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Location

Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh, India
Thematic Intervention: Protection (Child labor, Child Marriage)


Background

Mr. K.V. Ramana, the Project holder has good understanding and experience of socio economic conditions and issues of the community. He started NGO “PRAGATHI” in 1993. He initiated activities with underprivileged communities in his native mandal. He has undergone several trainings and workshops conducted by various organizations. He played key role in land struggle of Tribals. His association with CRY started with fellowship in 1998 and continued as fellow till June-2004. The organisation Pragathi is working with scheduled caste, scheduled tribe and other backward communities for socio economic development in Chinagottigallu, Sodam, Somal and Piler mandals of Chittoor district. The project holder Ramana is member in Mandal education Committee, Hospital and Hostel Advisory Committee on behalf of PRAGATHI. He is also the co-convener for District Anti-Child marriages struggle forum. PRAGATHI has also been implementing integrated development program for tribals, natural resource management with support of NABARD(National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) and community health intervention program etc.

Key Issues Addressed:

PRAGATHI has been working in 3 Mandals of Chittoor district - Chinnagottigallu, Yerpedu and Renigunta. Major child rights situation in the operational areas are-

Child labor – There are 412 child labors in the operational area and among them 40% are girls and 60% are boys. Most of the child labors are in 15-18 years age group. Poor economic condition of the family applicable in most of the cases; also there are factors like lack of access to schools and junior college; corporal punishment; discrimination in schools; family migration. Breadwinner in the family dying, child marriage, failure in examination and parents’ separation were some other reasons for dropping out from school and becoming a child labor. In the unorganized sector boys work as mechanics, welders, cattle grazers, shepherds, sand loaders,in brick-making (mud & cement), loading and unloading of gravel, non-timber forest produce collection, construction workers, etc. Girls work as domestic workers, in brick-making (mud & cement), non-timber forest produce collection, construction workers, etc.

Dropout - “There are 426 dropout in the operational area out of which 183 are boys and 243 are girls. 236 are in 6-14 age-group and 190 are in 15-18 age-group. 22% belong to SC, 62% to ST, 15% to BC and 1% to OC communities. 16/89 habitations are dropout-free in the operational area. 44% of the dropout is staying at home idle, 43% of the dropout are helping their parents in farm works, 11% of the dropout migrated with their families, 1% are taking care of their younger siblings, and 1% got married”.
The basic reasons area poor economic condition of family in 78% drop out cases;lack of access to schools and junior colleges in few cases; corporal punishment; parents’ separation; failure in exams; discrimination in schools; lack of girls’ toilet; family migration; looking after siblings; dying of breadwinner are other reasons for dropout. Status of schools in the operational area also discourages children to attend schools and with less number of children in schools in the remote hamlets government is closing down schools. vention area

Child Marriage - 56 child marriages were reported out of which the team was able to stop 25. Most of these reported marriages were of girls and in some cases child was either dropout or child labor. Only one child is continuing the education even after the marriage. Lack of access to education appears as main cause of high number of child marriages. The system of dowry, social customs, and economic conditions of the family and lack of enforcement of the law are still preventing the elimination of child marriages. The system of marriage registration is not strictly followed. Non-implementation of Dowry Prohibition Act by the State results in continuation of this practice and that is resulting in child marriages. vention area

Objectives

  • Ensure reduction child labor from 412 to 171 in the intervention area.
  • Ensure reduction of dropout children from 426 to 264.
  • Ensure reduction of instances of child marriages from 56 to 30 in intervention area.

Achievements & Impact in the Review Period


Pragathi is a well known organization in the district and with its strong advocacy strategy it is able to highlight issues of child rights violations. During the year it has significantly contributed and achieved the set objectives. Pragathi has been able to strategically approach many issues, engage with different stakeholders and brought about good results. Few of the achievements of the organisation are as follows:

  • During the year, the project team has identified child labors and drop outs. In 6-14 years age group 236 dropout and 144 child labor (total 380) were identified and in 15- 18 years age group 190 drop out and 268 child laborers (Total 458) were identified.
  • Sensitization of community was done against child labor through counselling of parents; engaging with high risk families; arranged scholarships for Scheduled Tribe & Scheduled Caste children; parents sensitized on impact of child labor on children.

  • For promotion of child friendly environment, the team did counselling with teachers; motivated teachers for home visits; infrastructure improved in schools; schools monitoring done regularly; advocated to reconstitute School Management Committees. All these resulted in improvement is these schools.
  • For enrolment and retention of children in 6-14 years age group, the team tracked children; assisted children to apply for social security benefits; supported fresh enrolment in grade 1 and progression from primary to upper primary schools; took up enrolment campaigns in all habitations and worked with government stakeholder in the area.
  • Team worked to enhance institutional care and protection through strengthening of Social Welfare hostels.

Major achievements in the year include:

  • Team tracked 15-18 years age group children for their continuity of education. Ensured transition of children from one level of schooling to another level and guided children to appear for supplementary exams.
  • Economic vulnerability assessment was done to improve understanding of situation of girl child. However there is need to do proper economic vulnerability assessment of families. Project need to document the learning from villages where there are no child marriages.
  • Team engaged more with families which are vulnerable to child marriages, provided counselling to parents against traditions and customs and on the harmful impact of child marriages on children. They also counselled on the need to have positive attitude towards girl children.

