In a first, the inmates of Snehalaya, the shelter home for children in Chandigarh, cast their votes Saturday to elect a Bal Adalat for themselves. The committee will come into force on February 1.
The idea of constituting a Bal Adalat was floated by the Child Welfare Committee. “The Bal Adalat will go a long way in helping students to understand how they can themselves go about settling their differences amicably,” said Neil Roberts, Chairperson of Child Welfare Committee.
“We also want the children to understand how a democracy works. We want them to grow up to be responsible citizens,” added Roberts.
On Saturday, elections were held for five posts in the Bal Adalat, for which over 300 inmates of Snehalaya cast their votes. The results of the elections will be announced Monday.
An inmate of Snehalaya, who is running for Chairmanship, said, “This initiative is interesting, and will go a long way in providing us a platform to voice our concerns to the authorities. Also, it feels like we can also have a say in what we deserve.”
The Bal Adalat will comprise one chairperson and one representative each from the four blocks of Snehalaya. Two girl representatives will be elected from Blocks C and D, and two boy representatives from Blocks A and B. The committee will have a tenure of three months, after which fresh elections will be held. The members will meet every Friday to discuss issues of inmates.
“I have always wanted more sports facilities at Snehalaya. Maybe, now we can together to make it happen!” stated an elated inmate of Snehalaya, after having cast his vote.