HRIDAY’s Students Parliament is an innovative advocacy tool on health. The education process involves emulating eminent adult role models (Parliamentarians). Individual students were assigned specific roles of Parliamentarians and Ministers. The aim was to place the students in a position of responsibility and decision making; develop leadership skills among youth; catalyze informed health activism; familiarize students with the procedural aspects of parliamentary functioning and enable them to engage in advocacy of health issues.
The widely acclaimed success of this strategy brought an extension of this advocacy tool, to other parts of India, with an encouraging support from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the World Health Organisation. Consequently, an ‘All India Student’s Parliament on Health’ was organized to mobilise school students of 10 cities in India for youth advocacy on tobacco control and other health related issues.