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Society for Advancement in Tribes, Health, Education, and Environment (SATHEE) originated in the course of a Government of India sponsored research project ‘Ecological Survey of ‘Paharia’ community in Santhal Parganas’ during 1988–1991. The research fellows and Project Holder through action research has developed in depth understanding of the problems faced by the Paharia tribals. Post the research, they continued interface with the local communities and later formed an organization to work with Paharia tribals. SATHEE was registered in 1996 with a view to work for mobilizing the deprived ‘Paharias’ to fight for their rights. The founder member of the organization, Dr. Niraj Kumar has done his post graduation in life sciences and Ph.D on ‘tribal food contamination’. He has been involved in advocacy and campaigning on various child related and tribal issues.
The project operational area covers 12 most backward and neglected villages of Boarijore block of Godda district in Jharkhand. It is an isolated district of the Rajmahal hills. The main inhabitants are the Paharias, Santhal, Kol tribes and schedule castes. The vested groups are regularly capturing land owned by the tribal communities. Traditional governance system has broken down majorly and so has community support system. Frequent drought situation and scarcity of food, lack of adequate capital for agriculture and existence of limited fertile land (2-.3%) with the community, migration are few potential factors which have been creating the open space for extreme exploitation of the tribals. Due to lack of proper land records, illegal stone mining in Sahibgunj, lack of proper Govt schemes and ICDS services, children and women become the most vulnerable. They get prone to malnutrition and communicable diseases. Women and child trafficking is also rampant. Child abuse and women exploitation are common.
The condition of health and educational institutions are the most deplorable in the area. Social Security programs meant for vulnerable families are not at all reaching to the targeted beneficiaries. In summer there is scarcity of safe drinking water and traditional water harvesting systems from the hills and fountains gradual collapse. The inadequacy of employment opportunities, poor agricultural growth due to poor land management systems and continuous drought compel local inhabitants to migrate out. SATHEE intervenes to ensure sustainable and dynamic development of vulnerable sector of the community through ensuring their entitlements.
- To initiate the process for restoration of the child rights through advocacy in larger Santhal Pargana.
- To strengthen the process of peoples mobilization of the oppressed reference group through leadership building process.
- To enhance the capacity of the reference group, CBOs & federation to advocate their own rights.
- To strengthen the constitutionally sanctioned governance institutions (Gram Sabha) to take control over natural resources.
- To build solid data base in this year as lager advocacy tool.
Review and Impact
SATHEE has been a leading organization in prime-moving people’s mobilization processes in Santhal Parganas. They have initiated a diversified program to strengthen traditional governance systems to take ownership of local natural resources, building self-rule in the scheduled area, monitoring government service delivery mechanisms and curbing corruption. The programs have been addressing larger issues in general and children’s issues in particular. The strength of SATHEE lies in its team of program activists who have strong understanding of local community issues and experience of operationalising traditional governance structures at village and block levels. The cohesiveness of the group is an opportunity on which success of the programs is banking. There is also an opportunity of intervening in the entire Santhal Parganas through the region level Federations.Survival campaign was organised in consultation with Manjhi baisi. During the period of campaign, 13 new beneficiaries (adolescent and pregnant women) were linked with local AWCs and 45 pregnant and children got proper immunization during the period.
- With community involvement, local health services like ANM were activated.
- Children got birth registration cards and there is increased community participation in birth registration process.
- ‘Swastha Mata’ and ‘Swastha Shishu’ fairs were organized at local referral hospitals.
- 135 drop out children involved in cattle grazing was enrolled in schools.
- 1200 children participated in the AKHRA process, where traditional sports and cultural programmes were organized by children.
- Damin Bal Akhara was organized with 300 selected children from whole Santal Pargana.
- 32 pregnant women and 79 children were fully immunized in the area.
- 55 working children and 48 drop outs were enrolled in the school.
- 103 children were enrolled in the local government schools.
- 50% of the families are getting proper and free ration from the PDS.
- Developing 50% of project villages as child right model villages ensuring -
- 100% birth registration & immunization
- 100% enrolment and retention of children in school and ICDS centres
- 100% enrolment of girl child and children with disabilities (CWD)
- Elimination of child labour
- Reducing infant and child mortality rate by 50%
- Source of safe & sufficient drinking water
- Ensuring transparent and effective government system in Education, health, ICDS and social & food security schemes.
- Making project villages free from moneylender exploitations, illegal land transfer and illegal stone quaries.
- Reviving Gram Sabha’s in 100% project villages and strengthening the regional and local peoples’ organizations.
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