Little Fingers to Report for Their Newspaper ‘Jagmag’

Shivram Bhagel, Jitendar Jatav, Bhuriya are young kids studying in class seventh and eighth in middle schools of the Guna district of India. They are part of the excited 30 young kids who were participating in children training for giving their opinion a voice and helping to them to become ‘child reporters’.

The training was held in their district on the 20th and the 21st of October 2010. All children part of this training are from class seventh and eighth of Government run middle schools in the villages of Tarawata, Imjhara and Dungsahara of Guna district of Madhya Pradesh. Guna is the district located in the State of Madhya Pradesh, in the central region of India. This children group is called ‘Jagmag Sena’, children group which promotes sanitation and hygiene among their peers. Groups like this are present in 25 schools of the Guna district. After this training they are planning to come out with their own monthly newspaper which will not only talk about issues of sanitation and hygiene but also cover various aspects which they feel and impact their rights.

In the two days training programme held they were trained in writing and reporting skills. They were made aware of intricacies of media, how newspaper is published, what is reporting and how they can write about issues which they feel are important to them. They also interacted with local media professionals for them to help them understand the importance of news. This training programme was organized by the UNICEF Office for Madhya Pradesh in partnership with Vibhavari and nongovernmental organizations and the district education department. This is a part of UNICEF initiative to promote child participation and give voice to children views and opinion.

Rajkumar from village Tarwata, who was one of the participating kids, wants to write about the problem of his village and he feels that the newspaper will help him to express his concern for his village. Rajni Ohja another student of class eight of the middle school from Tarawata Village questions why people spit on the road? Deepak Kopri of class 7th of middle school in Imjara writes about why some people in his village use a toilet while some do not.

These stories as being penned by children that are reflecting the local real issues which they face and many a times do not get covered in newspapers. Now they will have their own say, in their newspaper, which they have titled ‘Jagmag’. Sunil Chaturvedi who works with Vibhavari the NGO which is partner in this initiative says that the ‘children are excited and this training will not only help them in writing but will contribute in their overall development and give them exposure to much wider perspectives, which will boost their self confidence’.