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Prayatn, founded in 1992, is a voluntary, secular and non-profit society, to enable people to respond to and change their situations of inequality and injustice. Prayatn Sanstha is one of the premier organization in Rajasthan, committed to work on child rights issues. Prayatn Sanstha evolved in 1992 with an objective of empowerment of communities to respond to changes and enable them to change their situation of inequality and injustice. However, over a period of time it has also developed expertise on child rights issues like declining sex ratio, child education, child marriage, RCH, PCPNDT Act, etc. and at present, most of the interventions of Prayatn across the states of U.P., M.P., Rajasthan & Orissa have specific CR focus as per CR situational analysis of the intervention area. Prayatn is recognized as leading organization in the state which is working on child rights issues which is equipped with ability to work directly at grassroots with added competency of conducting research, networking with CSOs & stakeholders and lobbying & advocacy with govt. The Project Holder is Mr. Malay Kumar, whose major area of expertise has been on child rights specifically protection related issues; he has a wide experience on PCPNDT Act, trafficking issue, research etc.
The CRY supported project of Prayatn Sansthan is spread over 30 villages/hamlets of saharia tribe under Sahabad block of Baran district in Rajasthan. The district of Baran has historical importance and borders Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The reference community predominantly belongs to the Sahariya tribe, identified as a primitive tribe by the Government of India on the basis of low growth rate, pre-agricultural level of technology and extremely low level of literacy. Baran is one of 22 districts in Rajasthan designated as ‘food insecure’. The Saharia population is particularly vulnerable to malnutrition because of its geographical isolation, uncertainty of food supply and lack of adequate health care facilities. Children are the ultimate victims of this state of food insecurity and malnourishment. Due to exclusion, extreme poverty, inappropriate development schemes; children are not provided with the necessary growth and development opportunities. As far the status of ICDS services actually available to children in coverage area is concerned, the recent study conducted by Prayatn Santha on Food security schemes for Saharia community reflected that out of total children in 0-6 years, only about 42% of the total children (upto 6 years) avail services of Anganbadi centre (AWC). The prime reason of the high malnutrition status is lack of awareness in the community and failure of the government machinery in extending awareness and services related with water and sanitation, nutrition and health care and bringing in behavioral change in them. Also, there is discrimination with Saharia children in the govt institutions including schools in villages with mix population of General, OBCs, SCs and Saharia. Saharia community realize this discrimination and therefore they hesitate in sending their children in schools situated in village thus restricting their access to limited schooling facilities available. Child Marriage is highly prevalent among Sahariyas.
- To enhance institutional capacity of Saharia community to respond to child survival issues.
- To ensure that children enjoy qualitative access to developmental opportunities as described under the right to development.
- To develop community based system for protection of the rights of the child in particular the system related to nutrition management.
- To establish set of practices to promote child participation at various levels.
Review and Impact
The CRY supported intervention of Prayatn Sansthan focussed on addressing food security and nutrition issues of Saharia children and on bringing about a positive change in the lives of Sahariya children thereby breaking the vicious cycle of food insecurity and vulnerability. Throughout year, focus was given on enabling community through community meetings, awareness drive on CR issues, formation of child protection committee (CBOs), activity plan of each CBOs on CR agenda. Base line data was collected through HH surveys in all 30 villages. Total 5717 children (3073 Boys & 2644 Girls) were found to be benefitted from the interventions of Prayatn Sansthan. Team has been mapping the government institutions of ICDS centers, Maa badi and PDS against indicators of regularity in service, on provision of SNP & hot cooked meal and pre-school education. Study on Knowledge, Attitude and practice of saharia community for food and nutrition for understanding the situation from socio-economic-cultural perspective was conducted. The draft report has been shared by Prayatn with CRY for comments and finalization. Experience of previous year has also paved way of going in-depth on the issue of infant & child death and widespread malnutrition in the coverage area.
Besides focussing on health and nutrition areas, mapping of 28 Govt. schools (13- PS, 11- UPS, 3- Secondary, 1 senior secondary) was also done to assess the status of their functioning and for identifying gaps. SMC members were provided with trainings to orient them on their roles and responsibilities related to quality education, MDM, sanitation, etc. The issue of corporal punishment was raised by Child Protection Committee members of Bhoyal which lead to stopping physical punishment in Bhoyal school. Workshop on child rights was organised for government education functionaries as well. After discussion with children group about recreational and sports activities, recreational material was provided to all children groups in 30 villages of coverage area.
Team organized mass awareness and sensitization on protection rights of children. The issues discussed were basically related to Community Organization, Child Rights, Women Violence, Girl Education, Nutrition, Education, Child Protection issues. Famous documentary films like Meena Ki Kahani, Jiya, EkthaBachpan, I am Kalam, Lagaan, Karmaveer were shown and community members including children took part in the awareness programme. Separate workshops were organised for panchayat members also to orient and sensitize them on child protection issues. The programme enhanced understanding of schemes which ensuring the cause of food security & nutrition like MGNREGA, PDS, MDM, AWC, Maa-Badi, JSSY and various social welfare schemes and Understanding on factors of Malnutrition was also built. Engagement with PRIs has resulted to activation of govt. institutions in villages and also facilitated social security schemes in active manner. PRI members supported for MTC referrals of SAM children from their respective area.
- Process of growth monitoring has been established and is being done in 80% cases now
- Total 101 cases of moderate and severe malnourishment were referred to MTC of which 42 have been brought to normal category, 6 more severe malnourishment cases were followed through extensively at family level and showed movement to normal category
- Out of 256 new born children, regular immunization of 145 children was ensured
- In order to influence food pattern, kitchen gardening and plantation of fruit bearing plants were done in 16 villages with 494 Saharia families
- 147 children, aged 6 – 14 yrs, identified as drop-outs – 117 of them were re-enrolled and their retention monitored
- 385 eligible children were newly enrolled
- Regular follow-up by SMC members ensured 46 irregular children becoming regular attendees in schools
- 16860 children from 30 villages participated in the children’s collective processes – because of children’s collective follow-up, 62 children came out of substance abuse
- Growth monitoring of children in 0-6 years in 30 villages.
- Mapping of village level institutions ICDS & follow up to ensure linking all children with ICDS (0-6 years), Maa- badi (6+ years) services - Meeting with ICDS worker for the coverage.
- Identification of Infant, Child deaths and maternal in coverage area. Documentation of evidences related to infant, child & maternal deaths.
- Facilitate referral service of severely malnourished children to MTC, follow up cases of SAM children through home visits & promoting community based malnutrition management.
- Promoting good practices of nutrition, health & sanitation.
- Community monitoring of schools to ensure regularity in functioning and quality of services and infrastructure.
- Enrolment of all new children eligible for education under RTE Act – all 6-14 yrs and 14-18 yrs children from all reference villages.
- Identifying drop-out children, seasonal migration affected children, counselling their families and making efforts to bring them back to schools.
- Orientation and capacity building of SMC members on their roles and responsibilities and of panchayat members on RTE Act norms and rules.
- Documenting child protection violation cases – child labour, child marriages.
- Facilitate information dissemination to villagers on social security schemes, livelihood programmes, etc and facilitating application process for availing due government benefits.
- Training of youth and adolescents on local development issues and engaging them in programs for the development of Sahariya tribes.
- Development of child led indicators incorporating Hunger and Malnutrition issues.
- Develop leadership among members of children’s groups – children to plan out and decide activities for themselves at cluster level.
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