BIS #6991 Bal Sansad Elections at Shelter DB Nashik

By Fr Rudolf D’Souza for BISMumbai

In a remarkable display of democratic spirit, Shelter Don Bosco in Nashik organised Bal Sansad elections, allowing the resident boys to experience the electoral process firsthand. 

The children participated enthusiastically, electing their Sarpanch, Deputy Sarpanch, and heads of seven ministries. Through e-ballots generated in Google Forms, the process was both technologically advanced and engaging. The results were displayed on the television screen using bar column charts, providing a visual representation of the election outcome.

The organisers opted for an e-ballot system created using Google Forms to ensure a seamless and transparent voting process. This modern approach not only streamlined the election but also introduced the children to technology. Through this digital medium, the candidates' names for various positions were listed, and the young voters cast their ballots. Using technology in a fun and educational manner added a sense of novelty to the electoral process.

To add a touch of authenticity and symbolism to the event, the young voters were marked with ink on their index fingertips after casting their ballots. This practice, inspired by real-world elections, resonated with the children, making them feel like they were participating in a real election. The ink-marked index fingers became a proud badge, symbolising their role as responsible citizens and active participants in the electoral process.

Once the election results were declared, the newly elected heads of ministries came together to hold their first official meeting. This meeting, held in the Director's office, aimed to decide on the agenda for the upcoming Child Parliament sessions. The children, in their respective roles, discussed ideas, proposed initiatives, and set goals to address various issues within the Shelter Home.

The primary objective behind organising the Children's Parliament (Bal Sansad) elections was to introduce the concepts of democracy and active citizenship to the children residing at Shelter Don Bosco. By mimicking a real-world election process, the children had the opportunity to learn about the importance of voting, decision-making, and leadership. This experience not only instilled a sense of responsibility but also empowered them to have a voice in matters that concern their community, instilled a sense of civic duty, and encouraged them to take an active interest in the well-being of their community.