Snippets of Change: How One Teacher Got Kids to Care About Democracy

 Logammal is a trainer in the Tamil Nadu Federation of Childrens′ Parliaments

Logammal is a trainer in the Tamil Nadu Federation of Childrens′ Parliaments

Logammal is one village school teacher establishing Children Parliaments all across Tamil Nadu to awaken childrens’ sense of civic duty and responsibility. One obvious question to her was: how to make such education financially sustainable?

Logammal’s dream is to empower youth to participate in village governance. Logammal is training kids on social issues, elections, meetings, representation, and checks and balances. She is preparing them to take part in actual Neighbourhood Parliaments and official community decision making – not show pieces like some Children Parliament sessions run by schools.

Recently, Logammal connected with a group of teenagers in Dharmapuri who wanted to start a children’s parliament, but once the donor funds from their local NGO ran out the program had to stop. We all know the story, right? Depending on grants is unsustainable: the end of the grant means the end of impact. Right? Here is what Logammal shared with her incubation team at UnLtd Tamil Nadu:

I received a call from a group of school kids from Dharmapuri asking me to come and train their children’s parliament. I replied that I had no budget. Then the children said they would add up their savings and pay for my bus fare and accommodation! I was very touched.”

Logammal

No NGO help, no donor agency, no government, or adults were involved. Gijs Spoor, Ashoka Fellow and Founder of UnLtd Tamil Nadu says, “ As an incubator we were struck by these 14 year old children’s greed to learn, and more over about a topic as abstract as democracy and governance! So much for our conventional wisdom about the demand for civic education!”

UnLtd Tamil Nadu searches for and selects the most innovative game changers (like Logammal) in Tamil Nadu, and gives them the suport they need to grow and thrive. In order to search, select, and support more remarkable people like Logammal UnLtd Tamil Nadu need support. Watch UnLtd Tamil Nadu’s video to learn more about the movement.

 Kids participating in Childrens′ Parliament

Kids participating in Childrens′ Parliament