagraha’s ‘Our City Our Challenge’ interacted with over 15,291 citizens to understand their grievances and concerns, including community leaders and local governance officials. 482 teams used technology for innovative solutions. 305 teams met local government officers and 392 teams met other authorities to discuss issues and ideate solutions.

Top 5 Topics Chosen :
Waste Management – 347 projects
Road Safety – 225 projects
Covid Management – 162 projects
Strengthening Local Governance – 42 projects
Climate Change – 95 projects

School Projects No of Students

Army Public School K.Kamaraj Road – Bangalore 147 326

Little Flower Public School(ICSE)- Bangalore : 65 250

Chinmaya Vidyalaya – Attukkal – Trivandrum : 64 237

Sri Vidya Kendra – Bangalore : 60 223

Navodaya Kishore Kendra – Bangalore : 54 220

About Bala Janaagraha :

BalaJanaagraha is one of the flagship programs of Janaagraha. Since its launch in 2002, the Bala Janaagraha programme has engaged around 5 lakh students across grades 6th – 8th in 800+ schools in 29 cities. The programme design and construct have been planned to enable skills such as critical thinking and reasoning capacities, collaboration, multidisciplinary thinking, deliberation, and bridge‐building among others. While the content
promotes activity-based and experiential learning, the civic project activity aims to make children think beyond symptoms and about root causes, engage with their local communities and feel empowered to be a changemaker while also building in students critical skills for their future.

About Our City Our Challenge :

The 7th edition of Our City Our Challenge this year was launched on October 2, 2021. Students between grades 6-12 were given time till March 31, 2022, to plan and execute projects. The students were asked to work on topics such as Road Safety, Climate Change, Local Governance, Water Conservation, Waste Management, COVID-19 issues, or any other issue to bring about a positive impact. With the guidance from their teachers and mentors from Bala Janaagraha constantly following up with the progress, the challenge received interesting entries. Students submitted their projects through , a portal designed exclusively for OCOC.

The project submissions led to a three-level evaluation process, thereby shortlisting 73 teams consisting 245 students. The maximum submissions were received from Bengaluru (1064 projects) followed by Trivandrum (110 projects) and Tumkur – (44 projects)

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For further details contact: Mahalakshmi B 9986016557

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