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Barefoot Photographers :: Photo Essay :13:

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Photo by Barefoot Photographers of Tilonia
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Photo by Barefoot Photographers of Tilonia
Copyright &#169 2008 Barefoot College, Tilonia, India

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13 of 15
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The Children’s Parliament
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The night schools are exposing rural children to the concept of democracy and the importance of elections, and responsible citizenship and leadership. Every 3 years, 4000 night school children between the ages of 6 to 14 elect a prime minister. The prime minister and a cabinet of ministers meet each month to review the schools' operation.

So far all the prime ministers have been girls simply because girls outnumber the boys. The present prime minister looks after 20 goats in the morning but she is prime minister in the evening. For over 9 years now the 150 night schools are jointly managed, supervised and administered by a children's parliament and the village committee.

“I was the minister of education in the Bal Sansad last year even though I always wanted to be prime minister. Since I was in class V last year, and would have completed primary education and would not have been allowed to contest the elections, I decided to repeat the class to become the prime minister. That did not happen this year either. Anyway, I manage two departments now and try to do the best I can. The girls seem to have taken the lead here”.
Kanaram, 15 years old, Minister of Finance and Education


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Find out more about the Barefoot College's various projects at: www.barefootcollege.org.

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