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SPREAD was founded by Mr. Bidyut Mohanty along with some likeminded people in 1989 with a commitment to work for the betterment of underprivileged population with focus on development of tribals in Koraput district of Odisha. In initial years of intervention, the project team focused on the problems of the displaced tribal population, those who have been deprived of their homes and livelihood due to loss of land and common property to make way for a major hydro-electric project, Damanjodi by NALCO. With the insights gained from this intervention, the organization expanded its work to the displaced communities of two other projects, Kolab and Machhkund. Mr. Bidyut Mohanty, the Project Holder has been working in the development sector for the last 15 years on the issues of gender, participatory approach, advocacy and Programme Monitoring and Evaluation. He started work with Dalit children of slums in Bhubaneswar and has been associated with ‘Agragami’ on the issues of tribals. SPREAD became a CRY supported partner from 2005-06.
Koraput district is located in the backward Koraput- Bolangir- Kalahandi (KBK) region of Odisha. The district is predominantly populated by scheduled tribes and falls under the Scheduled Area. All the blocks are Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) blocks. The tribes which pre-dominantly populate Koraput region are Kandhas, Sauras, Sabras, Bhottoda, Bhumiyas, Parajs, and Gadabas. Literacy rates are below the state and National averages. Female literacy is only 25%. PDS and other social security schemes are defunct. The Panchayat Raj Institutions in the region is not active. Operational area has 60% of tribal population. 35% children are malnourished. Unilateral education system in terms of same language and contents for all the community has created some discomfort among tribal children to continue in the education system. Secondly tribal community is not able to link this education process with their way of livelihood for survival and hence is moving out from elementary education. Economic constraints are another major reason for drop outs. Children are involved in household, agriculture and animal husbandry work.
- Ensuring Quality basic services in 15 ICDS centres and pre-school services in 11 ICDS centres.
- Infrastructure development in 22 schools – school buildings, toilets, kitchen and tubewells.
- Bringing the issue of sexual harassment to Girl children in school ( in 18 schools), located in and around operational villages, to the forefront thereby initiating a process towards addressing the issue.
- Ensure 100% enrolment and retention in 14 schools, develop learning material in local language, implementing multi-lingual education in 14 schools.
- To ensure regular weight tracking of 406 children in 12 project villages, ensure deserved entitlements from ICDS.
- Regular follow up and tracking of the regular functions of schools for ensuring quality education in rest seven schools of the project area.
- Creating awareness among community members on child rights issues, employment opportunities, government schemes and benefits available.
- Active interface with government officials at local and district levels to ensure regularity of services like ICDS, public distribution system, health care, education .
Review and Impact
Since inception of CRY partnership, SPREAD has been focussing on children’s issues as well as issues of tribal communities. All along they have been working to ensure direct action with children and reference communities and also advocating with the local government and district level officials to ensure fulfilment of rights of children, to ensure availability of quality services for children and communities as well as for their basic entitlements to the land. Given the situation of child rights, SPREAD has initiated an approach to design its intervention with focus on health and malnutrition. A broad 3-year roadmap has been formulated for SPREAD to address the issues of health, malnutrition and quality education in the reference villages. On one hand, SPREAD will continue to have in-depth intervention in the existing villages while on the other hand they will gather primary data of adjoining panchayat areas to make inroads on health and malnutrition issues on a larger scale and over a wider geography.
- Regular Growth Monitoring of 360 children.
- 41 child aged below one year completed Immunization and 2 to 5 year 33 children completed Immunization.
- 33 get new birth and 30 old birth certificates availed.
- Regular monitoring of functioning as enabled 12 preschools to function actively .
- In 4 model ICDS center preschool and 6 basic services are functioning properly.
- One high school has been opened after regular advocacy in the inetervention area.
- Only 38 drop out and 43 out of school out of 1959 child.
- Cases of sexual harassment decreased as no sexual harassment to girl children at any school has been reported.
SPREAD in its existing areas have tried to develop a plan by including the underlying reasons of key issues which are malnutrition and education, this way the focus has always remain to get to the bottom of any issue. Over the past several years it has also tried to mobilize people for addressing the livelihood issues which we in our current strategy and approach find very much coherent to make a sustainable change in the area where SPREAD works.
Some of the broad plans this year as as follows
- To reduce malnutrition by ensuring Health and Nutrition of children, by ensuring regular growth monitoring and Regular Interface with ICDS authority.
- To make sure of quality health and hygiene practices for adolescent girls and women.
- Organising girls collective that can act as a support group for girls to address issues of child marriage.
- To Ensure quality education in schools through the guidelines of RTE interface with govt. official for subject wise teacher and school infrastructure.
- Networking with other like-minded organization/ alliances for advocacy of mother tongue based preschool.
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