on the details of
Ramnathapuram district, Tamil Nadu
Thematic Intervention: Protection, Education
Mr. Sathaiah with his wide experience with the community in addressing the livelihood and Rights issues with AIRD, focused down to work towards ensuring child rights for palmyra tappers children who form the future. With this objective he along with some of his peers, formed an organisation named RWDS (Rural workers Development society) in Ramnathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. Since the inception the organization has been addressing the child rights issues in 90 villages where the Palmyra workers were facing difficulties to sustain their life through strong community mobilisation. The intervention of RWDS is focused into 52 villages in Kadalady, Mandapam and Tirupuzhani blocks with the clear target of addressing the child rights violations such as Child labour and Education accessibility for all children under the thematic focus of protection and education as per CRY programming.
The major issues of focus are highest number of child labour and child migration, lack of availability of schools, lack of accessibility to schools, lack of infrastructure in schools, complete denial of free health services, lack of sufficient ICDS centers and poor functioning of centers. 22.8% (273) children in the age group of 15-18 yrs are Child Labourers of which 224 (36.7%) of children are from Kadaladi block alone and occupational health hazards of children working in salt pans and seafood industries in the operational area. 530 (6-18 yrs) children face the risk of getting dropped out of school during the migration period while the rest 96 children are already working. 105 children are completely neglected of nutritious supplement / 60 children of Early Childhood Care and Development(ECCD) services and 45 children of immunization schedules in the 398 families migrated to palm groves. 91% of children in schools are denied of quality education and are at the risk of getting dropped out of education system. Also 9% of children in the age group of 6-18 yrs are dropped out of schools.
- To ensure reduction of child labour in the 52 villages of the operational area.
- To ensure prevention of further children becoming child labour in the 52 villages of the operational area
- Creating a protective environment for children of migrant families who are exposed to risks for 9 months a year.
- Ensuring increased retention of school going children by focused intervention on physical access to schools, infrastructure and quality within schools.
Achievements & Impact in the Review Period
This year, the deepening of the CRY programming approach has aided the partner in objectively understanding the focus of child rights issues along with the road maps. The organisation has completed a study on understanding the situation of children in the migrant families, which has thrown light on the serious child rights violations both in protection and education realms which will form a strong base to escalate the advocacy and specific liaising with the state / district in the project. The issue of child labour has now come into the household discourse and families have to directly engage with it and more importantly they have to actively take decisions regarding their children. Parents are now becoming active participants in the community meetings and are raising their voices in the grama sabhas while also playing active roles within the schools. This year the project members have ventured in building rapport with district protection mechanism (CWC, DCPU). The team had met the district child protection officer (DCPO) and established a shared understanding in working towards the protection of the children in Ramanathapuram. Some of the highlights of achievement are as follows:
- 130 meetings organized with 1532 sangam members. 3 village sangams have decided to prevent the entry of middlemen & curb further incidences of children becoming child labour.
- 11 villages have sustained their status of having no child labour since three years.
Major achievements in the year include:
- 822 vulnerable children were identified and mapped. Household visits and interactions were done with all identified children to motivate and closely monitor them during exams. As a result child drop out has been prevented.
- 3 Grama sabha meeting were influenced by sangam meeting & passed resolution that there will be no further child labour and child marriage and all children need to be in schools.
- Workshops were conducted for child labourers to identify and bring out their talents towards creating a platform for them to choose a career path.
- Innovative Enrolment drive conducted in 52 villages by Pamphlets distribution / Cycle rally / walkathon / Cultural program / Village consultations.
- 822 school going children who are at the risk of dropping out of school were identified from the 52 villages. Focused interactions were held with all the children and their families to identify the challenges faced and to motivate them to continue studies.
- Families were mobilised to come together at least twice a year in the migrant area to discuss the issue and arrive at a solution which can be placed to the government.
- SMC trainings were conducted in 6 villages. Parents were sensitised for scholarship to girl children in the SMC meetings and have got scholarship of Rs. 500 for 14 children.
Focus 1: Reduction by 2% of child labour of children and addressing concerns of existing child labour in the 52 villages of the operational area
- Direct engagement with families and children for face to face interactions to create awareness on the negative impacts of child labour and importance of education.
- Findings of the Medical report shared with the families in the Health committees, child labour parents' committees and Sangams and awareness to parents on the long term consequences of child labour on the health of the child
- Strengthen existing child labour committee meetings to focus on confidence building / life skills training & integrating them into the regular children’s collectives.
Focus 2: Prevention of further Children becoming CL in the 52 villages of the operational area
- Collect a detailed list of children studying from 8th std to 12th std in all 52 villages and identify vulnerable children.
- Focussed discussions with identified children in the Children's Collective meetings during exam time to motivate and encourage them to focus on education.
- Engaging with the district collector to pass orders to all panchayats to activate and strengthen the Panchayat Level Child Protection Committee (PLCPC) s to monitor movement of agents in the community and prevent child labour.
- Encourage the cadres and sangam members to participate in all the Gram sabha meetings and facilitate in passing resolutions in 10 gram sabhas on preventing child labour.
Focus 3: Ensuring retention of 91% school going children by focused intervention on physical access to schools and quality building within schools.
- Household visits to update the dropout data base of the children who have passed out from Anganwadi, 5th, 8th, 10th and discuss with parents on the continuance of education.
- Organizing enrolment drive in all the 52 villages with specific focuses to Kadaladi block involving school teachers, Panchayat and sangam members to ensure retention.
- Focused interactions in the Children's collective meetings with children from 8th to 12th std to emphasise on the importance of education; Older children going to college roped in as role models to share their experiences and encourage children.
- Engage with the District Collector, Education dept and Panchayat with the copy of the report and specific demand for fulfilling the infrastructure facilities in the schools evolved from the report.
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