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Location

22 villages of Alamuru Mandal, East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh
Thematic Intervention: Education and Protection (Child Labor, Child Drop-out, Child Marriage)


Project Context

The Society for Rural Agriculturists and Mass Awareness (SRAMA) was registered in the year 1999 by a group of individuals who believed in the ideology for the marginalized of Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar. Jillela Seshagiri Raohails is the project holder, who took up leadership responsibility in SRAMA from 2005 onwards and guided the organization towards achieving its overall objectives. After the initiation of CRY program in 2010, he played a key role in perspective building among staff members and through them created widespread awareness on child rights issues in the operational area. Since 2010, SRAMA has been taking the message of child rights into communities and has achieved impressive results on many child rights indicators. Some of the major achievements of SRAMA is reduction of infant mortality ratio to 1/1000 in the intervention area and ensuring 100 percent immunization. The organization has also been successful in reducing malnutrition among children of 0-6 years, which has been brought down from 55% to 20% and mainstreaming child labor and drop out. SRAMA has been also active in addressing the atrocities on Dalits like sexual exploitation of women, caste discrimination, and social evils like social and economic discrimination in the area.

Problem Statement:


Child Labor: There are 43 child labor in the operational area out of which 35 are boys and 8 are girls. Most of them are in 15-18 age-group and belong to the SC, ST and BC communities. The children work in different sectors like the agriculture sector, Brick kilns, Construction etc. Children get between Rs. 50 and Rs. 100 per day in different works and that supplements the overall income of the family. Main reasons for child labors in the area are poor economic condition of the family, inaccessibility of high schools, unavailability of alternative livelihood opportunities and ineffective implementation of NREGA to benefit the families.

Dropout: There are 111 school dropout in the operational area out of which 59 are boys and 52 are girls. 98 children are in the 15-18 age-group and 77% of the children who have dropped out are staying at home idle. Major causes of drop out in the area are poor economic family condition, family migration and school stopped due to child marriage.

Child Marriage: During 2016-17, 15 child marriages were reported out of which the project team was able to stop three but they were later conducted. 100% of the reported cases were that of girls’ and in 60% of the cases, the child was either a dropout or child labor at the time of marriage. There are communities like fishing, yadav, reddika where child marriages are a common practice. The reasons for child marriages are increasing dowry; not able to meet education costs; death of parents and guardians wanted to get relieved of responsibility and caste tradition. SRAMA has been putting efforts to sensitize communities and prevent child marriages in the area.

Achievements & Impact


Key Result Areas: Reduce child labor from 43 to 20. Reduce dropout from 111 to 50.

Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

* Track and ensure transition of children from Pre-schooling Anganwadis to Lower Primary School to Upper Primary School, and subsequently to High School and Senior Secondary school.
* Conduct awareness programs / Kalajathas on child labor at community level, and sensitize Community Based Organisers(CBOs) and parents of children in child labor or dropped out of school of implications.
* Strengthen School Management Committees (SMCs) by ensuring regular meetings and parents regular participation in meetings.
* Advocacy with Education Department for improvement of infrastructure facilities in schools and for appointing sufficient teachers and against closure of schools in the name of rationalization.
* Advocacy with Social Welfare Department for improvement of infrastructure facilities in hostels.
* Guide 10th & 12th standard failed children to appear for instant / supplementary exams.

* Total of 213 children were enrolled in 10th grade in the current academic year, out of which 211 children passed the 10th grade. This was due to several factors like monitoring, family level counseling, collective meets etc.
* 4,710 community members were sensitized on various themes related to the child labor, drop out, importance of education, Right to Education(RTE) key features, various provisions under the act for children education, and various schemes available for the children.
* 376 families have been sensitized on the importance of girl education.
* With the involvement of Community Based Organizers (CBOs) 14 drop outs and 7 child labor were mainstreamed.
* Additional class rooms were constructed in two schools due to timely intervention by the CBO’s by escalating the issue to the head master and district officers.
* 37 schools have been monitored by 42 Panchayati Raj Institutes (PRIs) members from 22 villages.
* 10 School Management Committees (SMCs) were strengthened during the period and they are now able to identify the issues of the schools. In the process 3 schools were prevented from closure.
* Project submitted memorandums to Mandal level grievance cell to solve various issues like free distribution of schools and uniforms, Travel allowance for the children, demand for the extra classes in 3 High schools.


Key Result Areas: Reduce instances of child marriages / child marriage fixed cases from 15 to 7 in the year.

Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

* Demand for formation of Child Protection Committees at Panchayat / Mandal level.
* Organize family visits along with stakeholders like ICDS Workers, ASHA, ANM, etc. to sensitize parents against child marriages. Create awareness in the community about girl-child focused welfare schemes and about protection mechanisms available against child marriages.
* Identify and assist families to apply for social security benefits from government, including special enabling schemes for girls.
* Assist girls from most needy families and girls from families where parents migrate seasonally to get into social welfare hostels.
* Conduct cultural performances to sensitize community on child marriages.
* Ensure convergence meetings between government departments for better coordination towards preventing the child marriages.
* Advocate for compulsory registration of marriages at Panchayat level.
* Organize Adolescent Girls Groups to develop self protection mechanism.

