on the details of
183 villages of 5 blocks of Mahbubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh, India.
Shramik Vikas Kendram (SVK) was formed in 1992 to undertake development work in Mahabubnagar district. Initially the project holder received a fellowship in 1994 from MV Foundation to work on tackling the root causes of child labor. The organisation was further supported by UNDP to carry out development activities for women at Peddakothapalli Mandal. CRY first supported SVK in 1997 which was directed towards eradicating child labor and enhancing livelihood options for the families in Peddakothapalli mandal and Kollapur mandal. SVK was also supported by DRDA [District Rural Development Agency] and NCLP [National Child Labor Program] in its efforts to eliminate child labor in the operational area. The project holder, Mr. Y. Laxman Rao hails from Kollapur mandal in Mahabubnagar district and has experience working on child labor issues through Mamidipudi Venkatarangaiah Foundation (MV Foundation).
The main objective of the intervention is to ensure child rights protection through community empowerment in 184 villages, of which 98 are direct intervention villages (78 old and 20 new) in Peddakothapally, Veepanagandla, Kodair, Panagal and Kollapur Mandals of Mahabubnagar District, Andhra Pradesh.
Agriculture is the primary means of livelihood in the operational area. Laborers are not paid equal or minimum wages. Most of the people in this area migrate to the city of Hyderabad and other states in search of employment. As a result their children are forced to discontinue their education and engage in different forms of work. Families are not covered under the public welfare programs. There are huge disparities among castes. Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes are both socially and economically backward. With respect to specific child rights issues, the villages have high Infant Mortality Rate (IMR). The main reason has been irregular Auxillary Nurse Midwife (ANM) visits, inactive Primary Health Centres (PHCs), low ANC (Ante Natal Care) and low immunization of women and children, etc. There are 743 child laborers in the intervention villages. Schools face low enrolment ratio due to poor quality of education and lack of infrastructural facilities. There are 59 differently abled children who need disability certificates. 46% villages have not yet achieved 100% enrolment of children into schools.
- To focus on protection rights of children and build up the capacities of communities to address the issues in an effective way.
- To reduce 500 child labor in the operational area.
- To ensure 80% of the villages will be 100% child marriage free.
Achievements & Impact in the Review Period
SVK with support from CRY has been successful in generating awareness on child rights through mobilizing community collectives and interface with local Panchayats for ensuring activation of healthcare services. The Child Rights Protection Committees (CRPCs) is actively involved in monitoring the functioning of the available PHCs and SCs. Mahila Arogya Sangam (MAS) members ensure that immunization and nutrition is made available to pregnant women and newborn children. Panchayat secretaries have also been persuaded to issue birth certificates for the newborn children. People have been regularly sensitized on the prospective benefits from National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA). Adolescent girls were oriented on working as a pressure group to prevent marriage below the age of 18. Kalajatha programs were organised at the village level focussing on ill effects of child marriage, CRPCs, MASs have played an active role in the campaign. Girl Rights Protection Cells (GRPCs) have been formed in villages. Major achievements in the review period include:
- Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) was reduced to 11/1000. 25 IMR was reported in operational area of 5 blocks.
- 94% children were covered under immunization.
- 5 sub centres were strengthened & 1 new sub-center has been constructed.
- 92% birth registrations was done and thus the identity of children was ensured.
- 2 new ICDS Centers were approved based on demand raised.
- 71 child laborers have been mainstreamed into public schools.
- 298 school drop outs were identified and mainstreamed into schools.
- 5 existing schools were strengthened.
- 3 villages have been made child marriage free
- Regular meetings were taken with the Balala Sanghams (child collectives) and capacity building on child rights done to strengthen the children collectives.
Khanapur village is situated in Kodair mandal of Mehboobnagar district where the occupation of the inhabitants is agriculture, which is rain dependent and supported by irrigation facilities. Owing to continuous drought in the district around 25 scheduled caste families migrate every year, along with their children to nearby cities like Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai etc. Lakshmi’s family belongs to scheduled caste community and owns 2 acres of land. Both the parents are illiterate and their only source of income is from the 2 acres of land that they own. Recently they started building their own house (under housing program of the government) and ran into debts. With failing monsoon for the last two years, they could not repay their debts and hence were forced to migrate. The family migrated last year to Hyderabad and they took Lakshmi along with them so that she could take care of her younger brother when her parents engaged in work. The family has returned recently since there is availability of daily wage labor in the mandal.
Lakshmi is the eldest daughter and studies in Grade 2. After she migrated with her parents she discontinued her schooling and used to take care of her younger brother. Understanding the situation, the team and the Gram Ikya Sangha held discussions with the family on how they could ensure continuity of education for Lakshmi. After several discussions, the parents communicated their willingness to stay back and ensure continuity of Lakshmi’s education. The team has taken up the matter with the MRO (Mandal Revenue Officer) and the field assistant of NREGS and ensured job cards for the family and that work is allotted to the parents. After being employed Lakshmi’s parents enrolled her back in the Khanapoor primary school and she is currently studying in Grade 3.
As per the CRY district criticality analysis, in the coming years, SVK shall be de-prioritizing in some of the villages and taking up some critical villages in terms of child education, child labor and child marriage. The coming year’s plans are as follows:
 Protection (linked with Education)
Focus 1: Increase 100% child-labor-free villages from 9% to 35% in the operational area (children in age group 6-18 years)
- Track all children aged 6 - 14 yrs and ensure they are enrolled in schools.
- Update data on out of school children and children engaged in labor in the age group of 6-14 years.
- Community level sensitisation on the importance of schooling & education for children, against gender discrimination and attempt to bring positive change in the attitude of parents towards children's education.
- Social mapping of economic vulnerability of families whose children are engaged in child labor and facilitate access to social security measures for these families.
- Engaging with schools, teachers, local government functionaries to ensure enrollment of children. Engage community groups to ensure regular functioning of local schools.
- Empowering existing children’s collectives to identify child laborers.
- Building knowledge and capacities of community workers on CLPRA1
Focus 2: Increase 100% child-marriage-free villages from 68% to 75% in the operational area
- Community level sensitisation against child marriages and importance of education for girl children.
- Convergence of different local stakeholders - Panchayat members, teachers, community groups, police and children’s groups to curb child marriages.
- Identify families with potential risk of child marriages, counselling them against it and regular follow-up to ensure that girl children continue schooling and child marriage doesn’t take place.
- Advocacy with block and district level government functionaries and police to push for implementation of Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA) in the reference area .
1CLPRA - Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act
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