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In 1982, Mr. Sanat Kumar Sinha visited the observation homes in Bihar to do a comparative study of various institutions for children and to find out the possible alternatives that could ensure effective implementation of Juvenile Justice Act. He then founded the organization Bal Sakha in 1988 with the view to protect the rights of the children. The project holder is a member of State Selection Committee for the implementation of Juvenile Justice Act in Bihar and also the member of State Monitoring Committee on child trafficking and sexual exploitation of women. The Resource Organization is situated in Patna. It has several field offices at district level. From last two years the organization with CRY support has initiated community level intervention in 10 selected villahes of Patna, Munger and Bhagalpur districts in Bihar.
With CRY support, Bal Sakha has initiated community level intervention in 10 villages across two districts like Patna, and Bhagalpur to develop community based mechanism to create safe environment and safety net in the community for children. In these 10 villages BAL SAKHA is reaching out 1573 children with key focus to education, stopping child marriage and mainstreaming the child labour in the society. The basic objectives of this direct intervention is to experiment the child protection mechanism model in the village level as well also support the advocacy intervention in the state with the evidences.
Bal Sakha with its vast experiences and expertise in dealing with legal cases realized that the plight of the children in Bihar is pathetic and even worse in the case of children in conflict with law.. During this data compilation process they came up with the facts that out of 962 children in the age group of 6-18 years 511 children are in school in nearby Primary schools or small non-recognized Private schools. It indicates that nearly 39% children are out of school, which are mostly working in the villages or migrated to some other cities with their community people in search of jobs. BAL SAKHA is closely working with the 10 schools in the operational villages. In this year, they have identified 108 child labour in these villages. BAL SAKHA since last two years is also working in 2 Bhagalpur urban slums. The basic objectives of this direct intervention is to experiment the child protection mechanism model in the village level as well also support the advocacy intervention in the state with the evidences. The operational slum of Bhagalpur is basically habitat of the people who migrated from the rural areas or directly impacted by the Bhagalpur riot. At present they are reaching out to 194 families in 2 slums mostly dominated by the Mushar community.
- To enhance the standard of the Govt. institutions meant for the juvenile and mainstreaming of the children into the community.
- To do advocacy with the Govt to activate the CWC,JJB and other apparatus of the JJ systems in the state.
- To enhance the capacity of the personnel engaged in the JJ systems like CWC/JJB members, Police, SJPU members etc.
- To provide the knowledge about the Child right and child protection the community in the target operational area.
- To provide the information on governmental and non-governmental schemes in the community and preparing them for accessibility .
- To develop community based mechanism for protection of the child rights with special focus to child protection issues.
BAL SAKHA was conceptualized with single driven agenda i.e intervention to address the child protection issues in the state in post 1984 period when Sanat Kr Sinha (a Social work Student) completed his assignment in Bihar. Since then, the organization had put his keen effort only on this issue and to do that engaged the different tier of stakeholders in the society. Overall, the organization went with threefold objectives in its mind one is creating community owned child protection mechanism to reach out the victim children and protection of the violation, second one is making children protection issues in larger ambit of the Child rights issues as an agenda in the public domain and last one is reform in the govt(judiciary, bureaucracy and legislature) systems for the best interest of the child.
Through the review period, Bal Sakha operated Child Protection Centres and engaged with out-of-school children through these centres. Similarly village level community collectives were formed and inputs were shared with them to empower them to monitor the local status of child rights. In rural areas, adolescent groups played the role of vehicles of change that the organisation is seeking. 110 adolescent girls received trainings and inputs on different Child Rights issues such as Child Marriage, Child Labour, Importance of Girls Child Education, Sexual Abuse, began sharing community data on potential child marriages, child labour with field personnel and began dialogue with parents in such cases.
Some highlights for the last year are:
- 24 out of 451 drop-out children from Patna and 17 out of 49 drop-out children aged 6 – 18 yrs from Bhagalpur got enrolled in schools.
- 11 out of 108 identified child labour cases as well as 53 never-enrolled children were enrolled into schools.
- 1 case of sexual abuse was identified and acted upon.
- 2 out of 13 underage child marriage cases were delayed.
- In Patna 7 new Child Protection Centres (CPCs) opened with the help of community.
- 2 CPCs are successfully running in two slums in Bhagalpur and reached to the drop out children of the community.
- Because of Bal Sakha’s advocacy, 17 members committee was formed in district level to monitor the JJ implementation as per the order of SC and High court direction.
- 1112 Juvenile cases disposed through JJB by the repeated regular assistance of JACs.
- Due to constant advocacy and awareness through Information, education and communication material that numerous police stations in Bihar constantly asked questions and posted queries to Child Right Centre for the knowledge and application of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2011 in their cases.
- Government started conducting Training Programs for the Members of Juvenile Justice Board & Child Welfare Committee.
- To identify out of school, child labor, migrated child labor in the community.
- To put effort to re-enroll them in the school after removing from work force .
- To ensure access of all 6-14 years children of school.
- To keep monitoring in the school to protect children from any kind of abuse, punishment .
- To create awareness on the importance of education and confidence among the parents and community .
- To create awareness in the community regarding the ill effects of child marriage .
- To empower the CHILDREN GROUP members .
- To track children in the age group of 6-18 years to protect them from trafficking .
- Activation of the Govt institution and Advocacy with the relevant stakeholder.
 CCL – Children in conflict with Law  CNCP – Children in Need of Care and Protection  JJB – Juvenile Justice Board  JAC – Juvenile Aid Cell
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