Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2009


This profile was prepared when Suparna Gupta was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2009.
The New Idea
Suparna is bringing about systemic change within India s Juvenile Justice Homes with a tool that measures compliance with the provisions laid down in the Juvenile Justice Act. The tool translates the child-friendly spirit of the Act into actionable terms thus making it relevant and usable at the ground level to those running the homes as well as children. This monitoring allows action under the Act through a 100-point criteria of activities. It is non-confrontational and inclusive of all actors: The government, the home staff, and the children. The crucial aspect of the tool is the fact that it ensures state authorities who run the homes hear the childs perspective regularly and can plan around it.<br/><br/> Suparnas idea begins with examining, through non-threatening participatory processes, the existing working environment and attitudes within institutions. The core of her innovation lies in being able to work creatively from within, drawing the authorities in as partners and sharing the ownership of positive change with those responsible for drafting as well as implementing the provisions at various levels in these institutions.<br/><br/>By working with outside actors, such as the police, child rights and citizen organizations (COs), Suparna has designed an institutional cycle that juveniles, both those who have committed offenses and those in need of care, go through; including pre-admission, stay and exit, to create a continuum of care.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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