Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah held an interactive session with the children from 30 districts
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is used to listening to complaints and questions from citizens of the state. But on Friday, there was a difference as children from all the 30 districts of Karnataka placed the issues close to their heart before their chief minister and asked him to help them out. The interaction was organised in Bengaluru's Vikas Soudha by the Karnataka Child Right's Commission and UNICEF.
One young girl, who had a tough time in a hostel, said "I was there for 15 days and my experience was too bad. There was no arrangement for girls to bathe." Mr Siddaramaiah turned to officials at the meet and said, "Visit it personally - and attend to the issues. Whoever officials are giving problems to the girls, take action against them."
In one case the chief minister immediately picked up the phone. A child had said that drugs were being sold next to his Bengaluru city school. On the phone, he instructed an official, "One child says next to their school, drugs are being sold. K Narayanapura. Immediately, carry out a special drive and personally attend to it. Stand there and get it done."
The children used the opportunity to raise a wide variety of issues.
Sushruta, from Hassan district said, "From the 1st to the 8th, students are giving places to students in private schools under RTE (Right to Education). But where should those students go for 9th and 10th?"
Prithi from Uttara Kannada had two requests. "The problem faced by our students in Uttara Kannada is sports events are performed in July and August... As it is coastal plains, rain is very heavy there. So I would ask our dear chief minister just to reschedule our sports events. And make it compulsory to install CCTV cameras in every single school to make Karnataka more safe," she said confidently into the microphone.
The children were excited by the interaction. After it was over one student, Amulya from Ramanagaram said, "I felt so good about meeting CM. I was seeing him earlier on television and mobile. First time I got chance to meet him. And to come inside Vikas Soudha. I am feeling very happy."
Dr Kripa Amar Alwa, Chairperson of the Karnataka Child Rights Commission said, "We will be making a booklet of all the questions for the chief minister - and we will be following up on the response to the issues that were raised."