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AIM is an association of people who believe that poverty and exclusion can be fought through integrated and participatory development models and by influencing policies at local, national and global levels. The organization was promoted with a mission to improve equitably the social, economic and environmental conditions of families in need and an objective to provide quality services for integrated development of the society and improvement in quality of life of less privileged section of the society. Project Holder Sanjay K Rai is a post graduate in sociology and holds a PG Diploma in Rural Development. He has more than fifteen years of experience in different capacities – from being part of Azadi Bachao Andolan to being the Editor of Lucknow Ekta (a Hindi monthly on communal harmony) from 1992 to 1996, to being the Convenor of INSAF, Uttar Pradesh from 1996 to 2000, to being the lead of Flood Advocacy Forum UP from 2000 to 2003, to being the Convenor of Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan since 2003. He joined AIM in 1999 and has been taking up issues that affect a large section.
Lucknow has a rich historical and cultural heritage and is famous for its embroidery work. The unorganized sector is large and engages a sizeable population [including children] in tanneries, chikan embroidery work, construction work, domestic help and brick kilns. Children are heavily engaged in rag picking as well. Livelihood in Lakhimpur Kheri is primarily based on agriculture and wage employment. The land holding pattern is uneven with majority of land being held by a minority of upper caste communities. The dalits on the other hand comprise of the majority with minimum land holding. Incidence of migration to adjacent cities is high. The youth in particular is the suppressed section at the point of time as there are no employment and livelihood options suitable for them. For families with smaller landholdings, the food security needs are met for hardly 3-4 months. The people are thus compelled to migrate to adjacent cities to work in brick kilns, construction laborers and rickshaw pullers.
The status of child rights reflects a dismal picture for the reference area. The implementation of JSY (Jannani Suraksha Yojana) under the NRHM (National Rural Health Mission) is still poor in the district. Though the ASHA’s (Accredited social health activists) have been trained, the implementation of the scheme still remains to be observed. The primary schools are functioning comparatively in an efficient manner as compared to last year. The mid day meal is functioning in a regular manner as per the provisions and guidelines in all the primary schools. Scholarships are being received but not in an optimum manner and the same are often delayed. The quality of education is good but still the purpose of parents to send their children to school is confined to mid day meals and scholarships. The allotment of ration cards in the region is unjust and the functioning of fair price shops is highly flawed and malpractices are very high on the part of managers of the fair price shops. In this backdrop, AIM intervenes to work for the integration of equity, gender equality, empowerment, and ecological sustainability in the process of development by engaging all stake holders – and ensuring rights of the children and to build a society free from ill heath, illiteracy, gender inequality, food security and violence.
- To participate actively, directly and indirectly in the process of democratization and development in partnership with marginalized communities, civil society organizations and other stake holder organizations.
- To work for ensuring child rights in slum and rural areas.
- To work for the broadest possible unity, support and participation of various sectors like rural, urban, and international.
- To implement programs and services that will enable the weaker sections and organizations to attain self-reliance and greater participation in the process of development.
- To actively work for the mainstreaming of gender in all aspects of life.
Review and Impact
AIM has been an active member of the child rights movement and also the local facilitator of the state alliance, VOP.
Highlights in the review period include:
- 100% immunization for children aged below 1 year and 70% immunization of children aged 1 – 5 years was achieved.
- 44 eligible families were linked with social security schemes. Employment opportunities were facilitated under NREGA scheme – 101 Job Cards were distributed and 25 people received work.
- 12 children were enrolled in government primary schools.
- 68 children, including 19 working children and child labourers, were enrolled in NFE centres.
- 7 cases of domestic violence against women and 6 cases of child sexual abuse were identified by AIM – all cases were addressed and 3 cases were resolved.
- Residents of 3 slums were mobilized to fight against imminent threat of eviction. The activity was stalled because of the mobilization. 1900 community collectives were federated under the aegis of the state alliance.
- 14 children's collectives were formed.
AIM has been addressing the issue of urban communities in a state which is still rural in mindset. With emphasis on urban infrastructure development, slums and slum dwellers are seen as bottlenecks to development. In such a situation, child rights loses priority compared to urban development initiatives of the government. The organization has taken the challenge of intervention at the individual, slum and nagar nigam level more intensively that demands expansion of the intervention to ensure all child rights.
- 100% birth registration and immunization of all new born and older children.
- 15% eligible families will be linked with ration cards.
- Eligible people will be linked with NREGA scheme and Job Cards will be prepared. Employment benefits under NREGA will help in reducing migration.
- Efforts will be made to ensure 100% enrolment of children from primary to middle level schools.
- 2 sub-regional Committees will be formed in Lucknow and Lakhimpur with a membership of 1250 each to strengthen people's participation in ensuring quality education.
- To reduce incidence of child labor and child work by 25%.
- Local community collectives to be strengthened to fight against violence and atrocities against women and children.
- Incidence of child sexual abuse to be reduced by 50%.
- 2 children's collectives to be formed and strengthened.
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