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Wide Angle (Social Development Organization) Manipur was registered in 1984 by a group of dynamic Manipuri youth. The organization started working with a vision for creating productive youth by collectively enhancing health, human rights and gender justice. It worked in collaboration with youth clubs, student’s union and like minded NGO’s. It became a partner of the Manipur AIDS Control Society (1998), Manipur State Council for Child Welfare (2003) and Indian Network of NGO’s in HIV/AIDS (2003). The Project Holder, Mr. Mantu Aahanthem is a known young activist in the state of Manipur. Mantu joined the student movement under the banner of “All Manipur Students Union” popularly known as AMSU - a powerful pressure group in the north eastern region.
The operational area is spread over Imphal proper and 7 CD blocks of Imphal west, Manipur. The vaishnavite hindu meities community dominates the valley (Imphal and the surrounding region) and makes up more than 60 percent of Manipur’s population. The hills are dominated by various tribal groups. The hills and the valley are covered under two categories of local self administration; panchayati raj in the valleys and the autonomous district council under the provision of the Indian constitution in the hills. The mainstay of the state economy is agriculture, which is largely dependent upon rain-fed farming and follows traditional and often unproductive patterns. Low lying fields in the valley are not provided with irrigation facilities and the state is still to use double cropping for increased food production. The hill farmers practice the primitive and traditional method of Jhum cultivation, which is less productive hence less profitable.
The child rights status of the area is dismal and the health status is poor with high incidence of malnourishment and HIV / AIDS. Accessibility to education is low and the school drop out rate is high. Domestic violence, armed conflicts, unstable law and order situation, displacement and migration, trafficking of children and women, unsafe sex and resultant HIV / AIDS and abject poverty and unemployment are prominent regional issues of the area. In this context, Wide Angle envisages the creation of productive youth through righteous reasons, inspired thoughts and responds to justice. The organization works without discrimination against religion, creed, race, gender or language and works in collaboration with youth clubs, student’s union and like minded NGO’s and by building alliances with other groups through non-violence under a democratic framework.
- To improve socio-economic conditions of the poor and marginalized people in the state.
- To propagate peaceful co-existence in the society.
- To bring gender equality and equity in Manipur.
- Contribute to the peace settlement within the region.
- To develop appropriate model of health care and youth & child friendly services.
- To improve health care for marginalized women & children.
- To strengthen advocacy towards enhancement of public health, reduce detrimental effect of development work and improve economic conditions and sense of peaceful co-existence.
Wide Angle is a strategic partner in the north eastern region and the Project holder is also the Convener of the Manipur state alliance. The initiative of Wide Angle is not merely an initiative to address AIDS but through this initiative, an attempt has been made to address the issue of child rights, particularly those children who are affected and infected by HIV and AIDS. The program aims to build a pressure group that will work towards establishment of human rights.
Major achievements include –
- The members played an important role in raising the voice for oral suspension of anti retro viral dugs for children. At present J.N hospital of Imphal is providing 2000 ARV roll out (free of cost) as against 5000 cases who are in need.
- 198 children were covered through these awareness programmes for adolescents and youths who are rehabilitated from drug addiction, as well as people with HIV.
- The outreach workers conducted series of focused group discussions and one-to-one sessions with adolescent children for creating awareness on HIV/AIDS, STDs Hep B, C. Condom use was encouraged among sex workers especially child/adolescent sex workers.
- 125 children were treated for opportunistic infection and abscess.
- Regular health check up was conducted by the clinic doctor at the Drop in Centers.
- 3 NFE centers were functional at three locations for the children infected/affected by AIDS.
- 60 children were brought under the education system, 18 students were provided with extra support for tuition and 27 children were admitted to schools.
The strength of the organization lies in its rapport with youth, local groups and NGO’s in the area. Wide Angle is one of the effective initiatives in Manipur addressing issues of children infected / affected by HIV/AIDS thereby taking up the issue of child rights in the state. The organization is also addressing the issue of ante natal transmission of HIV using clinical and awareness building strategies. The Mutual Help Groups have been formed which are supporting people affected by the same problem. The organization’s approach is to minimize the harm and reduce the rate of HIV transmission, till the time the government takes responsibility. Currently the organization is interfacing with the government on education and health issues affecting children who are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
- To improve the health status of the infected/affected, vulnerable children and youth.
- Policy makers will be contacted for strengthening and scaling up of health care facilities.
- 3 Drop-In-Centres will continue to create a safe space for children. The centers will be used for giving educational support to children. Educational support (study material/school fees/ school uniform) will be provided to 60 children.
- Organize awareness campaign on Drugs, HIV/AIDS, STDs and other related diseases among the vulnerable children and youth.
- Organize vocational training & income generating programs for parents.
- Community mobilization by sensitization through traditional culture.
- 3 activity centers will be on going and children’s programs will be organized to enable socialization process of children.
- Education through Art therapy using cultural medium.
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