Badal a 13 year old child leader from Nilamadhab Basti from Bhubaneswar, Odisha who aspires to become an engineer in the future. Born to a single mother who is a peon at an Anganwadi centre. After the demise of his father Badal did not stop dreaming big. He wants his neighbourhood to be clean and incorporate all child friendly components.
- How long have you been associated with Humara Bachpan Campaign?
I have been associated with them for one and a half years.
• Has it impacted your life in any way?
Yes, we had a lot of problems in the slums earlier with garbage, water, roads, housing but after meeting the mayor and the commissioner things have improved.
• What changes have occurred?
People don’t just litter away anymore. They usually stick to throwing the garbage at one place. Water tanks have been put in the slum as well, so, there is more water and better water available. A few roads have also been built.
• What Humara Bachpan Campaign activities do you like the most?
I liked when we danced, acted and had playing functions. I liked our visit to the Humara Bachpan office. I also liked meeting the mayor and the commissioner.
In the club, every child’s life has changed for the better. Just like how my life has changed by being a part of the Humara Bachpan Campaign I am pretty sure that they can do the same elsewhere and I hope that they do.” , mentions Badal smiling from ear to ear.
• Do you feel empowered?
Yes, people listen to us more now, even the elders.
• Do people give you more respect?
Both the Humara Bachpan staff and the people of the slum give us respect. They say that we’re doing very good work.
• Do people in the slum listen to you?When we have problems, we all get together in meetings to discuss them. Both the adults and the children get to speak and get to solutions. They always help us with our work as well,we are not alone in this.
- Does it become a burden sometimes?
No, it isn’t a burden. In fact our teachers help us too. We fill in applications for leave when we have a Humara Bachpan event and we usually get a leave. So, it works well for us.
• Has engaging in so many activities conducted by the Humara Bachpan Campaign helped in any way?
We all come together and participate in many projects. They have helped make our slum more developed. We act and dance and create awareness. The water problems have reduced.
• Do you look forward to working with the Humara Bachpan Campaign in the future?
I like working with the Humara Bachpan Campaign. They have treated children well and no matter what they always try and help us. They’re bringing so much change so I would like to work with them. There is still a lot of work to be done. The drains still need to be taken care of, and we need to have better buildings and better roads. I would like to continue working with them.
• Do you think that the Humara Bachpan Campaign can continue to help change your life and the other children’s lives in the future?
In the club, every child’s life has changed for the better. Just like how my life has changed by being a part of the Humara Bachpan Campaign I am pretty sure that they can do the same elsewhere and I hope that they do.
edited by: Aishwarya Das Pattnaik, Communications Officer, Humara Bachpan Campaign.
Interview conducted by: Adheip Rashada , Intern with Humara Bachpan Campaign.
Author’s Note: Adheip is an award winning young poet who is currently pursuing his Liberal Arts degree from Symbiosis School of Liberal Arts (SSLA), Pune. His passion includes writing, fund raising among others.