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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 the ‘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. Even after the research work was completed, they continued interface with the local communities and later formed an organization to work with the Paharia tribals. SATHEE was registered in 1996 to mobilize the deprived ‘Paharias’ to fight for their rights. The founder member, Dr. Niraj Kumar has invaluable experience in the field of implementation, sustainable agriculture, watershed management, community development, income generation schemes and vocational training for youth and women. Currently the organization is involved in campaigning for various issues related to the children of the tribal community.
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 systems have broken down and so have community support systems. Frequent drought, scarcity of food, lack of adequate capital for agriculture, the existence of limited fertile land (2-.3%) with the community and migration are factors which have been creating exploitation of the tribals. Due to lack of proper land records, illegal stone mining in Sahibgunj, lack of proper government schemes and ICDS services, children and women become the most vulnerable. Children suffer from malnutrition and various communicable diseases.
Women and child trafficking is also rampant. Child abuse and women exploitation is common. The condition of health and education institutions are the most deplorable in the area. Social security programs meant for vulnerable families are not reaching the targeted beneficiaries. In summer there is scarcity of safe drinking water and traditional water harvesting systems from the hills and fountains are gradually collapsing. The inadequacy of employment opportunities, poor agricultural growth, poor land management systems and continuous drought compel local inhabitants to migrate out. SATHEE intervenes to ensure sustainable and dynamic development of vulnerable sections of the community.
- To initiate the process for restoration of the child rights through advocacy in larger Santhal Pargana.
- To strengthen the process of peoples mobilization through leadership building process.
- To enhance the capacity of the reference group, CBOs & federation to advocate their own rights.
- To strengthen the Gram Sabha to take control over natural resources.
- To build a solid data base as a larger advocacy tool.
ReviewSome of their major achievements include:
- 308 pregnant women were covered under regular health checkup programs.
- 381 children in the age group 0-1 year were immunized.
- 751 children were linked to the ICDS centers.
- 25 ICDS centers and 49 referral hospitals were activated in the operational area.
- Out of 96 drop-out children in age group 5-14 years, 72 children were re-enrolled in schools and 73% of the drop out children in age group 14-18 years were mainstreamed.
- Overall school functioning has improved in terms of regularity, attendance and infrastructure maintenance.
- In Boarijore - all the villages are child labor free.
- Ensuring 100% new and old birth registrations and issuance of birth certificates.
- Ensuring that children during the first 9 months receive 6 basic immunizations.
- To ensure that all children in the age group 0-5 years are enrolled and retained in ICDS centers.
- 100% enrollment of girl child, children with disabilities (CWD) and child labor in all operational villages.
- Ensuring safe drinking water in at least 50% of the public schools and Anganwadi Centers.
- Enrollment of all child labor and working children in formal public schools.
- 100% integration of the Paharia tribe families with the public distribution system (PDS).
- Formation of cultural cells in all the public schools and thus developing an understanding on CSS among students, teachers and the Gram Sabha.
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