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Mahan Seva Sansthan, formed in 1989 started working with the tribal families of 20 villages spread over 4 Panchayats. Initially the focus of the intervention was to address discrimination and deprivation through strengthening of the education system. Later with broadening of perspectives and experience, the organization focused more on community mobilization and working towards the rights of children. The operational area of Mahan is now spread over 8 Panchayats, covering 60 villages in Jhadol block and 5 villages in Kotra block. Through its intervention, the organization now reaches out to approximately 6,000 families and covers approximately a 42,000 population.
The project area has villages, predominantly inhabited by tribal communities (almost 66%). Most of the tribal families are involved in the collection of the minor forest products and their sale in the local markets. There are 6200 children residing in the target area. Children from indigenous communities, in southern Rajasthan are being forced into an environment which is non-enabling and non-empowering to them. These children are deprived of quality education and health services they deserve. Their right to develop to their fullest potential is not being met.
Discriminatory social practices deprive women of an equal platform, space and opportunity. Infant mortality rate is an alarming issue in the villages, main reason being malnutrition, pneumonia and vomiting cum dehydration. Child marriage is prevalent in the area. Of the total child population around 60% children have early marriages. The first pregnancy is between the ages of 16-18 years, which is a major reason of infant mortality. Sex determination test and termination are also becoming common. Problem of potable water also persists in the area. There are villages where approximately 50 families are using one hand pump. As compared to the geographical spread of the area, there are only a few number of ICDS centres. Anganwadi workers find it hard to think beyond distributing supplementary nutrition and supporting ANM on immunization services.
- Ensuring access to free elementary education.
- Ensuring formation and active participation of School Management Committee (SMC) in managing education programs.
- Ensuring birth registrations for all new borns.
- Establishing linkage of disabled children with relevant government schemes.
- Ensuring reduction of child trafficking by liaisoning with law enforcement agencies.
- Children’s knowledge building through exposure/ interaction and thematic theatre group formation.
Mahan has built up its strength in child centric issues in a rights based approach and linking it to larger issues like the right to health and education. More than 90% percent of the deliveries took place in hospitals and other institutions with not a single reported case of maternal death in the project area. This could not have been possible without a community which is not aware about the importance of safe delivery and benefits of Janani Surakshya Yojna. Mahan has been able to mobilize communities to provide better facilities in the health institutions. The constant pressure over Anganwadi and the PRI led to 100% registration of all the reported new births and issuance of birth registration certificates. The organization played a facilitating role in formation of the School Management Committee (SMC) in the schools of the project area.
- Health service systems strengthened and effective in 7 Gram Panchayats involving 41 villages of Jhadol Block.
- Birth registration certificates issued to 317 children.
- 1187 children covered under complete immunization.
- Elementary education ensured for 1774 children (6 to 14 years) in the 22 schools in the intervention villages.
- 65 children were rescued during migration from their own village to join the labor force.
- 20 Bal Samuh and 5 Bal Panchayat formed in the project interventions villages.
- Ensuring better health facilities and enhance quality nutrition at project villages through activation of Primary Health Centres (PHC’s).
- 100% immunization of all new born children and pregnant women .
- 80% immunization of 493 children within age group 1 to 5 years.
- Ensuring quality education for children between 6 to 18 years of age with active involvement of the community, SMC and Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRI).
- Sensitizing Bal Panchayat on the need for proper student teacher ratio and the right to education act.
- Protection of children from all forms of exploitation at family, community and village level through linkages with government schemes and the legal system.
- Liaison with other networks at the regional, state and national level to ensure the protection of child rights.
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