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Janarth is a development organization working for rights of deprived and marginalized groups and creating opportunities to overcome their deprived situation and ensure access to basic services and schemes designed for them. Janarth has been working at grassroots since 1986 from its base in Aurangabad in Maharashtra. The organization is following an approach of community based rehabilitation (CBR) for differently abled people. It includes identification of the differently abled people, their medical, social, educational and economic rehabilitation, encouraging them to form groups and working through the groups for rehabilitation. Janarth runs 15 therapy and guidance centres in Aurangabad district. Through these centers, medical diagnosis and rehabilitation is undertaken covering around 200 children. It has formed Palak Sanghs (parents’ groups) to discuss issues of disabilities with them and to organize events to demand the rights of differently abled children from the government. It also works on issues of education to migrant children, child labor, empowering women groups, watershed management etc. In its first year of partnership with CRY, Janarth will operate in 20 villages of Kannad and Sillod blocks of Aurangabad district.
The major child rights issues identified for differently abled children in the area are lack of early detection of disability, no issuance of birth certificates, caste and disability certificates. Discrimination in schools and drop out from schools is also prevailing. In a recent survey it was found that more than 1000 children are identified as disabled, with speech and hearing disorders, orthopedic disabilities, mentally retarded, visually impaired and children identified with cerebral palsy. The parents are not aware of the issues related to detection of disability among children at the early age. There are no facilities in the PHCs or rural hospitals to identify disabilities among children at the time of birth. Also, the medical diagnoses and therapy center is located at the District Hospital, which is far away from the villages. Thus, the disability among the children goes undiagnosed & unnoticed at early age and its detection in later stages becomes difficult to cure.
Pregnant women and children are not immunized due to superstitions and rare community visits by health workers. There are no special doctors in PHC/Sub centre and rural hospital to provide medical facilities to these children. These children are not enrolled in ICDS centers and deprived of nutritious supplementary food. Children with disabilities are not registered at birth as the parents do not take interest. They also do not have disability and caste certificates and as a result the children are deprived of various government schemes. Enrollment in formal schools takes place, but children dropped out due to lack of proper care by teachers, absence of special teacher and humiliation by other children. Parents have poor economic condition to enroll them in special schools located largely at distant places.
- Develop non discriminative attitude against the differently abled children in the society.
- Linkages with the government to provide medical treatment and therapy to all disabled children identified in the intervention blocks and villages.
- Ensure all differently abled children are enrolled and retained in regular public schools.
- To ensure all differently abled children receive disability certificates.
- To ensure Aaganwadi services are linked with 20 villages of 2 blocks to provide supplementary nutritious food.
PlansThe following are the broad plans of Janarth for this year:
- Conducting base line data collection in all 20 operational villages - study on facilities available for differently abled children in the schools as per RTE norms.
- Ensuring issuance of birth certificates, disability certificates and caste certificates.
- Linking children with ICDS centers, ensuring immunization and health check-ups for pregnant women and children.
- Organizing cultural programs and play/recreational competitions for the disabled children to make them confident, as well as make the community and parents aware about the issues linked to disability.
- Campaign for ensuring 100% enrolment of children with any form of disability in government schools.
- Work towards preventing physical, sexual and other forms of harassment of adolescent girls’ through engaging with adolescent girls to understand their issues, motivating parents for girl child education and send disabled girls to therapy centres.
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