The problem: no voice for the people leading to powerlessness.
The solution: forums where people can organize themselves and impact their environment and community together.
If people have power they will ensure that their problems are solved. To have power is to have an effective say. But to have any say you need a forum. And forums have to be small enough if the small voices of the “small” people are also to be heard, and linked enough if their voices are to have effective reach at ever wider levels. When we introduce neighbourhood-based small-sized parliaments to children, we introduce .a new culture of power-sharing that could lead to immense governance participation possibilities. We have experimented in residential neighborhoods and schools for nearly two decades in India.
Hundreds of thousands of neighbourhood units of women and also of general public are already organized and federated.
Nearly a hundred thousand children’s parliaments have been organized.
We want every tiny neighbourhood in the world resonate with initiatives to implement Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and that every child in the world is enabled to involve in proactive action for Sustainable Development Goals. But the neighbourhoods, especially children, do not have, on sustained basis, spaces, structures, forums or tools without which they cannot come together and act together. The forums available for them are mostly not on a sustained basis, and not small enough that everyone gets an opportunity to actively participate, and not inclusive enough.
We introduce also consent-based, not consensus-based, collective decision-making and sociocratic elections which could lead to deeper and less-divisive democracies tomorrow.
We give children through such a neighbourhood-based, small-sized multi-tier, bottom-up, inclusive, participatory, non-dominating, sociocratic parliaments, a vision and pre-taste of a world without frontiers, without divisive discussions and without war and defence expenses.
Please see our booklet: A Brave New World Fit For Children.
How we introduce Inclusive Neighborhood Parliaments (INCP) in schools
1. Make the school assemble and the Principal will introduce us.
2. We present INCP to the children.
3. Form Neighborhood based groups of around 30 children.
4. Train them to form Parliament by Sociaocratically electing their Ministers for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
5. Ask them to take up issues related to the SDGs in their neighbourhood.
6. Discuss and find out the solutions for the problems they actually are facing.
7. Pass resolutions declaring the steps to resolve the issues on priority.
8. The INCP headed by the Prime Minister will lead the children to the respective Government officials or NGOs wherever necessary to implement their resolutions.
9. Publish their success stories to reach the other INCPS.
Ravisankar: (President, NCN)
What makes this different
(1) It is neighbourhood-based where every SDG should be implemented to bring better lives of people. Neighbourhoods give people universally accessible forums to come together and contribute. A neighbourhood-based organization ensures inclusion of all.
(2) Our forums being small, normally of about thirty persons/families, ensures that even “small voices” are heard, and every child/person gets recognition and scope to grow.
(3) Our forums are federated at various levels of governance, giving scope for interaction with government and others at various levels. Our national child prime minister of India, a visually challenged girl, travelled five times to contribute at meetings at UN headquarters in New York and Geneva and submitted an appeal for a global parliament of children.
(4) It is sustained by success stories, the best being that of Kudumbashree, with its 286,000 neighbourhood forums linked at “ward” and local governance levels.
(5) Every thirty-children unit has 17 child-ministers to represent 17 SDGs, and these ministers get federated as theme-based “ministries” at various levels, gradually leading to a global bottom-to-top chain for each SDG.
(6) Our parliaments are cost-effective. They cost practically nothing at the base level.
(7) Our parliaments are hands-on training for proactive and collaborative citizenship.
(8) They initiate them to visions of global governance from below.