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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 for tackling the root causes of child labor. The organization was further supported by the South Asia Poverty Alleviation Program of UNDP to carry out women development activities at Peddakothapalli Mandal. CRY support was initiated in 1997, with a view to work towards eradicating child labor and enhancing livelihood options for the families in Peddakothapalli mandal and Kollapur mandal. SVK also made use of the support received from the DRDA [District Rural Development Agency] and NCLP [National Child Labor Program] in its effort of elimination of child labor in the operational area. The Project Holder, Mr. Y. Laxman Rao hails from Kollapur mandal in Mahbubnagar district and has experience of working on child labor issues through Mamidipudi Venkatarangaiah Foundation (MV Foundation).
The operational area of CRY supported project is spread over 31 habitations in 17 Gram Panchayats of Peddakothapally mandal of Mahabubnagar district. Agriculture is the primary means of livelihood in the operational area. Agricultural laborers constitute 27% of the total population while cultivators constitute 17% and other occupational groups 13%. 60% of the total land is owned by Reddys and Velamas who are 17% of the population while only 10% of the land is owned by SCs and STs who are 28% and 7% of the population respectively. Laborers are not paid equal and minimum wages. Lack of proper irrigation facilities has adversely affected the development of the agriculture and resulted in poverty among the people. 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. Since these families are out of villages most of the time they are not covered under different govt. welfare programmes like issue of ration cards, food for work etc. The drought situation and reduction in groundwater level has also led to severe shortage of drinking water in all villages. As a result the villagers are forced to drink impure water resulting in many water borne diseases.
The regional focal issues identified by the partner’s core group include water scarcity (drinking and irrigation), caste discrimination and subsequent poor socio economic status, livelihood, health, housing and gender discrimination. The literacy rate of the Mandal is 29%, far below the state and national average. The female literacy rate of just 19% clearly shows the gender discrimination in education prevailing in the Mandal. In this backdrop, SVK aims to mobilize the rural poor on issues related to community empowerment of with special focus on creating access to education and skills and enhancing their economic standard of living and to facilitate community level planning and implementing of development programs.
- Eradication of child labor and Universalization of elementary education.
- Empowering women socially, politically and economically.
- Health care of women and children by ensuring regular delivery of health services at village level.
- Promoting collective action among the community towards their holistic development.
- Improving the livelihood of the rural poor.
Through the review period, SVK emphasised on awareness building and subsequent mobilization of community collectives thereby enabling them to engage in interface with local governance institutions to ensure activation and smooth functioning of requisite health care and education services. Parallel emphasis was also laid on knowledge building of SVK development team personnel on violations of child rights in the community and their root causes. Though there was some understanding between child rights and regional focal issues, attempts were made to develop knowledge on linkages between issues of gender, untouchability, the common school system and land rights
- IMR reduced to 7/1000.
- 185 birth registrations completed.
- 87% new born children covered through immunization programs.
- Ration cards issued to 1394 eligible families.
- 2 ICDS centres activated post government approvals.
- Village-wise situation analysis completed in all 31 villages.
- Subsequently, 32 new ICDS centres, 2 Health Sub-centres (SC) and 1 Primary Health Centre (PHC) demanded.
- 386 children were removed from the workforce.
- 1 more village (adding to 11 already achieved in previous years) was made free from child labour.
- No incidence of child marriages was reported through the review period.
- Livelihood programs were facilitated for 230 of 2227 migrant families.
- 100% enrolment status was achieved in 2 more villages, in addition to the 12 villages already achieved.
- 100% retention of all mainstreamed children was achieved in 1 government school.
- In 12 villages, child committees were formed in schools. Members of the existing child committees were provided orientation on child rights and child participation issues.
SVK is seen by CRY as a key player in the region of Telengana. Having good contacts with various individual activists and people’s organizations in the district and willing to play a key role in the regional alliance formation. The organization has already begun to take on an important role in the region and the partner has the potential to influence other partners and people’s organizations in the region in building a holistic child rights movement.
- Reducing Infant Mortality Rate – community mobilization and participation to ensure birth registration at the Panchayat level of 4028 old births and all new births.
- 200 landless families to obtain land ownership. Mandal level campaigns for land redistribution.
- Ensure minimum support price by government for 4 commodities.
- Sensitization to farmers’ Sanghams on the ill effects of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
- Campaign against child labour – strengthening of CRPCs to work against child labour.
- Mobilizing communities to demand for quality education and sensitizing people on gender equality.
- Finding out alternate livelihood sources to prevent migration.
- Mass campaign against child marriages. Empowering women’s and adolescent girls’ groups to work against child marriages.
- Study of juvenile justice home - information collection on management systems of juvenile homes and rapport building with juvenile home authorities.
- Initiating community monitoring of enrolment, attendance and quality education in govt. schools.
- Advocacy and lobbying through district NGOs network for the implementation of the common school system.
- Strengthening Telengana sub-regional alliance.
- Capacity building of child committees.
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