on the details of
Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh, India
Thematic Intervention: Protection, Education
In 1992 Mrs. J. Lalithamma established People’s Organization for Rural Development (PORD) with an objective to build awareness among dalits and to work for sustainable development. PORD started its activities in Thamballapalle Mandal which is underdeveloped and where the situation of dalit and tribal (especially of women and children) is poor. Presently it is operating in Thambalapalle and Madanapalle mandals.
PORD started its partnership with CRY in 2007. At the village level 90 children collectives have been formed and 36 strengthened. The team has formed 65 village sanghas (collectives) and 25 slums sanghas. 2 mandal level federations were formed and 2 Mandal (sub-region within district) level federations for the children’s collectives were formed in Thamballapalle & Madnapalli mandals.
Key Issues Addressed:
PORD is working in two mandals of Chittoor district- Madnapalle and Thambalapalle, where dalits and tribes are poorest of the poor and they are unable to meet basic needs like education, health and land. In Thambalapalle 68% families and in Madnapalle 93% families are landless causing lack of access to quality education, health and nutritional food to children. From the operational area, 574 families migrated along with their 808 children for livelihood. child labor has increased in Schedule Caste (SC) and Schedule Tribe (ST) families and hence drop-out ratio has also increased. 1493 children are malnourished due to lack of livelihood resources, lack of ICDS (Integrated Child Development Services)centers, poor quality of food, insufficient Public Distribution System (PDS) shops, improper distribution of food materials; lack of basic facilities like water, health check up, sanitation and child marriage. Many families do not even have ration cards. At Thambalapalle 483 families did not have job cards. 9% families in Thambalapalli and 15% families in Madnapalli do not have houses. There is prevalence of child marriage in the operational area. 90 child marriages (40% Thambalapalle + 50% Madnapalle) were reported during the year. Some of the major reasons for child marriage are the dowry system, social customs, and poor economic conditions of the family, lack of access to schools and lack of enforcement of the law.
- Increase 100% child labor free villages from 19% to 50%.
- Increase 100% child marriage free villages from 23% to 55%.
- Increase villages where 100% children are enrolled in school from 20% to 50%.
Achievements & Impact in the Review Period
PORD has been efficiently working to promote child rights in the rural and urban areas of 2 blocks. PORD team has stronger and deeper child rights perception and commitment. The team is strategically using cultural events as a medium in sensitization of community & parents, to bring changes in behaviour, attitude, practices in stakeholders. During the year, PORD focused on building strong advocacy on protection rights of children in the community and achieved remarkable changes in parent’s attitudes by engaging with other stakeholders and duty bearers. It developed a strong rapport with government departments / committees –CWC (Child Welfare Committee) , District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), Police Department, Judiciary,labor department at the district level. On child education, dropout children were mainstreamed in formal schools and retained to continue their education through sensitization of parents, improvement in infrastructure facilities in schools and hostels.
The following are the highlights of achievements:
- Vulnerability information, reasons of vulnerability, children’s data on child labor has been collected for 3363 families out of 4200 families.
- 397 Regular village level Awareness meetings in Thamballapalle and Madanapalle mandals were conducted. Made the parents understand the child labor Act, prevention of Child marriages Act and the importance of education, problems of children being out of school.
- Conducted kalajathas(children’s theatre)programmes by team members in 70 Villages/Slums 4 times.
- 5 Awareness meetings for Village/Slum Development committee (CBO's) and other(Community Based Organization) CBO's( (Building workers unions, Weavers workers unions, Engineering works unions, Raithu mithra unions other working union’s) members on child labor and dropout issues
- Conducted training on importance of girl child education and RTE Act.
- Regular sensitization activities were organised in the operational area. As a result Panchayati Raj Institute (PRI) members are monitoring schools regularly and working to improve the infrastructural facilities, teachers’ attendance, quality of midday meals and distribution of free text books.
