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Background

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 organization was further supported by the South Asia Poverty Alleviation Program of UNDP to carry out women’s 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 efforts to eliminate 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 the nationally respected Mamidipudi Venkatarangaiah Foundation (MV Foundation).

Situation

The operational area of the 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. Lack of proper irrigation facilities has adversely affected the development of agriculture and has resulted in poverty among the people. Laborers are not paid equal and 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. Since these families are out of the villages most of the time, they are not covered under different government welfare programs like the issue of ration cards, food, work etc. The drought situation and reduction in the groundwater level has also led to severe shortage of drinking water in all villages.

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% which is far below the state and national average. Against this backdrop, SVK aims to mobilize the rural poor on issues related to community empowerment with a special focus on creating access to education, enhancing their economic standard of living, facilitating community level planning and implementation of development programs.

Objectives

  • Eradication of child labor and universalization of elementary education
  • Empowerment of women socially, politically and economically
  • Ensuring access to free and quality medical services for the poor
  • Promoting collective action among the community towards their holistic development
  • Ensuring better livelihood of the rural poor and preventing migration
  • Ensuring land to the landless families
  • Elimination of untouchability
  • Promoting leadership skills among the marginalized
  • Promoting effective community based organizations in the villages to work on the issues of marginalization

Review and Impact


SVK has followed a 3-pronged strategy for achieving the above objectives – mobilizing community collectives through information sharing, mass awareness building and interface with the local Panchayats for ensuring activation of health care services. The Child Rights Protection Committees (CRPCs) were actively involved in monitoring the functioning of the available health services. Community collectives, panchayat members, CRPCs, volunteers and MAS members were involved in the campaign against child labor.

Highlights in the review period include:
  • 7 health sub-centers were activated and 45 ANMs (auxiliary nurses) were posted in the project area due to the organization’s lobbying and advocacy efforts. However, no new health sub-center was set up in the review period.
  • 1100 of the 1939 births were registered - more effort need to go into this area.
  • 44 new ICDS centers were established and 50 were activated in the operational area.
  • A campaign was launched to ensure land rights of the landless.
  • 2960 acres of government land was identified and landless people were helped to file petitions for the land.
  • A campaign has been launched against child labor – 310 child laborers were freed from work.
  • 100% enrolment of children in education programs has been achieved in 11 villages.
  • Mandal level consultations were organized in 5 mandals to discuss the issues of the common school system, globalization and privatization of education.
  • New children’s groups were formed in 59 schools and 29 existing groups were strengthened. Members of the groups were oriented on various child rights issues.

Plans

  • Pressure building on the government for better services through the primary health center (PHC) and the Integrated Child Development (ICDS) centers.
  • Strengthening linkages between the Mahila Arogya Sangham (MAS), Auxillary Nurses (ANMs) and RMP Doctors .
  • Cultural program at the village and mandal level on health issues and health policies.
  • Ensuring registration of all births in Gram Panchayat registers and issue of certificates.
  • Cultural program on birth right at the village level.
  • Awareness campaign on food and nutrition for women’s group members.
  • Mass campaign against child marriages - orientation for women and youth against child marriages and cultural programs about the issue.
  • Advocacy and lobbying through the district NGO’s network for the implementation of the common school system.
  • Regular meetings with the Bala Sanghams (children groups) and capacity building on children’s rights.

ANNUAL FINANCIAL SUMMARY

  • Right to Survival
    $9,956
  • Right to Protection
    $9,622
  • Right to Participation
    $1,573
  • Advocacy
    $4,829
  • Capital Expenses
    $926
  • Administration
    $8,255
  • Total Annual Grant Approved
    $35,161