Migrant Children To Be Part Of ‘Balasabhas’ In Kerala

Balasbhas are an effort to empower migrant children.

Thiruvananthapuram: Children of migrant labourers, who come to Kerala in search of jobs, will soon be part of ‘Balasabhas‘ under state-run women self-help group

‘Balasabhas’ are gatherings of children to empower them collectively and ensure their participation in the democratic space.

Kudumbashree has inducted 40 such children in the newly set up ‘Balasabha‘ at Binanipuram in Kodungalloor panchayat of Ernakulam district, as part of efforts to empower migrant children.

Kudumbashree Executive Director S Harikishore IAS said children of migrants working in construction and other sectors in the locality were included in the group.

“The objective of the initiative is to improve the academic and extra curricular skills of migrant children and improve their personality capabilities,” he said.

Children, belonging to the age group from 5-18 years, were inducted in the new ‘Balasabha.’ It is expected that the participation of migrant children, hailing from various states, in the activities of the Sabha would give them an opportunity to mingle with native children and thus improve their language skills.

A full time resource person was also appointed to coordinate various activities of Balasabha, the official said.

Kudumbashree has also plans to set up more such Balasabhas in Perumbavoor, a town with largest migrant labourers population in Ernakulam district.

Thousands of migrant children are studying in various schools in Perumbavoor and attempts would be made to induct them also in Balasabhas in the next phase, Harikishore added.

Kudumbashree had conducted a state-wide campaign last January to include migrant women in its neighbourhood groups.

Balasabha is envisaged for the overall development of children through addressing their social and emotional needs and enhancing their creativity and leadership skills.

At present, there are 66,743 Balasabhas, covering 10,59,283 children, across the state.