  • New child collectives were formed in new villages and regular meetings conducted. A Child Cell workshop conducted with children and parents at Pothumanugunta village and it was reported that there is slight change in the attitude of parents towards participation rights of children.
  • Counselling sessions were conducted for adolescent children. Children were given awareness on various child protection mechanisms available.
  • 16 child labor were mainstreamed into schools.
  • 150 dropout children were mainstreamed into schools
  • Ensured admission of 689/695 who completed 5 years into 1st standard.
  • 2 closed government primary schools were reopened due to advocacy by Pragath at Gopalapuram and Nachineri villages of Yerpedu Block. This was important in ensuring the education continuity of children in those villages

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:

  • Assisted 155 children in getting transport allowance from government to attend the schools, as per Right to Education Act. This ensured retention of those children in schools as otherwise it would have resulted in dropout of some children as they had to go to distant schools.
  • Capacity Building training was conducted for project team on Child Labor (Prevention and Regulation) Act and Prohibition of Child Marriages Act.
  • 1240 parents were sensitized on the importance of girl child education
  • Assisted 2020 students to apply for government education scholarships. Of them, 628 were sanctioned the scholarships.
  • 2560 parents were sensitized on the negative impact of child labor and dropout on children
  • Awareness / cultural programmes were conducted in all the 84 villages on the issues of child labor and dropout.
  • 49 government school teachers were given awareness on the importance of child-friendly teaching and were sensitized on the issue of corporal punishments.
  • Encouraged 44 government school teachers to visit 203 families where child labor / dropout is there and to counsel the parents.

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:

  • Through its advocacy, ensured following enhancements in schools:
    • Additional class rooms constructed in 2 schools.
    • New teachers were appointed in 2 schools.
    • Toilets for boys were constructed in 6 schools.
    • Toilets for girls were constructed in 4 schools.
    • Drinking water facility was created in 3 schools.
    • Ramp facility was created in 1 school.

  • 95 schools in the project area were regularly monitored by Project team.
  • Assisted 2014 families to apply for different social security benefits from government and out of that 1745 families received the benefits.
  • Girijan Cooperative Corporation Cards were demanded for 67 Yanadi Tribe families and all of them were sanctioned those cards. This ensured access to non-timber forest produce for those families.
  • Ensured 61/84 villages child-marriage-free during the year.
  • 25 child marriages were stopped during the year.
  • 750 girls were given counseling against child marriages.
  • Assisted 126 children to get admission into social welfare hostels.
  • 11 Child Collectives were formed in 11 new villages. Regular meetings were ensured in all the 84 child collectives.
  • Conducted leadership training for 59 child collectives.
  • Mobilized relief material from government for 4446 families which were affected by heavy rains during rovan-cyclone in November 2015.

Plans


Reduce child labor from 412 to 362 & Reduce dropout from 426 to 325.

  • Sensitize parents of child labors and other parents on the importance of education especially girl child education.
  • Conduct capacity building sessions through meetings/campaigns for Community based Organisations on child labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Act and Right to Children Free and Compulsory Education (RCFCE) Act.
  • Engage with media to publish articles on importance of education / child labor situation.
  • Sensitize Panchayathi Raj Institute members on child labor issue and involve them in sensitizing parents.
  • Regular monitoring of schools and hostels by project team members.
  • Track all children in the age-group of 6-14 years to ensure they are in school.
  • Identify and assist children to apply for social security entitlements. (Cast certificates, scholarships, bus pass, Medical certificates for differently able children). Ensure enrolment of all 5+ children into 1st standard to prevent never-enrolled.

  • Sensitization to teachers against corporal punishments and to opt for child-friendly teaching methods.
  • Strengthening of school management committees and ensure their role in promoting child-friendly environment in schools.
  • Track all children in the age group of 15-18 yrs and ensure their transition from upper primary to high school & high school to other higher education courses.
  • Guide children who completed 10th standard to apply for higher education courses.
  • Conduct convergence meetings to ensure action is taken by concerned officials to release the child labor.
  • Personal counselling to parents whose children are working as child labor to sensitize them about negative effects on children.

Reduce instances of child marriages from 56 to 46.

  • Sensitize priests and caste leaders on the issue of child marriage and urge their involvement in preventing child marriages.
  • Encourage teachers to visit families where child marriages might happen / where child marriages are fixed and to counsel parents.
  • Conduct counselling sessions to adolescent children against child marriages.
  • Strengthen government schools by ensuring good infrastructure facilities, especially toilets for girls, and sufficiency of teachers and active school management committees.
  • Ensure convergence meetings between government departments for better coordination towards preventing the child marriages.

ANNUAL FINANCIAL SUMMARY

  • Right to Education
    $913
  • Right to Protection
    $19,831
  • Right to Participation
    $2,780
  • Administration
    $11,407
  • Total Grant Approved
    $34,931