Delhi Public School, Patna launched India’s first student-led Amnesty Club, where students can learn about human rights and take action on human rights issues in their world.
Over a two-day introductory programme on 12th and 13th August 2014, DPS Patna hosted neighbouring schools DAV Khagaul, May Flower School and St. Michael School as they prepared to set-up Amnesty Clubs in their schools. Other supportive attendees included representatives from UNICEF and CRY partner Balasakha.
Designed as a platform for school children to become familiar with their own Rights and Responsibilities, and also understand concepts of Human Rights abuses and violations in the world outside school, The Amnesty Club model is the latest addition to Amnesty International India’s Human Rights Education programme. The idea is for students to form their own understanding on Human Rights through an interactive and participatory approach.
The event began by setting the context of Human Rights in a student’s life. Humanities students studying in Classes XI and XII in DPS Patna conducted and facilitated discussions on a whole range of relevant topics – including an understanding of human rights conceptually, a presentation on POCSO ACT (Prevention of Child from Sexual Offences Act) that was appreciated as an effort in familiarising the audience from a legal and policy stand point, and finally in terms of recognising the burning human rights issues in the Gaza-Israel humanitarian crisis. A mix of advocates, teachers and students contributed to these discussions making them that much more effective and inclusive.
Day two consisted of a workshop to discuss the structure and setting-up of an Amnesty Club within schools with the help of the Amnesty Clubs Module.
The workshop activities included fun and collaborative activities like artistic representations of the way human rights violations affect the student community and individual personalities. Enthusiastic students from the four participating schools brain-stormed on ways to implement Amnesty Clubs in their own schools.
DPS Patna will act as a mentor and coordinate the implementation of new Amnesty Clubs in collaborating schools in Patna. It will also function as a hub for Human Rights learning in schools in Bihar with Amnesty International India’s support.
To get a copy of the Amnesty Clubs module for your own school, please email [email protected]