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Location

Ramnathapuram52 villages in 3 blocks of Ramananthpuram district, Tamil Nadu
Thematic Intervention: Protection, Education


Project Context

RWDS was registered as an organization by Mr. Sathiah in the year 2007. The project holder has decades of experience of working with the community and his work focused on ensuring child rights for the children of Palmyra workers. With this objective, he, along with some of his peers formed an organization in Ramnathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. Since inception the organization has been addressing child rights issues in 90 villages in 3 blocks. Through the years, RWDS has been working exclusively for re-enrolment of drop-outs, activation and strengthening of school management committees (SMC) and other education and protection issues.

Problem Statement:


RWDS has been intervening in 52 villages of 3 blocks ( Kadaladi, Thiruppulani and Mandapam) of Ramnathapuram district to address child rights issue of the Palmyrah worker community (Palmyrah workers are a group of people with a low status in the society whose core work involves tapping Palmyra trees which is the state tree of Tamil Nadu). Child labor is one of the primary issues in the intervention area. Girl children are mostly employed in salt pans, sea food processing and Palmyra related work. Boys are employed in mechanic shops, grocery stores in other districts and in Palmyra tapping. The agents / middlemen come to the villages during the summer vacation to identify vulnerable children and recruit them. These agents are from the same village / community and they exploit the trust influence they have on the parents to the advantage of the employers. Since the restriction levied by the government on Palmyra tapping, all families who were dependent have lost their livelihood which has led to indebtedness in the families. Many had to resort to seasonal migration for livelihood, which resulted in dropout of children. The protection mechanism such as District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) and Children Welfare Committee (CWC) does not get involved in any child rights violation issues. Thus child labor and drop out due to seasonal migration continue to be the major issues with focus required on the issues of lack of availability of schools, lack of accessibility, lack of infrastructure, complete denial of free health services, lack of sufficient ICDS centers and poor functioning of centers.

Achievements & Impact


Key Result Areas: Ensure reduction & prevention of child labor among children in the 52 villages of the operational area.

Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

Focused discussion and debating with the parents of child labors and Sangams on child labor issues and initiation of steps for pulling them out of child labor and re-enrolling them in schools.
• Observing Anti-Child labor day in Kadalady Block with the participation of Panchayat members, child protection units and juvenile justice board and labor department along with the community to sensitize the government officials on the issue.
• Organize training for volunteer cadres about Panchayat Level Child Protection Committee (CPC), and insist on the formation and activation of CPC in all Panchayat with the Gram Panchayat President as member in the CPC.

152 members attended the regular discussions and meeting held by the sangams at the village level.
• Anti Child Labor day was organized in Sayalkudi of Kadalady block, where a seminar session about the ill effect of child labor was held and 200 members pledged to eradicate child labor.
• 61 cadres participated in the Panchayat Level Child Protection Committee (PLCPC) trainings at block level wherein they got an understanding of the functioning of PLCPC. 18 members were extremely proactive and confident of taking responsibility for children.


Key Result Areas: Creating a protective environment for children of migrant families who are exposed to risks for 9 months a year.

Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

• Organizing get-together at least twice during the period in the high migration area to discuss the importance of nutrition, early school readiness and continuing education, and ensuring all children are enrolled in ICDS / schools.
• Instituting necessary precautions for the safety of children below 6 years & continuance of education for children in schools without getting dropped out in the migrated palm grooves.

The team updated the list of migrant families this year.
• Through team efforts 4 dropouts have been re-enrolled.
• 3 mothers, 6 children and 4 elders have got treatment and 1 infant got immunized.
• 5 meetings were organized in the migrated area and palm grooves in which 27 parents participated and sensitized.


Key Result Areas: Improving school retention through focused intervention on physical access to schools and quality building within schools, quality ICDS services.

Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

• Planned home visits to 126 vulnerable families (single parent/ grandparent headed) and interactions with parent and children to motivate and closely monitor them during exams and continue education.
• Follow up of students who have failed to ensure reappearance for the exams and passing
• Organizing children enrolment drive with specific focus to Kadaladi block involving school teachers, Panchayat and Sangam members to ensure retention.
• Organize meetings in 9 existing adolescent children collective (CCs) to build confidence / orient members on life skills training.
• Initiate / establish 5 adolescent girl children collectives. Organize regular meeting of children collective.

Focused household visits were done with 93 vulnerable families, and parents & children were encouraged to prevent child labor & retain their children in school.
• Enrolment campaign was conducted for 16 villages at Panchayat, Block & Cluster Level, which ensured 3695 children are in school.
• Apart from it, 62 children (who were identified as irregular) were re-enrolled with regular interaction and motivation.
• 6 children re-appeared for secondary exam by enrolling into evening classes.
• A focused interaction with children collectives and life skill training was organized which covered 306 adolescent children and 43 child labor.
• An adolescent girls’ collective was formed in Manickanagar village in which 13 girls in the age group of 11- 18 years participate on a regular basis.

Update on Engagement with the Government:


The engagement with the District Child Protection Unit(DCPU), Children Welfare Committee(CWC) member, Child line officials, Labor department officials, Panchayat raj members, Health dept officials, and block Development Officers were continued and enhanced this year. This has led to the following outcomes:

• Appointment of 5 ICDS teachers in the operational area.
• 3 schools have been actively monitored and prevented from closure.
• New school buildings were constructed for 2 schools – Manicka nagar and Lakshmipuram this enabling safe schooling for 114 children.
• Road facility for Kuthirai Maozhi pandiya nagar in the palm groove has helped the children, girls and women to safely access education and health care.

Plans


Key Result Areas Program Activities Planned

Increase engagement with the families and community towards reducing the number of CL and preventing further Children becoming child labor in the 52 villages of the operational area

• Identification of 5 new villages in Kadaladi block where there are high child labor and collecting base data.
• Focused discussion and debating with the child labor (14-18 yrs) parents and sangams on child labor issues and move towards pulling them out of labor sector.
• Organize refresher training to 62 cadres in 3 blocks about Panchayat Level Child Protection Committee (PLCPC) and insist on the formation and activation in all Panchayat.
• Prepare Panchayat level manifesto on formation and execution of Panchayat Level Child Protection Committee (PLCPC) and submit to election candidates.

Focused engagement in Ensuring increased retention of school going children by focused intervention on physical access to schools, infrastructure & quality within schools & ICDS centers

• Focused household visits to 130 vulnerable families (single parent/grandparent headed) and interactions with parent and children to motivate and closely monitor them during exams and continue education.
• Organizing children enrolment drive with a reach of 52 villages with specific focus to Kadaladi block.
• 250 irregular children in migrated area in the age group of 14-18 to be monitored and mainstreamed.
• Initiating one digital centre for children in the community to enhance the learning outcomes of the children, adolescent girl children and to motivate interest towards digital technology.
• Ensure focused interactions in 9 children collectives and initiate 5 adolescent girl children collectives.

Plans


Key Result Areas Program Activities Planned

Engagement with the migrated community & district administration /nutrition/ protection department in creating a protective environment for children of migrant families who are exposed to risks for 9 months a year & generating evidence for advocacy.

• Discussion on importance of nutrition, early school readiness and continuing education and ensuring all children are enrolled in ICDS / schools.
• Taking necessary precautions for the safety of children below 6 years and continuance of education for children in schools without getting dropped out in the migrated palm grooves.
• Meeting the district collector and ICDS supervisor and Health department and to raise demand for accommodation of children in existing ICDS centers and for mobile Anganwadi centre for the children in the interior migrant places
• To ensure supply of nutrition / supplements to all the children, pregnant/lactating women and adolescent girls.
• Increasing the frequency of mobile health units and village health and nutrition visit to the migrant areas to monitor the health status of children/ ANC/ PNC mothers.

Financial Summary: January to December 2019


Budget Breakup 2019

Protection

8,896

28%

Education

12,128

38%

Administration

10,795

34%

Total Grant Approved

31,818

100%