21 January 2011


As part of the campaign to urge governments to honour their commitments to the Millennium Development Goals students from St Johns Christian Brothers College in Chandigarh (themselves from marginalised and vulnerable families) joined with children from similar backgrounds to cycle 300km to New Delhi to ask the Indian government to fulfill its promise to allocate 9% of its GDP to education and health.

The rally was part of a wider ‘Nine is Mine’ campaign launched in India in 2006 which includes the collection of signatures of children from across India and an education campaign to let every child in India know that they are entitled to a share in the nations wealth, and that Health and Education are the basic rights of every child, and every family.

The idea of the cycle rally originated with students from St Johns CBC and grew to include other children from the slums of Chandigarh and its suburbs so that the participants themselves represent the voice of other vulnerable children on the margins of Indian society.

Each stage of the eight-day rally involved addressing school assemblies, performances of street theatre, distributing T-shirts and the collection of signatures for the petition. In some towns rallies were organised as the cyclists wound through the busy streets, raising awareness among people about the promises made by their government and the need to have them fulfilled.

Through Edmund Rice international students from Edmund Rice Schools around the world were encouraged demonstrated their solidarity and support for the cyclists with students from Cork to Nairobi and from Kimberley to Brisbane organizing their own events to raise awareness about the MDG’s.

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