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Lok Kalyan Sansthan [LKS] strives to work towards creation of a society that is free of fear, hunger and exploitation. It strives to create awareness among people about their responsibility in establishing child rights and enables them to do so by sensitizing them on political and social concerns. Over the years, LKS has successfully strengthened rapport with the community to ensure people's involvement in the programs. The Project Holder, Mr. Bhanwar Lal Chaudhury was awarded the CRY - Rippan Kapur Fellowship from 1996 – 98 for working on the issues of education, health and disability among children in villages of Jaisalmer district in Rajasthan. On realizing the importance of an integrated approach to address child rights issues, he registered Lok Kalyan Sansthan in 1998. Currently, LKS works across 16 villages of Baytu block of Barmer district, Rajasthan.
Lok Kalyan Sansthan [LKS] works with 1969 families in 16 villages spread over 4 Panchayats. Almost 57% of the population belongs to OBC and 22% are SC’s. The primary occupations are agriculture, animal rearing, casual laborers, shops and other small businesses in the village. Agriculture production is not sufficient due to the scarcity and uncertainty of rain in Rajasthan. 20% of the land has been identified as irrigated in the survey and wells have been identified as the only source of irrigation. The irrigation situation becomes grim during the drought years and in such conditions people also work as casual labor with the famine relief works provided by the Government like constructing of temporary roads during lean monsoon years. While relief activities like creation of employment opportunities, drinking water, and fodder distribution are done by the Govt during the drought period, long-term solutions for mitigating the impact of recurring drought have not been identified.
Due to scattered existence, there is little access to health facilities. Reproductive and child health is still limited to timely vaccinations and supplementary nutrition from the ICDS. There has been an increase in health facilities in the past decade, but accessibility to these services is still poor. The problem of working children is prevalent in the area. Children assist their families in agriculture, cattle grazing or look after their younger siblings, while their parents go out to work. Besides, gender discrimination against girl children, female feticides and infanticides and child marriages are rampant in the area. In this context, LKS intervenes with an aim to work towards ensuring the rights the marginalized dalit community by empowering them economically, politically and socially.
- To promote collective intervention aimed at improving the quality of life of the deprived reference community, particularly in the areas of education, curative health care and malnutrition.
- To focus interventions on consolidating women's collectives and ensuring their equal participation in local development processes.
- To form and strengthen people’s collectives and empower them to confront exploitation towards ensuring rights of the dalit and deprived community.
- To work towards long term solution of the issue of recurring drought in the region.
Review and Impact
LKS has a three pronged strategy of intervention - awareness building among the reference community members, mobilizing them through community collectives to fight for their own rights and networking and advocacy with like minded organizations to strengthen pressure building on the government. The programs emphasize strengthening of local self governance structures with a view to ensure community participation in local development.
Major achievements include :
- 98 out of 141 children were covered under NFEs.
- 69 children who were working were admitted in schools.
- 100% retention of students was retained in 7 schools.
- 4 PTA’s are actively working with almost equal representation of males and females.
- The Village Education Committee actively monitored the mid day meal distribution in schools.
- Cases of discrimination were also handled with school authorities.
- 176 (92%) children got certificates.
- Out of 191 new born babies, 158 children were covered under complete immunization.
- 63 pregnant and 63 lactating mothers were covered under the 7 ICDS centers.
- A Dai (midwives) group was initiated after meeting with Dai’s.
- All the 69 working children (10 boys and 35 girls) and child labourers (19 boys and 5 girls) are enrolled in schools.
- 35 out of the 51 old age pension applications filed, were approved.
- 69 beneficiaries got job cards under NREGA.
- 2 women benefited from JSY scheme.
- 5 children groups were sustained.
- 4 Kisori Prena Manchs were formed aiming at empowerment of adolescent girls. The issues of gender discrimination, health and education were taken and discussed.
- 6 cases of land encroachment were handled by the Bal Pairvi Network and 6 dalit families were provided with patta of the encroached land.
LKS formed the Dalit Bal Pairvi Network with 6 local organizations – Prayas Sansthan; Samata Sansthan, Grameen Pragati Sansthan; Ekta Sansthan; Jai Bheem Sansthan and Marwar Janhit Samity for ensuring dalit child rights in the region. These organizations were selected on the basis of their contribution towards child rights causes [with focus on dalit children] and the network focused on working on the issues of dalit rights and child rights. LKS has strengthened its rapport with the community in the past years; the organization has shown alignment with the rights based approach and the State alliance. LKS has strengthened its second line leadership, which has clarity on its role and responsibilities, good community rapport, detailed data base and situational analysis and equal opportunities to women.
- Extension of program coverage across 52 villages in 9 Gram Panchayats thereby extending its geographical coverage to 33% of the block for advocacy.
- 100% immunization of newborn children will be ensured in the reference area.
- 100% birth registrations will be ensured in the reference area.
- 100% children getting supplementary nutrition will be ensured in the reference area.
- Village Health Committees will be formed in 49 new Panchayats and federated to the Gram Sangarsh Samity at the Panchayat level.
- Leadership development will be carried out with the Bal Mandal members.
- Teachers Associations will be formed at the Block level.
- The Gram Sangarsh Samity will take up issues of quality education.
- Working children and child labourers will be identified. Possible intervention strategies for local self employment generation would be explored.
- Right to Information [RTI] applications will be filed with the Revenue Department for information on land holding in 65 villages.
- 5 Bal Mandals (children’s groups) will be retained and 10 new will be started in additional 52 villages. Bal Mandal members will interact with the Gram Sangarsh Samities on their issues. Children would be exposed to Panchayat processes.
- BPN will be directly intervening in 6 gram panchayats covering 30 revenue villages and the advocacy programs will cover 74 gram panchayats covering 370 villages across 6 blocks and 3 districts.
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