This has led to people coming forward to help change the lives of children and government officials becoming more accountable. In some cases, buildings have been approved for Observatory Homes and children were provided food etc. Positive outcomes of the intervention:
- 10 enrolment campaigns conducted in operational area which involved 31 mid-primary schools and 7 upper primary school teachers, Community Based Organisers of Village/Slum development committee members.
- 230 children mainstreamed into schools. In this 117 children joined into social welfare hostels.
- In all 48 schools discussions were done with teachers by involving Community Based Organisers (CBOs) and appeals were made against corporal punishments and providing encouragement for continuing their education.
- Met the parents regularly and motivated them to participate in School Management Committee meetings and discussions on school issues of availability of toilets, safe drinking water, quality of midday meals etc.
- Through child collective active participation was done in identifying school issues. The children’s collective approached the School Management Committee members to raise the issues of child labor and drop out.
Chittoor district is mapped as critical on protection (child labor & child marriage) and education issues. The team has prepared a 3 year roadmap. The broad plan in the 1st year and expected outcome around the issue of child labor and child marriage are as follows:
Protection (linked with Education)
Reduce child labor from 361 to 300. Reduce dropout from 114 to 80
- There will be preparation of standard format for assessing vulnerability of children to child labor; developing format for assessing vulnerability of families; conduct survey; document issues faced by children working as child labor in different industries.
- Engaging more with families having low awareness on child rights; identify families with infants to stop drop out of elder sibling; sensitize parents for girl children education; assist eligible students to apply for scholarships; sensitize their parents on importance of education; counselling and conduct awareness program on child labor.
- Strengthened PRIs(Panchayat Raj Institution) proactively working on child labor issues- advocating for proper implementation of NREGA(National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), for sanction of social security benefits for eligible families, sensitize Panchayati Raj Institutions(PRI) members to create awareness against child labor at community-level; encourage PRI members to include child labor as part of the agenda in their meetings.
- Ensuring availability and access to schools through awareness creation on norms related to access to school
- Child-friendly environment promoted in schools- through regular monitoring of schools and hostels; discussion and sensitization of teachers; encouraging teachers for home visits; strengthening government schools through infrastructure improvement; strengthening School Management Committees.
- Migration of children averted through ensuring access to social security measures
Reduce instances of child marriages / child marriage fixed cases from 52 to 40 in the year
- Ensure improved understanding of the girl child and their vulnerability to child marriages through vulnerability mapping at family level and documenting learnings from villages with low percentage of child marriage cases.
- Ensure regular tracking of girl children with risk of dropping out of school; identifying potential child marriage cases; identifying girl children engaged in child labor ; identifying and assisting families in applying for social security measures; assisting girls to get admission in hostels; family visits with stakeholders; ensuring enrolment of all above 5 years children; ensuring transition from primary school to upper primary and upper primary to higher secondary and so on; creating awareness on child marriage issues.
- Conscientize adolescent girls’ groups against child marriages by engaging with them; counselling ; collecting information from adolescent girls on child marriages ; encourage to form groups and work against child marriage ; encourage role model among adolescent girls.
- Enhanced care and protection for girl child through girl-child schemes. There is plan to identify girls eligible for girl-child schemes; assist families in applying for the schemes; assess about utilization of the schemes at community level and create awareness in the community about girl-child schemes.
Increase "strengthened Child Collectives" from 48 to 58
- Regular child collective meetings; conduct sessions on child rights issues; encourage to play games and sports; conduct activities and competitions.
- Leadership from child collectives being nurtured by promoting leadership development among children through capacity building trainings; train child collective leaders in writing minutes of the meetings, conducting meetings; raising school issues by child collective members in schools; discussion on child marriage issues among adolescents.
- School issues being raised by child collective members in their schools.
- To start discussion among adolescent children on the issue of child marriage by providing counselling of adolescents; providing information on child protection mechanisms available at Panchayati Raj Institutions/Mandal/District level.
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