"The World of Today: Challenges and Hopes"
Our youth leaders Lalita Duhariya and Kinsu Kumar from Bal Ashram Trust beheld the voices of millions of children holding dreams in their eyes at the 10th Global Baku Forum.
Lalita Duhariya, a 19-year-old girl, has been elected as National Bal Panchayat Sarpanch (Children’s Council President) from a small village located in Thanagazi-Rajasthan and Kinsu Kumar who used to wash cars with his father, was rescued as a child labourer.
Lalita and Kinsu participated in the 10th edition of the Global Baku Forum, from 9-12 March 2023 in Baku, Azerbaijan, under the theme “The World of Today: Challenges and Hopes”. The forum brings together more than 400 participants including current and former heads of state and government, Nobel Laureates, international organizations, and civil society.
About Lalita Duhariya
Lalita faced class-inequality at the age of 12, when she offered to help the mid-day meal serving person in school. The server refused to take her help because Lalita belongs to a lower caste (Schedule Caste).This incident outraged Lalita and she questioned the school authorities immediately.
A spark to stand-up against injustice and discrimination emerged stronger in her and she grabbed every single opportunity that came in her way to learn and fight against such issues. The ground-breaking model of our Bal Mitra Gram ™ gave Lalita and many girls like her a prospect to advocate for children’s rights and fight against discrimination. As an appointed Bal Sarpanch, Lalita led her way to many rallies and awareness campaigns and also re-enrolled 16 children in school. She organized, first ever communal lunch on Makar Sankranti as a step towards eradication of caste-based discrimination and promotion of equality & harmony in the community.
Lalita left no stone unturned to fight for children’s rights and alter the mindsets of the people from her village who had stereotyped girls as ‘Burden’ or a ‘Paraya Dhan’. Lalita shared, “I along with other Bal Panchayat members organise meetings twice a month to discuss challenges related to children and women in our village. We also organize meetings with Mahila Mandal and Yuva Mandal members to figure out a roadmap to overcome these atrocities. This ritual continues even today. ”
At the Education Panel of the Global Baku Forum, Lalita mentioned “there should not be any discrimination based on caste, class, gender. Every child is unique in his or her own way, we must give equal opportunities to children so that they can learn and thrive.“
Additionally, she highlighted the significance of Bal Panchayat and how it has been proven to be a successful model in disseminating leadership qualities among children. Also, she stressed upon the importance of the democratic system that gave voice to the young girls from her village.
Lalita is an Ashoka Changemaker and Reebok Fit to Fight awardee, and she dreams of becoming a teacher.
About Kinsu Kumar
Kinsu Kumar is 26 years old, working as the Project Officer at the Bal Ashram Trust. He started schooling at the age of seven after being rescued by activists from Bachpan Bachao Andolan. He completed his education while staying at Bal Ashram, a long-term rehabilitation centre in Viratnagar, Rajasthan.
Kinsu has participated and addressed his views related to the issues concerning children. He also has put forth his views to decision-makers at the European Union, the United Nations, the Global Child labour conference, the Vatican Youth symposium, and many other organizations. Kinsu has been working to advocate and raise awareness about the atrocities against children. He participated in the iconic Bharat Yatra organized by Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, and marched across India highlighting the issue of child trafficking and child sexual abuse.
At the 10th Global Baku Forum, education panel, Kinsu spoke about the significance of education. He mentioned “Education is necessary for children to become independent and is an effective tool to protect them from violence and exploitation” and further added “children are not meant to work in hotels, farms, mines and hazardous spaces.”
About the Global Baku Forum:
The forum was oranized by Nizami Ganjavi International Center (NGIC), the 10th edition of the Global Baku Forum, on 9-12 March 2023 in Baku, Azerbaijan, under the theme “The World of Today: Challenges and Hopes”.
NGIC holds Global Baku Forum every year, Nizami Ganjavi International Center (NGIC) is an international institution based in Azerbaijan, that celebrates the legacy of the great Azerbaijani poet and sage, Nizami Ganjavi, and promotes the participation of high-level eminent figures in the study of possible solutions for the pressing problems we face today.
The members of NGIC includes Muhammad Yunus Nobel Peace Prize Recipient (2006) and former PM of Israel Ehud Barak and many others.
The Board of Trustees (BoT) members of the NGIC under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan are the governing and decision-making body of the institution who are responsible for operational matters, defining its general policies, administration and the planning of its activities.
For more information about the Global Baku Forum, click here https://nizamiganjavi-ic.org/en/about