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Location

9 Panchayats of Chikkodi Taluka, Belgaum district, Karnataka
Thematic Intervention: Protection


Project Context

The project had faced difficulty past mid-year in 2017 due to differences of opinion among some of the governing body members. After internal deliberations, majority of members in the organizational leadership wished to change focus of organization from issues of child rights to areas not related to child rights. Considering the criticality of the intervention for the extremely at risk children in geography with Devadasi practices, CRY team had to intervene and save the intervention. After due process of consultation with all key stakeholders, CRY has decided to continue with the intervention with the same project team to be executed over the same geography. However, in order to safeguard the resources from any possible mismanagement, CRY decided to withdraw from partnership with MASS and execute the project in partnership with an already existing partner in the state named Margadarshi. Margadarshi and its chief, Mr. Anand Raj will be responsible for holding the grant fund after the same is sanctioned and disbursed by CRY, and account for all expenditures on this account. The project execution mechanism and related responsibility of project deliverables will continue to be anchored by Ms. Shobha Satyappa Gasti, as the project implementation manager.

Margadarshi has its genesis in efforts of Fr. George Kollashany, the Founder and former National Director of Don Bosco India’s national forum ‘Young at Risk’, and a child rights activist with three decade experience, working with Mr. Anand Raj, a villager from economically weak family, to start working with street children in Kalaburagi as it was one of most the back ward districts in Karnataka. As a next step, Anand Raj began to work with children in Kalaburagi by registering the organization Margadarshi in 2002. Since then, Mr. Anand Raj have became one of the leading crusaders of child rights in Karnataka, including holding positions in statutory body like Child Welfare Committee (CWC) at district level, as Member from 2007 and Chairperson from 2010, in addition to membership and chair position in many more initiatives & forums. Margadarshi, under his able leadership worked through:

* Advocating with the government and statutory institutions for favorable polices for children;
* Engaging with government departments such as Child Welfare, Education, Police, Railway & Organization working with the children to protect the child rights and child issues through forming local committees;

* Sensitizing and educating the society and important stakeholders about the problem of children in difficult situation; dangers of trafficking, concomitant physical and sexual abuse and ways of combating and preventing of the same.
* Rescuing and resettling of children found on the Kalaburagi railway platform who are separated from their families;
* Conducting research to understand the complex issues connected with rehabilitation;

Some of the highlight achievements of Margdarshi in recent years include:

* A high school sanctioned for Ladlapur village. Also got 2 teachers appointed here including the head teacher. Girls were dropping & getting married as nearest high school was 13 km away with one way fare of 20 cents (INR 13/-) * 4 Nutritional Centers under Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) have access to electricity, cooking gas and quality hot cooked food is served there.

* 60 children, dropped out and child labor, re-enrolled in school.
* Secured Sponsorship for 7 children under Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS).

This project has its genesis the support from the Karnataka State Women Development Corporation (KWDC) and Mysore Resettlement & Development Agency (MYRADA) for the Devadasi Rehabilitation Program in Karnataka. Ms. Shobha Gasthi, the project holder herself has been a devdasi in childhood. She has faced many discrimination, exploitation, and oppression by the upper caste men of being a devdasi at a young age. She started to work as a volunteer in the Devadasi Rehabilitation Project since 1996 as part of the Karnataka WDC program. The project aims to secure justice for women and children. The project team comprises of marginalized women who were victims of the devadasi system.

Achievements & Impact


Key Result Areas Achievements

Build a protective environment in 20 villages of Chikodi taluka in Belgaum district to ensure children in general and girls in particular are protected from violence, abuse and exploitation manifested in the forms of child marriage and child trafficking.

* 2 new Anganwadis have been sanctioned under ICDS in Bidaroli and Kargoan villages. Pre-School buildings are completed in the month of December, 2017. There are 90 children who attend the ICDS in the 2 new centers.
* Team visited 8 schools and met with School Management & Development Committee (SDMC) as follow ups on irregular children and dropout children issues.
* 9 meetings of adolescent girls groups were conducted for improving awareness on problem of child marriage, attended by 75 girls.
* 6 children collectives with 90 members were strengthened, to ensure children’s voices are recognized, to hear them out, to create the sense of active participation and therefore ensure their overall development, views, and the reality of their situations.
* As a part of policy advocacy efforts Ms. Shobha Gasti, the Project Manager, has participated in 2 State level consultations on Child Rights Manifesto and Child Marriage Amendment Act organized by Karnataka State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) at Bangalore. She has also participated in a consultation organized by National Law School of India University (NLSUI).

Plans


Key Result Areas Program Activities Planned

Building protective environment in 15 hamlets of Chikodi taluk in Belgavi District to ensure girl children are protected from violence, abuse and exploitation manifested by child marriage.

* Identification and continuous follow up with adolescent girls / families in high risk of dropping out from schooling and child marriage.
* Strengthening the community based forums such as mothers collectives, adolescent girls collectives and children collectives, with knowledge on child rights, basic/ preliminary responses in the cases of violations.
* Sensitization of community on negative impact of child marriages / risks to girl children / patriarchy / Prohibition of Child Marriage (Karnataka Amendment 2017) Act and the importance of girl child education through direct family visits and family counseling.
* Demand for improving school infrastructure, up-gradation of schools.
* Enrolment of children and high risk girls to school education.
* Engagement with ICPS / Gram Panchayats to form VCPC's.
* Monitoring mass marriage events in the Taluka towards prevention of young boys and girls into forced child marriages - Doctors Age Certificate, adhering to all the norms on mass marriages.
* Facilitate the Children's Gram Sabhas in 4 Panchayats: Engagement with children in the process

Financial Summary: January to December 2018


Budget Breakup 2018

Education

498

2%

Protection

17,926

72%

Administration

6,472

26%

Total Grant Approved

24,896

100%