* 33 child marriages averted and 5 child marriages stopped through the efforts of the project partners.
* 205 stakeholders have visited 246 families in the project area and sensitized child marriage issue through family visits.
* Project conducted 5 awareness activities on the issue of child marriage, where 1755 community members were sensitized on the issue of child marriage.
* Project assisted 705 children to apply various scholarships from the various government scholarship departments.
* 22 Kalazathas (traditional folk play) were organized on the issue of child marriage in which 2273 members participated.
* 176 stakeholders have been involved in sensitizing these families against the child families. As a result 22 families have changed attitudes towards child marriage and supporting their daughters to continue the education.
* 36 teachers from 27 schools have visited 58 families and sensitized on the ill effects of child marriage which resulted in addressing one child marriage.
* Mandal Parishad Development Officers (MPDO) have raised the issue during the district level convergence meeting conducted by District Government.
* 8 adolescent groups have been strengthened, out of 12 adolescent groups which have been newly formed.


Key Result Areas: Increase 100% strengthened Child Collectives from 19 to 29.

Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

* Promote leadership development among children through capacity building trainings. * Conduct training for child collective leaders on how to conduct the child collective meeting and write the meeting minutes.
* Encourage child collective members to discuss the issues of their schools in their child collective meetings and further discuss with teachers.
* Facilitate discussions between school-going and non-school-going children in order to make non-school-going children to rethink about going back to school.

* 149 children from 35 child collectives had availed a training program on leadership development conducted by the project.
* 7 child collective members had discussed their school issues during the child collective meetings, the issues discussed have been escalated to the notice of their teachers. This resulted in solving of toilets issues in 2 schools of the villages.
* 1 out of 4 drop outs has been mainstreamed due to regular counseling of the child collectives.
* 46 children have participated in 29 child collective meetings and shared their views regarding child labor and child marriage. e meeting conducted by District Government.
* 8 adolescent groups have been strengthened, out of 12 adolescent groups which have been newly formed.

Major engagement meetings with the government:


The project team conducted convergence meeting on child labor and child marriage issue under the chairmanship of Mandal Develop Officer (MDO). A total of 45 members participated in the meeting from different departments ranging from Pachayati Raj Institutes(PRI) from 18 villages, Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituency (MPTC), Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituency (ZPTC), police, journalists and bar association members. The convergence meeting was helpful in a) to discuss the child marriage and child labor issues, b) roles and responsibilities at different level, c) plans for coordination effort in sensitizing the communities and d) establishment /strengthening of existing child protection mechanisms in the village and mandal and e) passing of resolutions against child marriages and child marriages in the villages.

Knowledge and Capacity Building workshops:


Input sessions have been conducted on Integrated Child Protection Schemes. The team was oriented about the different categories of children under the scheme, the objectives of ICPS scheme, central, state, district, block and Village level structures and institutions meant for children. Emphasis was given much on roles of District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), CHILDLINE and Village Child Protection Unit (VCPC) structures and the link to the project programs for effective coordination. Discussion was initiated with the team on how to advocate with the DCPU for formation of VCPC’s in project operational areas and strengthening of those VCPC’s by involving the DCPU staff.

Plans


Key Result Areas Program Activities Planned

Reduce child labor from 89 to 60 Reduce dropout from 263 to 220

* To ensure empowered and more conscientize communities against child labor:
* Sensitize parents of child labor / dropouts and other parents on the importance of education especially girl child education.
* Conduct awareness programs / Kalajathas on child labor at community level.
* Engage with media to publish articles on importance of education / child labor situation.
* Identify and assist children to apply for social security entitlements.( caste certificates, scholarships, bus pass, Medical certificates for differently abled children)
* Sensitize and encourage teachers and School Management Committees (SMC) members to conduct regular meetings and encourage regular participation of parents in the teachers and School Management Committees (SMC) meetings.
* Advocate for Mandal / District level Convergence meetings between Government departments / committees (CWC, DCPU, WCD dept., Police dept, Judiciary, labor dept.) on protection rights issues.
* Program to combat child trafficking issue In East Godavari district:
* Attend the orientation sessions conducted in and outside organizations on the issue of child trafficking
* Capacity building on child rights issues with specific to child trafficking, advocacy strategies and various best practices in addressing the issue.
* File RTI's and collect the data from Women and Child Development (WCD),District Child Protection Unit( DCPU), Police and Children Welfare Committee (CWC) department on number of cases filed, number of children rescued, rehabilitated and from last 3- 5 years.
* Conduct the desk level research on child trafficking issue and identify the source, transit and destination areas.
* Visit the trafficking prone areas and collect information from possible sources.
* Prepare the concept note on child trafficking issue in east Godavari.
*Identify the like minded organizations and Community Based Organisers(CBO's) and develop rapport with them in order to form mandal level networks in the intervention districts.



Key Result Areas Program Activities Planned

Create sensitized communities against the child marriages and avert 10% reported child marriages

Identify and assist families to apply for social security benefits from government.
* Assist girls from most needy families and girls from families where parents migrate seasonally to get into social welfare hostels.
* Sensitize ICDS workers and other government health workers on child marriage issue and encourage family visits along with stakeholders like ICDS Workers, ASHA, ANM, etc. to sensitize parents against child marriages.
* Conduct sensitization activities at Panchayat level on child marriage issue.
* Advocate for compulsory registration of marriages act at Panchayat level.

100% strengthened all Child Collectives in Alamuru Mandal

* Promote leadership development among children (6-18 yrs) through capacity building trainings.
* Give training to child collective leaders on how to conduct the child collective meetings.
* Conduct sports and games for children during monthly child collective meetings.
* Initiate "Education" theme Child Centre Module in the child collectives.
* Facilitate discussions between school-going and non-school-going children in order to make non-school-going children to rethink about going back to school.

Financial Summary: January to December 2019


Budget Breakup 2019

Education

3,876

15%

Protection

12,933

50%

Participation

220

1%

Administration

8,612

34%

Total Grant Approved

25,641

100%