17-year-old Pannalal Kumar is a class 10th student in Baswariya village. He used to work in mica mines to support his family while studying in school. When the Bal Panchayat was being formed in the village, Pannalal was elected as the Mukhiya of the Bal Panchayat. As Mukhiya, he worked actively to ensure that the children of his village do not indulge in any form of labour.
During the Covid lockdown, children from his village who completed their 5th class in primary school did not continue their education. Due to the loss of income during the pandemic, instead of continuing their education, these children were forced to support their families by working with them in the mines.
Pannalal and members of the Bal Panchayat went to meet these children’s families along with KSCF activists. These parents were told that education is the only weapon that will help them come out of poverty. They were also cautioned that child labour is a crime and there are strict provisions in the law for this. After persuading the families with the help of the KSCF team, Pannalal and other Bal Panchayat members got eight children – who left their studies and were forced into child labour – enrolled in the school.
In the leadership of Pannalal, today all these children are enrolled in school, are well aware of their rights and are free from the clutches of child labour. Now Pannalal and his Panchayat members hold regular meetings of Bal Panchayat to keep themselves updated about the current situation of the children of their village.
Besides this, Pannalal and the members of Bal Panchayat actively spread awareness regarding the Covid vaccination among the villagers. They go door-to-door and urg people to take vaccine shots as soon as possible.