Nine Is Mine Campaign - India

Summary: Launched by more than 4,500 children in Delhi, India on October 16 2006, the Nine is Mine campaign is a participatory children's advocacy initiative to call for 9% of the gross domestic product (GDP) to be committed to health and education.

Summary
Launched by more than 4,500 children in Delhi, India on October 16 2006, the Nine is Mine campaign is a participatory children's advocacy initiative to call for 9% of the gross domestic product (GDP) to be committed to health and education. This initiative of children, schools, communities and organisations across 15 states of India is being led by Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (WNTA), a national campaign to hold the government accountable to its promise to end poverty, social exclusion, and discrimination - toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The purpose of Nine is Mine is to put children from across the country at the centre of an advocacy effort - speaking in one voice to enable every child to enjoy health and education as a right.

Main Communication Strategies
With the slogan "children's voices against poverty", Nine is Mine centres around the activism and energy of children in demanding that their government listen to their call that promises be kept. To begin, on the eve of Children's Day, 80 children and representatives from schools and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) met in New Delhi to strategise about how they would raise their voices to ensure that the government commit 6% of the GDP to public expenditure on education and 3% of the GDP to health. Among the solidarity speakers present were young people; Gobinda Naik from Orissa Dalit Adivasi Action Net (ODAAN) reminded the Delhi students present that - in stark contrast to the neat school uniforms that they wore - many children (including himself and his friends from Khandhamal district, Orissa) have never seen the inside of a school. Other speakers stressed the special needs of girl children, children with disabilities, and those from dalit and adivasi communities.

In keeping with the example that one speaker (from the Global Call to Action against Poverty, or GCAP) provided - that of a 17-year-old of Indian origin who has mobilised people and resources to initiate the Make Poverty History campaign in the Emirates - this campaign relies on the will and determination of young people to enable social change. To that end, campaign activities are undertaken through the leadership of a Children's Taskforce. This group has spearheaded the creation of a "Nine Is Mine" Declaration, which is to be taken to 15 states of India through the WNTA to enable 100,000 children and their supporters to petition the Prime Minister to keep his promise. Following a Children's Press Conference to highlight this petition on November 13 2006 (the Day of the Deprived Child), delegations presented the Declaration to policy makers.

To mobilise support for the demands as articulated in the Declaration, various communication campaigns and inter-school slogan competitions were undertaken in December 2006. The effort was expected to culminate in January 2007 with a Children's Assembly against Poverty and a Nine Is Mine rally to be held on the occasion of Martyr's Day (January 30) - one month before the announcement of the National Budget.

Development Issues
Children, Education, Health.

Key Points
The Human Development Report 2006 indicates that only 4 out of 10 enrolled children in India complete Class X, and nearly 6 of 100 children in the country do not survive beyond the age of 1. India ranks 126th out of 177 countries on the Human Development Index, and its public expenditure on health is even less than Sierra Leone and Niger, who have the lowest rank on the Human Development Index.

WNTA emerged from the consensus among human rights activists and social action groups who were part of the World Social Forum 2004 (Mumbai) on the need for a forceful, focused and concerted effort to address the fact that one-fourth of the world's economically poor live in India, and continue to experience intense deprivation from opportunities to learn, live and work in dignity. WNTA aims to do this by involving a variety of voices - such as children - in monitoring the promises made by the government to meet the objectives set in the UN Millennium Declaration (2000) and the National Development Goals and the National Common Minimum Program (2004-09), with a special focus on the rights to livelihood, health and education.

For more information, contact:
Nine Is Mine
Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (WNTA)
National Secretariat C-1/E
Second Floor, Green Park Extension
New Dehli 110 016
India
Tel: + 91-11-46082371
Fax: +91-11-46082372
info@wadanatodo.net

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