Children are important stakeholders of our towns and cities. They too are custodians of our cities, as much as we adults are. They have the same right to a good quality of life as we adults do. The corollary to this therefore, is that they also have certain civic responsibilities. And, it is important that we sensitise them to these responsibilities early on in life.

Unfortunately, this is a fact we often forget.

Which is why we launched Bala Janaagraha. This is a civic education programme that aims to transform today’s children of urban India into informed and engaged citizens of tomorrow. It taps into the idealism and zeal of children, and uses them to improve the civic condition of their urban neighbourhoods.

Bala Janaagraha recognises that current civic education modules in Indian schools are bookish in approach and do little to stoke the fire of real civic engagement in children. And so, it uses a specially-developed curriculum to give children hands-on involvement with issues that urban neighbourhoods are facing today. The curriculum drives home the need for citizen-participation in addressing local civic issues and demonstrates the power of individual and collective effort. In doing so, it aims to create a whole generation of change agents.

By seeding principles of good citizenship in children, the programme aims to make them catalysts of change. It is hoped that they, in turn, will spread the message at home, at school and in their neighbourhood, thereby leading to a multiplier effect.

Bala Janaagraha engages with children of Class 8 in Government, aided and private unaided schools. It is conducted at no cost to the participating schools or students. From a modest start in 2002 (when it covered 170 children across 5 schools in Bengaluru), the programme has scaled up to 25 cities and has touched more than 85,000 students so far.

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Salient Facts

In the News


Students' interaction with volunteers

Volunteers from Dell go on a field visit

The Bala Janaagraha Civic Fests

Active participation by students from 25 cities

Video Highlights

bullet1Watch Swati Ramanathan and Ramesh Ramanathan, Co-Founders of Janaagraha, talk about the birth of the Bala Janaagraha programme.

bullet1Watch this short video to see what Principals and teachers have to say about Bala Janaagraha.