on the details of
12 villages of Lamataput block of the Koraput district, Odisha, India
SPREAD was found by Mr. Bidyut Mohanty along with like minded people in 1989 with a commitment to work for the betterment of underprivileged population and focus on development of tribals in Koraput district of Odisha. In the initial years of intervention, the Project focused on the problems of the displaced tribal population, deprived of their homes and livelihood due to loss of land and common property to make way for a major hydro-electric project, Damanjodi by NALCO. With the insights gained from this intervention, the organization expanded its work to the displaced communities of 2 other projects, Kolab and Machhkund. Mr. Bidyut Mohanty, the Project Holder has been working in the development sector for last 15 years on the issues of gender, participatory approach, advocacy and program monitoring and evaluation. He started work with Dalit children in the slums of Bhubaneswar and has been associated with ‘Agragami’ on the issues of tribals.
Koraput district is located in the backward Koraput - Bolangir- Kalahandi (KBK) region of Odisha. The district is predominantly populated by scheduled tribes and falls under the Scheduled Area. All the blocks are Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) blocks. The tribes which predominantly populate Koraput region are Kandhas, Sauras, Sabras, Bhottoda, Bhumiyas, Parajs, and Gadabas. Literacy rates are below the state and national averages. The female literacy is only 25%. There are predominant health issues like non-prioritisation of women’s health, physical work during pregnancy & lactation period, irregular health checkups for children, irregular visit of health professional, lack of awareness on adolescence health changes and of health plans. Early marriages among tribals are a major reason behind the malnutrition problem. There is absence of nutritious food intake during pregnancy, lactation period and for children between the age of 6 month to 5 years owing to taboos for pregnant & lactating mothers. Due to the ignorance on the prenatal and postnatal care they unknowingly harm the baby. The low economic condition of the family forces the lactating mother to earn for the family that affect the feeding for an infant from an early stage. Children’s voices are not recognized in the family & community level. Children also are not able to come together as a group to take necessary action for their welfare. This is often because children are engaged in taking care of their younger siblings.
- Provide access to free, primary health care in the intervention area.
- Reduction in MMR, CMR, IMR, maternal and child morbidity in the intervention areas.
- Advocacy with the state government for the increase in the budgetary allocation towards health care services.
- Reduction of child malnutrition in operational areas for age group 0 to 6 years.
- Ensure in the operational area ICDS, PDS, NRCs, MTCs are functional.
- Improved understanding on age appropriate development.
Achievements & Impact in the Review Period
SPREAD with support from CRY has been focussing on children’s issues as well as issues of tribal communities. They have been working to ensure direct action with children and reference communities along with advocacy with the local government and district level officials to ensure fulfilment of child rights, availability of quality services as well as entitlement to land. Given the situation of child rights, the operational area has been mapped critical on health and nutrition. A broad 3 year roadmap has been formulated by the team to address the issues of health, malnutrition and quality education in the reference villages. On one hand, the team will continue to have in-depth intervention in the existing villages while on the other hand they will gather primary data of adjoining panchayat areas to make inroads on health and nutrition issues on a larger scale and over a wider geography. Some of the prominent highlights are as below –
- In 13 villages, the villagers along with women’s committee members met the collector and the Block Development Officers for new Integrated Child Development Services ( ICDS) centers in their respective villages resulting in the approval of a new building for Khajuriput ICDS.
- In the 3 Panchayats of Godihanjar, Gunaiapada & Ballal, out of 31 ICDS centers (including 7 mini ICDS centers), 18 ICDS centers have been providing 6 basic services regularly.
- Growth monitoring has been done for 30 villages on a regular basis for monitoring the growth of children.
- 18 out of 180 low weight adolescent girls were identified from 2 Gram Panchayats and action taken to monitor and improve their condition.
- Regular meetings were carried out to encourage the community to send their children to school and not make them work.
- In 4 schools, the team has ensured 100% enrollment and retention, regular attendance of teachers, availability of school building, drinking water and toilets, quality mid-day-meal as per menu and quantity, and strengthening of the School Management Committee.
- 163 children including 32 drop outs and out of school children, participated in the children’s convention, where they were made aware of the Right to Education (RTE).
- Children’s participation increased in monthly village meetings as there has been more activities in each of the groups..
The team is working on issues of health, nutrition, and participation, as the district is mapped critical on health and nutrition. The team is working on tackling issues like death of child and mothers, mental and physical development of children and mothers, getting free primary health care services from the government. The organization is keeping a track of the mothers and children particularly in the case of immunization and pre post natal care of pregnant and lactating mothers.
- To identify 50% pregnant women and make them aware of the health plans and ways to avail benefits under the program by early registration of pregnancy.
- Ensure 40% of infants in the operational area get regular health check ups & immunization.
- Ensure 30% of adolescent girls maintain hygiene and raise their voice against child marriages.
- District level stakeholders are sensitized on provisions of health services vis-à-vis availability in the district.
- Document traditional food practices for mothers and children and find the gaps.
- Ensure 20% mothers practice exclusive breast-feeding practices.
- Ensure infrastructure in 3 Sub center and 15 ICDS centers.
- Through children’s group activities, 40% children’s groups to provide status of schools with respect to health and hygiene, mid day meals etc. to the student representative and the School Management Committee members.
- 40% children in the age group of 6-18 years are to be made aware of local foods and their nutritious value.
- To initiate discussions with service providers like health service providers, teachers, anganwadi workers, panchayat members and families on engagement with children.
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