From the time the Jan Lokpal Bill began its journey on the airwaves, Tejasvin Samarth, a Class 11 student, has been tracking the developments.
At RN Podar School in Santacruz, where he studies, a series of assemblies on corruption have been held, while a recent set of student programmes had corruption as one of its themes.
“There is a certain passion and aggression among students with regard to this topic,” said Samarth. “Students have a lot of things to say about it. There is a sense of frustration.”
“Without politicising the issue, we wanted to make students aware,” said CR Pathak, principal of HVB Academy in Marine Lines, which screened a movie for students and parents on bribery and corruption last month. “We thought it was important to sensitise parents on such issues and on how to behave in front of their children.”
Schools are treading carefully, trying to keep the politics out of the debate while conveying the substance of the matter.
Non-profit group India Against Corruption, which has been supporting the movement for a Jan Lokpal Bill, has college students among its supporters, and has also been addressing younger children. The group held awareness sessions at 12 city schools in June.
“We didn’t go with the intention of increasing the number of IAC members but as an educational programme,” said Vyomesh Panchmatia, Mumbai coordinator for IAC. They spoke to students about Anna Hazare, the concept of fasting as opposed to violent protest, and the basics of the Jan Lokpal Bill.