Participatory civil society-led approaches to educational interventions for girl child labourers in India: the road ahead

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This paper analyses the role of civil society in advocating for the adoption of the Bill on the Right to Education in India. The author argues that recent successes in civil society mobilisation could form a good basis to implementing the right to education with the active collaboration and participation of the Indian government. Thus she demonstrates how civil societyûgovernment collaborative approaches have been able to tackle child labour and contribute to increasing access to educational opportunities for girls. In doing so, the author recommends: that there be an increase in sensitisation, mentoring, awareness-building, and in developing the participatory governance capacities of rights-unaware communities, while mobilising the masses to achieve reforms through advocacy; that there be a requirement for state bureaucracy to train staff in reforming legal and regulatory frameworks, and implementation systems; that at the local level designing methods of participation that incorporate new bargaining tools e.g. Public Interest Litigation (PIL); and working with women in æpositions of powerÆ as potential agents and champions of change. Some of the observations that have been made in the interim period following the passing of the Right to Education Bill include: a call from representatives from civil society to government to set up a 'National Commission on Education' comprised of experts, which would ensure a participation through involving civil society actors as an integral component in any planning and delivery to ensure implementation of the Constitutional provision; and the formation of state-level networks of civil-society organisations several Indian states to lobby the state governments to implement the principles of the Bill on the ground.

43 p.
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