Duni declared first child-friendly ward of Achham

Published On: January 7, 2019 11:30 AM NPT By: Khamma Khatri

ACHHAM, Jan 7: Duni village of Chaurpati Rural Municipality-6 of Achham was declared the first ward with child-friendly local governance in the district and the second such village in Sudurpaschim State, following the adoption federalism by the country. 

Duni has met all the requirements to gain this status, according to the rural municipality. The decision was made following an inspection by the District Coordination Committee (DCC). Any ward or local unit which achieves desirable progress on at least 39 indicators related to the development, protection and meaningful participation of children in terms of local governance can gain this status.Since the formation of the local government, the elected representatives of Duni had been trying to make it the first village with child-friendly local governance in the district. Sudurpaschim's Social Development Minister Krishnaraj Subedi officially made this declaration on Saturday.

Duni Chairperson Mane Saud says that the ward has achieved desirable progress on altogether 41 indicators. All institutional schools in Duni have child-friendly toilets and drinking water taps, a prerequisite for child-friendly local governance, according to Subedi. Similarly, the participation of children in school management committees has been made mandatory. In addition to that, the representatives of child clubs have been allowed to put forward their views at public gatherings and formal events.

 Not just that, the four institutional schools in the ward have a boy and a girl students in their management committees. The seven children clubs in the ward have been actively involved in awareness campaigns to abolish child marriage and Chhaupadi.

Angeela Saud, vice chairperson of a school-level child club and member of school management committee, informed Republica that child marriage and Chhaupadi are two major challenges in the village. She, however, added that child marriage has been declining of late. She also said that her club has succeeded in preventing many child marriages so far.

According to ward chief Saud, Save the Children and Working for Access and Creation (WAC) Nepal provided financial and technical assistance for the success of the 'child-friendly campaign'. The rural municipality has a five-year strategy to curb child marriage and Chhaupadi. Harka Bahadur Saud, chairperson of Chaurpati, informed Republica that the local unit has sanctioned a budget of Rs 7.5 million for conducting various programs to check child marriage and Chhaupadi during this five-year period.

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