A total of 200 children – consistent with the number of seats in the state assembly – were represented by the Speaker, Chief Minister, Minister, Leader of the Opposition and the ruling and opposition parties.
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The proceedings of the session were conducted in accordance with the rules of the House during which the children acted confidently and received praise from Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. Jahnavi Sharma, who played the role of speaker, started the program with Q&A. The children, the legislators of the opposition parties played, asked questions and those who acted as ministers answered with information and details.
The questions were mainly about children and young people. Among other things was an action plan to prevent child marriage and action against the availability of drugs to educational institutions.
The children enlivened the mock session by asking questions, holding dharnas in the wells of the house, walking out and making noise.
Nominated opposition legislators rallied in the House to demand action against drug trafficking, assuring the House leader that action would be taken.
During Zero Hour, one member demanded a debate on shutting down the Internet during a competitive exam, saying it created problems for the general public and that the government was considering shutting down the Internet to cover up its administrative failures.
Opposition groups called for the beleagured PM to resign. In response, the minister said he was ready to respond.
Among the issues discussed at Zero Hour were the difficulty of mobile phones for children, its adverse effects on mental health and the need to provide free resources to students and teachers for online education.
The girl in the role of speaker sat in the chair of the assembly secretary and the rest of the children sat in the seats and benches allotted to the chief minister, ministers and legislators in the house.
The session was attended by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Assembly Speaker CP Joshi and Leader of the Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria.
Speaking to children before the start of the mock session, the Chief Minister highlighted the importance of democracy and the role played by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and others in strengthening democracy.
He asked children to understand the importance of democracy.
Birla lauded the initiative and said that active people’s participation was needed to strengthen democracy.
Speaker Joshi said it was the first of its kind in the country and 200 children were selected from 5,500 people in 15 states who submitted their entries online.
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