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Wide Angle (Social Development Organization) Manipur was registered in 1984 by a group of dynamic Manipuri Youths. The organization started working with a vision for creating productive youths by collectively enhancing health, Human Rights and Gender justice. It worked in collaboration with Youth clubs, student’s union and like minded NGOs. It became a partner of the Manipur AIDS Control Society (1998), Manipur State Council for Child Welfare (2003) and Indian Network of NGOs in HIV/AIDS (2003). Wide Angle is a strategic partner in the North Eastern Region. The organization started working with a vision for creating productive youths by collectively enhancing health, Human Rights and gender equality. It worked in collaboration with Youth clubs, student’s union and like minded NGOs. This is an effective initiative in Manipur addressing issues of children infected / affected by HIV/AIDS thereby taking up the issue of child rights in the State.
From the review year, Wide Angle has started working in 13 Villages of Senapati and Tamenlong districts of Manipur, both falling in the hill region of the state. Previously this project was working in Imphal WestRecurrent incidences of political and ethnic conflicts and an almost epidemic incidence of HIV /AIDS together push children and youth of the state into abject poverty, severe health and nutrition concerns. This coupled with large scale migration in search of jobs increases the protection challenges for children. The acute poverty, ethnic violence, urban rural migration and HIV/AIDS epidemic has led to many Children in Especially Difficult Circumstances (CEDC) in Manipur. The risk to children’s health is alarming. There is now a whole generation of hundreds of orphan children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in the state now. What is worse is that the utilisation percentage of the government state budget is as low as 20-25%.
In terms of the scenario of education in Manipur, a large number of private schools dominate the education system of the state which attracts the biggest share of children, followed by government schools. A small percentage is actually out of school as per records. However among the enrolled children, only 56.8% are found to be regular. Data reflects prominent gaps health care and education infrastructure as well as need for training of health workers to cater to the needs of local communities. The implementation status of ICDS is not very satisfactorily in Manipur state. Supplies are irregular, salaries of ICDS workers do not reach on time and they are yet to fully trained on their roles and responsibilities.
Perhaps the most alarming threat to children’s rights is in terms of their protection – there is a very incidence of child sexual abuse and child trafficking. Because of abject poverty and lack of regular livelihood options for their parents, children are often found to be engaged in hazardous activities like drug peddling or getting drawn into conflict. This high degree of vulnerability of children in the age group of 12 – 18 yrs to sexual abuse, substance abuse, trafficking and child labour since these children age group has the highest number of school dropout in these villages.
- To initiate processes and ensure follow up for proper and timely implementation of Right To Education norms in the operational area
- To improve quality of health care infrastructure, ensure adequate training for health workers and also ensure full access for all to all available health care services in operational area
- To develop understanding on malnutrition at project and community levels and jointly explore the status of malnutrition in the operational area.
- To identify and address child labour, child trafficking, child marriage and CSA in the operational area.
- To initiate process of activation of Juvenile Justice system to protect
- To develop community level collective vigilance and action to protect children from abuse, violence and trafficking
Since initiation of CRY partnership in 2005, Wide Angle has been able to make several positive and lasting changes in the lives of children in the old operational area –
- Nearly 80% of children in the operational area fall in this category – hence strategic focus has been given on children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, with the purpose of increasing the longevity of the life span of affected families and children
- Direct support has been facilitated for all the HIV /AIDS affected and infected families focussing more on precaution aspects as well as available medical services
- Wide Angle kept laying emphasis on convergence of different stakeholders and initiating a dialogue to explore long term solutions to address specific issues of affected and infected families and children
- Wide Angle also focussed on mobilizing the larger community on the basic need of the children, like education and the health need of the children in general and in between there will be process to engage the community leaders on HIV/ AIDS issue
Nutrition demonstration program at community level – With a view to combat rampant malnourishment among children and local communities, trained personnel conducted nutrition demonstration in the community as a model for low cost nutrition. Purpose was to help the women cook nutritious food out of locally available and relatively cheaper materials.
In terms of education, the team took up 14 schools to monitor implementation of norms specified in the Right to Education Act. Because of constant community surveillance, mid day meals began to be served 5 days a week and all 14 schools now have clean drinking water facility as well as separate toilet facilities for girls and boys. New class rooms have also been constructed in these schools. More work needs to be done towards training the School Monitoring Committee members on their roles and responsibilities.
In order to curb risks of abuse and trafficking of children, Wide Angle engaged with different government agencies and institutions like the police stations, child line, CWCs, children’s Home, city police stations. In the new areas, discussions were initiated with different stakeholders on various protection issues affecting children, especially child marriages and child labour.
Special intervention for HIV /AIDS infected and affected children continued. 9 more mutual support groups joined in this year and received inputs in the form of trainings, awareness building on low cost nutrition and Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) adherence. More than 96 members began adhering to anti-retroviral therapy under the supervision of Wide Angle. Efforts were also made towards rehabilitation of HIV /AIDS affected children through socio-cultural activities like police stations, child line, CWCs, children’s Home, city police stations.
- 1 school converted into residential centre, 1 high started co-education facility thus extending higher education facility for girls
- 1 new school building constructed
- 100% immunization ensured for all children (0 - 6 yrs age) in Imphal West district
- 100% safe deliveries in hospitals and health centres
- Regularised home visits of ANMs and ASHa (government health program) workers
- Mid-day meal program regularised in all schools for 5 days every week
- 2 cases of abuse and rights violation related trauma among children addressed
- To track and create data base for the children with child sexual abuse, child trafficking, child early marriage, child labour and children with substance abuse in 13 operational villages of Senapati and Tamenlong districts
- To create awareness among the women, adolescent groups, parents and village authority on child right to protection issues
- Formation of vigilance committees, empowering community leaders and ensuring monitoring by local communities to address the issues as per the constitutional provision and social norms
- Mapping of health services in 13 operational villages- for the age groups of 0-3 children and mothers
- Mainstreaming of drop out children- through activation of government school education
- Formation of adolescent groups, regular engagement with the target groups for behavioural changes and disclosure
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