on the details of
CCRP initiative is an attempt to create a synergy by linking the organizations working in institutions to evolve standards of quality care – an area that remained outside the purview of otherwise ‘children in difficult circumstances’. It was also an attempt to collectively advocate for promotion of alternative care – trying to look at institutionalization as the last resort where family or parental care was not in the best interest of the children. The program evolved around the CRC and the Juvenile Justice Act as the foundation pillars initially. 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 to 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 of life in engaging them to advocate for child rights. The organization has earned repute in the field of Child Protection from the Government. Constant advocacy has paved way to the Government taking cognizance of Basundhara’s opinion while framing policies on children. Basundhara is also a nodal for Child line. The expansion of the program of Basundhara has been in accordance to 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 since the past 25 years. The incidence of poverty is more in the northern and southern regions of the State. 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 Pension 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 situation of child rights, 4% of the children aged 5-14 years are engaged in labour. Prevalence of girl child in the unorganized sector (bidi industry) is highest 68% followed by Non-ferrous metallurgical industries (64.4%) and 57.1% 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 Board (JJB) and Child Welfare Centre (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 Protection (CNCP) & Children in Conflict with Law (CCL) category children mostly reside in slums. Having identified the problem, there is then 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 the 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.
- Activating Child Welfare Committees in 10 districts of Odisha.
- Activating District Child Protection Unit, operationalization of CHILDLINE in uncovered district where child line is not working.
- Promoting quality care for children in the recognized and unrecognized institutions.
- Promoting alternative care methods, deinstitutionalising children.
- Lay emphasis on child protection holistically.
- Dissemination of information on govt. policy, program and legislation among the stakeholders such as to CWCs, JJBs, DCPOs and CSOs.
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 as per strategy and strength of the initiative. Regular functioning of JJB and CWC is noticeable in six districts – Bolangir, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Dhenkanal and Kandhamal in comparison to rest of the districts.
- Child Welfare Committees are fully functional in 10 Districts.
- CCRP organized two workshops on JJ ACT-2000/2006 and child protection for CWCs, JJBs, SJPU, CCIs and other stake holders.
- Restoration of the child/children in other state/districts – contact CWC of that area through CCRP network /District Child Protection Unit (DCPU).
- Sharing of indicators to activate JJ Systems at district level for speedy disposal of cases. (CNCP &CCL) Like, Mapping of vulnerable children, Preparation of Legal aid, Sponsorship.
- 26 no of Children are placed in the family through legal adoption under JJ Act 2000.
- Mid day Meal got regularised in all 19 schools.
- 300 ildren participated in Bal Samaroh from different CCIs and five slums of Cuttack district.
- Advocacy for strengthening the function of CWCs in 10 districts.
- To strengthen the functioning of JJBs in 30 districts.
- Promotion of rehabilitation of CNCP children.
- Database of children in Child Care Institutions(CCI) for re-integration in 10 districts.
- To ensure quality care through developing capacities of the institutions.
- To support the unrecognized child care institution for recognition by state Government.
- To work for developing protection policy for children in institutions and ensure follow up by the institution.
- Capacity building of members of the JJB, CWCs, DCPOs, Police, Social workers, CCI staffs and NGOs working on the juvenile justice.
- Capacity building of the professionals appointed under ICPS for effective functioning of the scheme thereby making the JJ System functional in the state.
- Capacity building of district members mostly to NGOs to establish linkages with district and state authorities under ICPS through formation and strengthening of village and block level committees under ICPS.
- Advocacy at the Govt. level for implementation of Child Protection legislation, provisions for budgetary support, and infrastructure of District Child Protection Scheme.(DCPS)
- Networking with CHILDLINE to report every cases of CNCP and producing them before concerned CWCs.
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