on the details of
Chandel and Thoubal districts, Manipur, India
NEEDS was initiated with an objective of peace building among ethnic tribal communities across 10 villages in Churachandpur and Chandel districts of Manipur. The team is working on income generating projects through 26 Self Help Groups (SHGs) and on capacity building projects for farmers, youth leaders, community leaders and local communities. They are also working on environmental issues, HIV/AIDS, conflict analysis, peace building and have collaborated with nearly 70 local NGOs, to build their knowledge on conflict analysis and peace building. The founder, Mr K Morang Maring hails from a tribal community and is aware that the people of such communities are deprived from any kind of development. The current Project Holder, Mr Angshem, has also been a victim of ethnic conflicts and has been working with communities through NGOs in Odisha with a focus on training community groups on peace building. Over the last 2 years, the team with support from CRY has been working on child rights issues.
NEEDS is working in 16 villages of Chandel and Thoubal district of Manipur. The intervention districts are located adjacent to Imphal and are inhabited predominantly by tribal communities and almost everyone in this region follows the practice of shifting cultivation by cutting forests. The non-tribals are migrants from other districts coming to set up business at Moreh International Trade Centre. There are no health centers, public dispensaries, health sub-centers in the vicinity of the project villages. There is an inadequate number of Anganwadi workers at ICDS centers and Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) in the project villages. Institutional delivery is as low as 16% of total child births. Villages located with regular road link and transportation services have better health care coverage compared to those located in the interiors and remote areas. There are a total of 19 schools in the 16 project villages under 4 blocks. Out of the 16 operational villages, 13 villages are newly settled after the internal displacement in the border area of the Chandel district and Myanmar after the violent ethnic conflict between Nagas and Kukis. As this area lies next to Moreh, issue of trafficking is also rampant in this area. The team has been highlighting trafficking cases over the years. Over the last decade, this area has witnessed major ethnic conflicts which have created deep negative impacts on the life of the people particularly in terms of security, socio-economy, education and health. Children are majorly affected because of these conflicts as they face a high degree of malnutrition, non availability of proper health care facilities and they remain largely out of schools due to migration for supplementing family incomes. Networking activity and creating awareness at community level on these issue is being taken up by the team.
- To ensure access to quality education in 6 schools in the operational area and to public schools in 16 operating villages of the project.
- To ensure access to free primary health services in 16 operational villages of project.
- To ensure all mother and children get complete immunization on time and reduction in the number of malnutrition cases.
- To ensure children are free from drugs and illicit substance abuse.
- To ensure happy childhood without any trauma and fear from ethnic conflict through children’s collective processes and engagement of adults.
- To create free and protected environment for children to express their views through child participation.
Achievements & Impact in the Review Period
During the year, the team has focused mainly on identifying stakeholders, contacting them on the issues of children’s right to protection and on mapping children in different institutions. 10 children were identified as leaders at the district level out of the 682 children who were provided orientation in 6 blocks, on child right issues. The team has had interactions with the police stations of Moreh, Chakpikarong, Chandel, Kakching, Pallel, on the issues of child trafficking and child sexual abuse. They have been provided with the list of officials who have been designated by the district police office and the list of FIR’s filed on child sexual abuse. Major achievements for the review period are as follows:
- People’s organizations, CWCs (Child Welfare Committee), Special Juvenile Police Unit (SJPUs) & JJBs (Juvenile Justice Board) were mobilized for rescuing and rehabilitating trafficked children into the community.
- 16 children recruited by ultra outfits were rescued and sent back to their villages and 2 children who were in the custody of these outfits were also rescued.
- 9 children’s home were being tracked by the team and the home administrators are being encouraged to register these homes. One such home has been registered and another 2 are in the process of being registered.
- The team capacitated provisions under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. This has helped them better interact with the government and non government stakeholders in the districts on the issue of child sexual abuse.
- 9 private schools covering almost 4000 children in the district have been mobilized on the issues of child sexual abuse. The school management and children are being made aware of preventive measures to be taken.
- Interaction have been initiated with the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) on rescue operations for trafficked children.
- Networking has also been done with the Police department in the entire district for getting the list of the police officials who are in-charge of child care and protection.
- Children from private schools are being oriented on child rights issues, particularly on child protection issues such as child trafficking, child labor and child sexual abuse. Life skill education is also provided to these children.
NEEDS has done extensive work on child protection and is working with the network to activate and implement child rights policies, acts, laws and programs. Efforts are being made to work with the tribe chief association, all tribal womens associations, religious leaders to have more focused interventions with the government institutions for better programs. Key focus areas for the coming year are as follows:
Focus 1: Reducing child labor from all operational villages
- Total 5629 children to be placed under protective institutions, by forming 18 Child Protection Committees (CPC) in 18 villages, covering children in private schools of the 6 blocks and 9 children’s homes.
- Mobilisation of village chiefs of the 6 blocks and formation of Child Protection Committees CPCs in at least 18 villages.
- Orientation for the management of 12 private schools covering 5000 children and implementation of child friendly environment in the schools for ensuring protection of children. Advocacy with the Tribal Chief Association, the district administration and the village chief/ village authority for activation of child protection programs and policies.
- Police department to be sensitized towards registering FIRs and providing care and protection to the children under POCSO Act & reduce customary practices on Child Sexual Abuse and Juvenile Justice System.
- Ensure community awareness on child rights and seek redressal for child rights violations through the existing child rights policies and programs.
- Communities to initiate action to prevent violation of child rights and prevent children from being taken out of the state, being enrolled into militant groups, private institutions etc.
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