Making the Right to Education Act a Reality

Common Cause launched its ambitious booklet in Hindi ‘Humara School, Humari Rakhwali,’ in July, 2018, aimed at empowering the members of the School Management Committees (SMCs) to improve community participation in the running of schools, particularly in slums and urban villages.

This exercise was undertaken to make SMCs equal partners in school development and to strengthen the hands of those NGOs who are working towards the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act. The Common Cause team started this initiative owing to a void in this space. It began work on the booklet by taking part in the SMC Convention organised by the RTE Forum, where over 400 SMC members had participated. Subsequently, the team held one on one meetings with school principals and local MLAs, so as to drafts a simple yet imaginative booklet for SMC members. The idea was to acquaint the members with their rights and duties.

Common Cause raised funds for this initiative through a crowd funding platform an d social media convergence forums like Reddit AMA. The process of producing and distributing the booklet has been an incredible learning experience for an organisation that has never worked directly in the domain of RTE before. The booklet’s simple and fun illustrations and relevant information for SMC members, has been received with great enthusiasm.

SMC Booklet Distribution

Common Cause has participated in several SMC meetings in Delhi, using these occasions to interact with SMC members and distribute around 1030 booklets so far. These exercises were undertaken in association with several NGOs working across Delhi. We partnered with RTE Forum, Samarthya, Josh and AV Baliga Memorial Trust for spreading awareness about our manual, and received enthusiastic response. Some of these SMC meetings were held in far flung areas of Delhi including Saboli Village in Gokulpuri, Narela Sector VI and Holambi Kalan in Outer Delhi as well as in Trilokpuri in East Delhi. The Indian Social Institute in Lodi Road, too, played host to a similar event in collaboration with the NGO, Josh.

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