on the details of
Navachetna is the expression of the various aspects of the process of cultural development of a team of activists known as Dynamic Action Group (DAG). The organization was the result of an experiment by four young people committed to work for the cause of the community and children in the early seventies in Kayamkulam, a village on the coastal belt in southern Kerala. It was a close-knit group formed through study, discussion and fellowship. The unemployed youth got involved in economic programme viz., coir mat weaving, peanut making and house to house sales. The first major operation of the group was during the time of Emergency. Navachetna team has been the founder of the Chengara Aikyadatha Samiti (Chengara solidarity forum) and has played a critical role in developing a complete package for negotiation with the state government. Moreover the cultural team has spent a great deal of time with the community in Chengara itself energizing the struggle and facilitating the cultural expression of the people thereby ensuring child rights. Navachetna found its meaning and philosophy in the dalit vision of life which was revealed in their exploration of the true dalit culture and identity.
The intervention villages of Navachetana are predominantly inhibited by dalit communities namely Sambavas. The main source of income for the men is coolie work and they earn about 350/- to 400 Rs a month. Income levels are very low and due to struggle for livelihood families migrate to adjoining towns and cities. The area is suffering from lack of government health services. None of the children are going to government school as there is no government school in the locality. Main issues of the colony are hunger due to lack of livelihood, unsanitary housing and high levels of alcoholism. Immunization is not being covered properly for the women and children of the colony. PHC are mostly defunct. The colonies have high incidence of malnutrition, lack of basic infrastructure like roads and drainage system.
- To strengthen direct interventions with children from 17 villages of Pathanamthitta district towards their holistic cognitive development for their futures.
- To shape a community of children in Tiruvalla itself who can resist violations and assert their rights.
- To analyse Child Rights (CR) issues in the operational area and intervene in protecting those.
- To strengthening holistic CR perspective of grass root cadres and communities in Pathanamthitaa and other CRY partner districts through cultural activism and campaigns.
Navachetana has undertaken baseline data collection process to assess the situation of education, health, livelihood and land. During this year, a cultural training programme was held for 15 cultural activists at Tiruvalla at Penamma Bhavanam. The main theme was ‘Historical Perspective of Child Rights and Cultural Transformation’. Bhoomigeetham campaigns were also held in Atappadi and Kollam linked to the CRY partner areas. The Navachetana children also presented a cultural programme in the NEC meeting.
- Base line data collection done to analyse CR issues in the 17 operational villages.
- Pularikootam team has greatly strengthened their work in the 17 villages. Almost 350 children are evolving out of the Pularikootams and each groups has about 25 – 30 children.
- The World Environment Day gathering of the Pularikootams was held in 3 cluster areas this year – Punnamon, Kunnamthanum and Ennakkadu.
- As part of the children’s documentation, the ‘ARANGU’ - a hand-written publication by children was brought-out in the context of the Hiroshima Day.
- Children organized Education yatra as a public campaign and also did their theater activities near 4 schools in the operational area.
- For the first time adolescent camps were held during this year. It was held in three cluster areas of Punnaman/Enekaadu/Kunnanthanum and discussions on the larger gender stereotypes were held through child friendly exercises.
- Data collection in 17 colonies to gain in-depth understanding of status of immunization, malnourishment and drop-outs.
- Community mobilization for activation and proper functioning of Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) centres, Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Sub Centres (SCs).
- Strengthening the mothers’ group to study the functioning of PHC and ICDS centers.
- Prevent government schools from closure and stop caste based discrimination in schools.
- Regular interface with government departments for implementation of NREGA and other social security schemes for livelihood generation thus protecting child rights.
- Facilitate focused group discussions with the community members at each colony on issues or threats faced by children in the age group of 14 to 18 years.
- To play a critical role in Jana Munettam (JM) and lend complete solidarity in establishing JM as a state level alliance on Education.
- Play a consistent role in National Education Committee (NEC) and strengthen National Alliance for Right to Education (NAFRE).
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