on the details of
The Coalition for Child Rights to Protection (CCRP) initiative is an attempt to link organizations working in institutions to evolve standards of quality care for 'children in difficult circumstances'. It also promotes alternative care - trying to look at institutionalization as the last resort where family or parental care was not in the best interest of the child. The program evolved around the CRC and the Juvenile Justice Act. Basundhara has been engaged with this initiative almost since 1985. In order to cater to the segment of vulnerable children and women, Basundhara started running an institution for the rehabilitation of children. The organization in due course understood the need for finding ways of deinstitutionalizing. Finding alternative care for children in Institutional setups through adoption resulted in Basundhara working in the field of Adoption. It also entailed working with the JJ system in the state of Odisha and advocating with the government to herald in the state rules for implementation of child rights. The organization has also been able to mobilize people from various walks to engage on child rights.
The organization has earned the reputation in the field of child protection from the government and the government takes cognizance of Basundhara's opinion while framing policies on children. Basundhara is also a nodal agency for Childline. The expansion of the program of Basundhara has been in accordance with its vision and objectives. The Project Holder, Ms. Saila Behera, is an eminent personality in the field of child protection in Odisha.
Odisha continues to be the poorest state in India for the past 25 years. It is higher among the scheduled tribes as compared to scheduled castes and general castes. Though the state government has undertaken a number of welfare schemes like Antodoya Anna Yojna, Annapurna Anna Yojna, ICDS, Mid Day Meal scheme, Food for Work, National Family Benefit Scheme, National Old Age ension scheme, Widow Pension scheme, National Disabled Pension scheme and Balika Samridhi Yojna, these have failed to deliver to the desired level and address the need of the poor and marginalized
In respect to the situation of child rights, 4% of the children aged 5-14 years are engaged in labor. Prevalence of girl child in the unorganized sector (bidi industry) is highest (68%), followed by the non-ferrous metallurgical industries (64.4%) and 57% are in jobs which require them to carry excessive weights of more than 13 kgs. There is occurrence of sexual exploitation and trafficking. In 30 districts, Juvenile Justice Boards (JJB) and Child Welfare Centres (CWC) have been constituted - however only a few of them are functional. Neither does any mechanism for monitoring the functioning of JJBs and CWCs exist in the state. In urban areas, Children in Need of Care and rotection (CNCP) & Children in Conflict with Law (CCL) category children mostly reside in slums. Having identified the problem, there is a need for mapping the exact situation of children in the slums and designing appropriate interventions to bring such children under the fold of this intervention. In this backdrop, Basundhara attempts to redress child rights violations through child care institution services, outreach and non-institutional services, legal aid services and initiatives for empowering deprived women in addition to strengthening the core area of Quality Institutional Care and Alternatives for Children focusing on Adoption.
- Strengthen the implementation of the JJ system in the state.
- Find out opportunities for community based rehabilitation to revent children being institutionalized and promote alternative care.
- Create a safe environment for the children in difficult circumstances with an emphasis on building collective ownership.
- To ensure government's role and accountability on child protection issues in the State.
Review and Impact
- One of the major focuses of the intervention was to put effort in strengthening the Juvenile Justice Board and Child welfare Committees in the state. Regular functioning of JJB and CWC is noticeable in six districts - Bolangir, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Dhenkanal and Kandhamal in comparison to the rest of the districts.
- Meetings were organized with members and chairpersons of Child Welfare Committee and Juvenile Justice Board members at the district level where information regarding government notifications were shared.
- Basudhara played a key role in organizing district level workshops where study and collection of data were initiated to strengthen functioning of JJB, district groups.
- Awareness was done in slum communities to demand their rights.
- Ensuring quality care of children through developing capacities of the institutions.
- Visits done to 87 unrecognized homes in Gajapati districts and 2 homes in Sundergarh.
- Advocacy done for increase of GIA from 750 to 1500 - organizing State level consultation for advocacy on increase of aid to Children's Homes.
- Advocacy for strengthening the function of CWCs in 10 districts.
- To strengthen the functioning of JJBs in 30 districts.
- Assessing the status of children in Observation Homes and bring to the notice of Government the status of pending cases of CCL in Berhampur Observation Home.
- To assess the status of entitlement of slum children in one slum and notice to government.
- To facilitate the formation of core groups for conducting district level workshop and consultation in 5 districts.
- Promoting vocational training, adoption and sponsorship program for supplementing different means of rehabilitation and deinstitutionalization.
- Creating follow up mechanisms for care of children in homes.
- To develop a protection policy for children in institutions and ensure follow up by the institution.
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