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Location

8 slums of Sadar Block, Bilaspur District Chhattisgarh
Thematic Intervention: Education & Nutrition


Background

Mitwa Mahila Kalyan Evam Seva Samiti (MMKSS) has its genesis in a community-based organization (CBO) working in tribal villages of Chhattisgarh. The founders were members of a microfinance self-help group (SHG) who were bound together in a relationship of mutual trust for improving living conditions of self. These women, along with savings and thrift practices, had continued to work together for the development of poor vulnerable women and children since last decade. The organization got registered on 14th Jun 2004 and is currently working in a focused way for the development of children and women in the urban area of the Bilaspur especially amongst the children and migrant families living in slums along with people begging on the streets. Ms. Santoshi Verma is the project holder and leads the team as Chief Executive since its registration. The organization’s focus work has been education, health, child participation and women empowerment. The organization has also initiated the process of addressing the issues of substance abuse and malnutrition. Its strategies ensure women and child rights are driving the programs on education, health and child participation. The programs are implemented through capacity building & community awareness and organizing women & children into groups so that they can raise their voices against discriminations they face. The organization also supports children by taking support tuition classes and prepares profile of the children to map the yearly progress of children. Through the years, the organization have also focused on 100% immunization of children and pregnant women of the 8 slums. It has also been working to strengthen the ICDS Anganwadi Centers, especially on the delivery of 6 services in the concerned slums. The organization also has been working on the participation of children and adolescent group through motivating them to form children and adolescent group in the slums.

Problem Statement:


Bilaspur is the largest city in the state of Chhattisgarh and the seat of the High Court of Chhattisgarh. This pre-independence city is characterized by irregular street patterns and low-rise buildings mainly with terracotta tiled roofs. The total slum population of the city is about 85,128 (source: DPR of Integrated Housing and Slum Development Program- IHSDP). These are majorly situated on the either sides of the railway track. The source of income for these slum dwellers and migrant population mainly consists of daily wage work, rag picking, hawking vegetables and low-cost household essentials, women working as housemaids, and even begging on the streets, market places, railway junctions and bus stands. Children are mainly engaged in rag picking and begging. They are also addicted to smoking and alcohol; and too many of them are out-of-school, some being never enrolled, and some dropped out. There is a strong presence of caste system which is observed in the communities as the communities do not prefer eating meals together. Social discrimination exists within the communities of SC, ST, others inhabiting Fadakhar and other slums. The basic amenities such as drinking water, sanitation, electricity, etc. are either very meager or not functional in these areas. Facilities from municipal corporation and other government schemes are defunct and many people dislike entering the areas.

MMKSS through its intervention has been able to improve the educational situational to some extent in 8 slum pockets in the city. However, there is still lot to improve. There is inadequacy of subject based teachers in the schools; all schools do not have enough facilities and services to meet the RTE Act requirements, high dropouts among children in the age group of 15-18 years due to non-availability of high schools in neighborhoods. Most of the children do not have any guidance & care from family as they are first generation learners with very poor family economic condition. And, the slum dwellings are illegal settlements on railway lands and hence the communities always live in fear of eviction. Few of the school’s boundary walls and classrooms are in the threat of demolition. Children’s education is not a priority for parents because of these conditions, coupled with low understanding of criticality of education for children. As a result of these, children are getting into child labor, and few are getting addicted to substance abuse. The ICDS Anganwadi Centers have not implemented pre-school education for children aged 3-6 years on full scale till now. The pre-school education (PSE) component of the early childhood care and development (ECCD) program has been started in recently and it needs to be follow-up regularly through dialogues with government officials, training of Anganwadi Workers and sensitization of community for regular children attendance and local level monitoring of the implementation.

The situation of health and malnutrition among slum dwellers in the 8 slums of Bilaspur Sadar block has started to improve owing to extensive work done by MMKSS. However, the quality of services, infrastructure, and community’s understanding and practices have a lot to improve. The quality nutritional service delivery and deriving of health benefits from the same are restricted by the shabby and unhygienic condition of slums. While the Anganwadi workers are delivering the nutritional & basic health monitoring services, the quality aspects get affected by infrastructure constraints in the centers and absence of regular technical trainings for the workers on tasks such as Anthropometry test. The project also needs to address community awareness gaps regarding healthy food habits and feeding practices for children, pregnant and lactating mothers, infants.

Plans


Program Activities Planned

Key Result Area: Children in the age group 3-6yrs from 8 slums are enrolled in Anganwadi and learning

* Tracking eligible children in the project areas for enrolment & retention in ICDS centers;
* Conduct benchmarking in 4 model ICDS centers regarding age specific learning of children. Meetings with DPO to share findings and exploring ways of improvements.

Key Result Area: All children in the age group 6-18 years from 8 slums are enrolled in school

* List all children in project target families to track and identify never enrolled, irregular, drop-out, child labor, addicted to substance abuse;
* Organize community meeting to explain critical role of education in children’s future, ways to ensure schooling for all, including through open schools.


Program Activities Planned

Key Result Area: All 9 schools are complying with RTE Act’s norms on management mechanisms, facilities, service and infrastructure

* Orient School Management Committee (SMC) members on provisions of RTE Act -2009 and their roles and responsibilities;
* Facilitate regular SMC meetings to assist them in preparation of school development plans (SDP) and monitoring of school functioning;
* Sensitize community on entitlements, norms and provisions in RTE Act;
* Assist SMCs in addressing gaps in RTE Act compliance;
* Developing training materials of joyful learning (classroom teaching methodologies for language and mathematics). Identifying & training teachers to apply the same.

Key Result Area: Primary school children of all model schools start receiving quality education

* Ensure training for 3 teachers on quality education in DIET;
* Interface with teachers & head masters on quality education & library;
* Regular updating of libraries with reading books & textbooks in 3 model schools to ensure 50% children start using libraries;
* Conduct benchmarking on learning achievements and contributing factors, analyze and discuss the findings with SMC & teachers.


Program Activities Planned

Key Result Area: Children in the age group 0-6 years and pregnant women enrolled in the Anganwadi Centers and are receiving all the services

* Identify and list all children in the age group 0-5yrs & pregnant women and maintain slum wise register, track their enrolment with ICDS Centers, access to services, and motivating pregnant mothers for institutional deliveries;
* Organize sensitization and interface meetings with community, ICDS workers, Mahila Mandals and Ward Councilors to improve functioning of ICDS Anganwadi Centers and delivery of services;
* Interface meetings with District Program Officer (DPO) and other ICDS officials on opening of new ICDS centers, repair work, staffing, training, sound implementation of ICDS, and full rollout of PSE;
* Organize regular meetings of community monitoring group and strengthen community mechanisms & performance documentation;
* Link all the adolescent girls with the SABLA (Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls) Program of ICDS center.

Key Result Area: Reduce malnutrition among children and pregnant women in 8 project slums

* Conduct sensitization meetings to motivate the pregnant women and community (for children) to get basic health check-up done regularly in Anganwadi Centers which covers growth monitoring, weight, blood pressure, immunizations;
* Organize meetings with adolescent girls and Anganwadi Workers to impart life skill education;
* Track lactating women and maintain food diary in context of feeding practices of infants (timeliness and quality);
* Organize meetings & discussions with community, Anganwadi workers and frontline of other government schemes on monthly basis for creating awareness regarding healthy food practices.

Financial Summary: January to December 2018


Budget Breakup 2018

Health & Nutrition

6,315

41%

Education

5,737

37%

Administration

3,303

22%

Total Grant Approved

15,355

100%