New Delhi, October 30: Poor, marginalised children from eight countries Wednesday demanded inclusion of life skills education in school curriculum. These children are a part of the Children's Development Khazana (CDK) - a voluntary bank run by children between 9-18 years with guidance of adult facilitators.
"For the past two years I have been saving my money for my future with CDK and have also been able to help my family in difficult times. Life skill education should be taught to all," Karthik, a CDK member from Mumbai, said in a statement.
Only poor marginalized rural, urban and tribal communities' children can be members of CDK, started in 2001. "I now understand the benefits of saving money. I am now even encouraging my parents to save money and not waste it on alcohol and other unnecessary things.
If this is incorporated then everyone will get empowered," Martin, CDK member from Madagascar, said. Started in India, CDK is now helping children in seven other countries - Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Madagascar and Ghana.
Within India, the programme is operational in 10 states and union territories: Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, Kerala, Delhi, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
"Children's participation is the basic premise on which CDK is designed, implemented and promoted, with children coming together as collectives to take action for their empowerment. CDK has become a lifeline to poor children. They can today fall back on their savings and advances to tide over a crisis at home," said Rita Panicker, director.