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Background

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 Orissa 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 the Childline project. 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.

Situation

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 at 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, the 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.

Objectives

  • Strengthen the implementation of JJ system in the state.
  • Find out opportunities for Community based rehabilitation to prevent children being institutionalized and promote alternative care.
  • Create a safe environment for 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 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 the rest of the districts.

Following major activities and processes were carried out during the last year -

  • Five workshops organized on Juvenile Justice with CWCs, JJBs, Police, Judiciary and other stake holders in collaboration with the Department of Women and Child Development and Voice for Child Right in Orissa (VCRO).
  • State level consultation conducted for the police on the Juvenile Justice System.
  • Visit was made to Berhampur observation Home. Discussion held with Superintendent about pending cases of Children in Conflict with Law (CCL). Data was collected. Meeting held with JJB and demand was put for timely production and immediate disposal. Enhancing the knowledge base of VCRO on JJ Act - Consultation on Child protection done with special reference to JJ Systems and ICPS for VCRO/CCRP core group/coordination and advisory committee members.
  • Organized 3 district level workshops at Bolangir, Nuapada, Bargarh, Cuttack and Koraput in collaboration with Adhar, Chale Chalo and SPREAD.
  • Child care institutions visited and report prepared on status of the children in Observation Homes.
  • Organized workshop on Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) & Juvenile Justice Act in Bolangir with support from other CRY supported project partners.

Plans

  • Advocacy for strengthening the function of CWC’s in 10 districts.
  • To strengthen the functioning of the Juvenile Justice Boards in 30 districts.
  • Assessing the status of children in Observation Homes and bring to notice of Government on the status of pending cases of CCL in Berhampur Observation Home.
  • Capacity building of VCRO members to work collectively for successful implementation of the ICPS scheme.
  • To facilitate the formation of core groups for conducting a 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.

ANNUAL FINANCIAL SUMMARY

  • Right to Protection
    $13,564
  • Administration
    $1,222
  • Total Grant Approved
    $14,785