Nongpoh (India). On 15 December 2022, Mary Help of Christians Community of Nongpoh Saiden, of Immaculate Heart of Mary Province of Shillong (INS), involved the children of nearby villages to set up a Children’s Parliament, with the commitment to promote its exercise of rights and duties.
In fact, in India children have the opportunity to create a Children’s Parliament as a space for personal and community growth, to develop a sense of responsibility in caring for the common good, and give their contribution to society, bringing some requests to the attention of the local authorities to make the living conditions of the population and the services better.
After a few months of work and dedication to this project by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians together with the young women of the Period of Assessment and Guidance and the Postulants, on 15 December with the slogan, “Together we can build” there were more than a hundred children present from the villages of Umjarasi, Mawdiangum, Pahamsyiem, and Iewmawlong.
The ceremony took place in the village of Mawdiangum, at Lurshai Upper Primary School. The event was attended by Ms. Lalchan Dami K. Marak, Umling C and Ribhoi District Development Office Officer; Ms. Aprelia Ruth Rani, District Office Child Protection Unit (DCPU); Representative, Ms. Deity Kordor, Coordinator of the Childline Center of Nongpoh; as well as Sr. Helen Puwein, Provincial Coordinator for Social Development; Sr. Luigina Duia, Director of the FMA Community of Saiden; Sr. Deihok Mukhim, Co-coordinator of the Children’s Parliament; other FMA, and several men and women representing the four villages from which the children come.
The official moment began with welcome words from the Director, followed by the anthem of the National Children’s Parliament. The chief authority, Ms. Lalchan Dami K. Marak, officiated the swearing-in of the Chief Ministers of the five units of the Parliament: two units of Umjarasi and one unit of Mawdiangum, Pahamsyiem, and Iewmawlong villages.
Ms. Aprelia Ruth Rani was sworn in by the Ministers responsible for the Ministries of the Interior, Education, Media, Culture, Finance, Sport, Health, Children’s Rights, and Hygiene, Deputy Prime Minister and the Speaker of the Chamber.
Sr. Helen Puweiñ and Shri Manlang Mawphniang, secretary of the village of Mawdiangum, the host village, received that of the other members. The oath was followed by congratulations from the various centers and from the Aspirants and Postulants.
In their discourses, the guests of the event encouraged the children to carry out the tasks entrusted to them to the best of their abilities and complimented the Sisters for this beautiful initiative, which allows children to become responsible citizens towards the nation.
In conclusion, Shemboklang Mawlieh, the Prime Minister of the Mawdiangum Unity of the Parliament, expressed gratitude, giving all the guests of the day a bamboo artifact handmade by the Aspirants and Postulants.