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Background

Children Welfare Society (CWS) was established in 1994 by Mr. A. B. Sha with the aim of working for the children of Ghorawal Tehsil of Sonebhadra district of UP. Responding to complaints from parents of the child labor registered, he came in contact with Jan Jati Vikas Samiti (JJVS) in 1994 and founded CWS. CWS initially addressed the issues of minimum wage and awareness amongst parents. The organization concentrated on mobilizing the children against the atrocities done to them by carpet loom holders by making them aware of their rights. Subsequently, CWS initiated a movement to eradicate child labor and linked the movement with the ownership of common property resources as an alternate livelihood means for the families who were the suppliers of child labor. Mr. A.B. Sha, the project holder of Children Welfare Society (CWS) is a well to do landlord of Sonebhadra district who owns land in 70 villages. He is very popular among the people not only for his feudal lineage but also because he is genuinely passionate about children and their fate in society. CWS is a unique project where the Project Holder is just the legal holder of project and all programmatic and other functions are looked after by project coordinator, Mr. Rajesh Chowbey, since inception of the organization.

Situation

CWS interventions are spread across 41 villages in Ghorawal block, Sonebhadra district, Uttar Pradesh. The region is mostly inhabited by Kol tribes who are denied access and control over the abundant natural resources available in the area, controlled mostly by the affluent upper caste minority. Economic conditions and local livelihoods of the intervention area have been highly affected by industrialization and the resultant displacement. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act has been launched but at the field level, its implementation is marred with irregularities in both the processes, in giving job cards as well as in giving work for 100 days. There is a strong nexus between the dominant sections of the region who are economically well off and the local administration. This nexus blocks entry of the local tribes in the nearby forest land thus preventing them from access to local forest resources and livelihood options resulting therefrom.

Discrimination against children, particularly girl children, is striking. Girl children in particular get deprived of education and they get restricted to their homes. Schools are at a distance and so girls either never go to school or drop out after primary school. Child marriage is quite prevalent. Children are engaged in cattle grazing and their routine life is that they leave for the field (forest) with the cattle early morning and return only late evenings. Education remains a distant dream for them. During monsoon season the accessibility to health services is minimal. In this backdrop, CWS aims to establish an exploitation-free society with the help of democratic empowerment of the people at large.

Objectives

  • To help the marginalized people realize their potential as agents of social change.
  • To help people organize into effective pressure groups, and thereby gain for them a better bargaining capacity in the democratic process of development.
  • To help tribal communities fight for their traditional rights over land and forest.
  • To help women work towards realization of equal rights for themselves.
  • To help evolve collective strategy to fight the menace of injustice and exploitation.

Review and Impact


CWS is engaged in direct action as well as in mobilization of the community for collective action and organizes them into meaningful groups for advocating their rights themselves. The programs have sustainability built in the process that ensures continuity of the changes brought in by the endeavours of the partner.

  • Out of 1374 new born children, 1132 children were registered and birth certificates were issued. And out of 441 children who were left out (0-1 yr), 393 children received their birth certificates.
  • There has been reduction in the cases of IMR, CMR and MMR.
  • In the age group of 0-1 years, 88% children were immunized.
  • In the age group of 1-5 years 84% children were immunized.
  • 126 children who were left out last year were also immunized.
  • 95% pregnant women accessed ante natal care.
  • Panchayat Health Committees were activated in 9 Panchayats and increasingly involved in monitoring community health issues and in community awareness building on health.
  • 18 active schools were retained with 16 schools have 100% retention status and 17 villages having retained 100% enrolment status of children.

  • Out of 9 NFE centres, children from two centres were mainstreamed and NFEs were closed down.
  • 37 children (21 boys and 16 girls), who were involved in cattle grazing were removed from work and linked to education.
  • Pressure has been mounted on the Zila Panchayat, Block Panchayat and local Panchayat to provide employment to the parents of the child labor and cattle grazing children.
  • 1418 people got Job cards under the NREGA and people have started demanding work under the scheme.
  • 54 people were allotted land patta (plot).
  • Data from 9 villages has been gathered to update land records.
  • 15 groups of adolescent were activated and sustained.

In the model village, strong community action was achieved. All 164 eligible families got BPL cards. Out of 73 eligible families, job cards were distributed to 35 families. CWS’s credential as an implementing organization is well established in the area.

Plans

  • 100% birth registration of all new born children and registration of 290 children above 1 year who were left out last year.
  • Regular data on IMR, CMR and MMR will be collected and updated.
  • All new born children up to 5 years will be immunized.
  • 5 activated ANMs will be retained and ANMs will provide timely health services to women and children.
  • 133 left out families and 1804 new identified families will get BPL cards.
  • Children from remote villages, for whom getting access to education is very difficult, will have education facilities through 7 NFE centres run by CWS.
  • Demand for 7 new schools will be raised by the communities.
  • 100% enrolment will be retained in 13 villages.
  • 2 old and 3 new Panchayat Education Committees will be activated.
  • Involvement of parents and community in monitoring of schools and education will be increased through activation of 2 PTAs.
  • 7 Village Education Committees will be retained in villages where NFEs are running.
  • 28 villages will be retained as child labour free.
  • 130 working children and 30 child labor will be linked with education.
  • All 15 adolescent groups will be retained and will have increased understanding of various child rights and will involve themselves at various platforms.
  • In 5 villages new children groups will be formed.

ANNUAL FINANCIAL SUMMARY

  • Right to Development
    $19,688
  • Right to Survival
    $12,238
  • Right to Protection
    $7,450
  • Right to Participation
    $1,064
  • Administration
    $12,771
  • Total Grant Approved
    $53,211