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Sreenagar village is located about 4 km away from Surkhet market. It is situated at the foot of a hill which is a landslide prone area. The government had allocated this area to displaced families to put up their huts.

About 120 families live in this crowded locality. Most of them belong to Dalit community. As they have no means of stable income they go to town or to the neighboring countries in search of daily labor. People are poor, illiterate and yet the village is a center of antisocial activities.

Navjyoti Center has a child center for non-school going children and a child club which is very active. Though much development has taken place in this area, anti-social elements are on the increase. Unable to control the existing practices, child club members sought the help of other clubs. Navjyoti child network committee took it as a challenge. They made a plan to visit the village and to have interaction with parents and leaders of the area.

On March 4th representatives from 10 child clubs from different parts of Birendranagar Municipality gathered in Mangalgadi and walked in procession with their banner ” Campaign to minimize antisocial elements” organized by Navjyoti child network committee. Navjyoti staff guided the procession. On arrival at the village and to their surprise the villagers had cleaned the area, decorated it and were waiting at the entrance of the village to welcome them with Nepali band using five different musical instruments and girls dressed in traditional costumes.

The campaign was a great hit and first of its kind with the presence of about 500 people including local committee chairman, town committee chairman, political party leaders, journalists, managers of local radios, intellectuals, lawyer and representatives from 10 child clubs of Navjyoti Center. Interaction was organized by the chairperson and secretary of child network committee where they asked questions to parents, local committee leaders, political leaders as well as lawyer about their awareness regarding the happenings such as child marriage, alcoholism, gambling, education of children, budget allocation in local bodies for activities of children and its proper utilization, legal provisions regarding violation of child rights and future plans for children in the locality. They also made the participants to take an oath to do everything possible to stop anti-social elements as well as the use of children for purchasing alcohol and tobacco based articles.

Various sanctions have been formulated against violations of the oath. The day was filled with a cultural program from various clubs, speeches and commitments by invited guests and honoring of Navjyoti Center by a local chairman for its outstanding contribution. A sumptuous homemade snack was prepared and served for all by the locals. As the program ended child clubs, Navjyoti staff and invited guests were accompanied up to the entrance of the village with the same musical band as a sign of bidding farewell. All the children and the villagers have considered this occasion as a great beginning of to change in their lives and in the village.

Sister Rosita

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