Vijay Chandru, Chairman & CEO, Strand Life Sciences and High Panel for Science & Technology, UNESCO
I have been associated with Concerned for Working Children since 1989 when CARD was launched, initially simply as a kindred spirit and admirer of the sincerity of the people at CWC and their dedicated and creative work with street children in Bangalore City. As the years went by, I became more involved and joined the executive council as a member. The experiments with child participation in democracy in Kundapur and particularly with the Makkala Panchayats was one of the most imaginative and inspired developments I have witnessed in India in the field of development in the last two decades. The question I have often asked myself is why this is not replicated across the nation as a transformational programme. I hope the recognition of the work at CWC implicit in the Nobel nomination by the Norwegian Parliamentary Committee will provide the impetus for wider adoption of child participation as a fundamental right.