CUTS’ Initiative on Safe Motherhood
CUTS CHD, in association with UNICEF and Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) organised safe motherhood campaigns during April 1-18, 2006 in Chittorgarh. The campaign was inaugurated on April 11, 2006, in which Rajeshwari Meena was the chief guest. Other distinguished participants included Vaid Smita Vajpayee from CHETNA, Ahmedabad and Praveen Gupta, an official from health department, and health workers, social workers, people’s representatives and representatives from non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Under the campaign, CUTS CHD implemented various activities related to safe motherhood, including: advocacy with media; awareness rallies; chaupal meetings, socio-cultural programmes; and meetings with community stakeholders in Udaipur, Banswara and Chittorgarh districts. Health check up centres were opened on the Aanganwadi and primary health centres where 122 pregnant women and mothers were examined and immunised. Iron folic acid tablets were also distributed besides disseminating vital information to women for taking necessary precautions before, during and after childbirth, which also include care for infants.
Hamara Manch: Empowering Rural Girl
CUTS CHD organised Bal sammelan (children meetings) and social justice and development meetings on weekly and monthly basis as part of the project implementation activities undertaken in 45 villages of Chittorgarh and Bhilwara districts during April-June 2006. These meetings discussed the activities related to the girl child education motivation campaign, especially the environment awareness plantation campaign 2006, initiated every year in July and August to promote girl child education.
A detailed plan of action was prepared, after in-depth deliberations that focused on carrying out a survey of the girl dropouts In the Bal sammelan and Bal panchayat meetings, issues such as life skills, education, nutrition, initiative against violence on girl child, social evils and gender disparity, care for health, protection and conservation of environment, and the activities and responsibilities of Bal panchayats etc. were discussed.
Peter Skyes Roy, the country Director of Save the Children, (UK), Kashinath, a senior accountant and Priyadarshni, Zonal Director, Jaipur, and Nupur Pandey, Programme Officer, participated in Bal panchayats of Kamalpura village under Banera, panchayat samiti of Bhilwara district and Bilol village of Chittorgarh, on May 25, 2006. In these meetings, they discussed impacts of the project with activists of social justice and development committees of the villagers.
Campaign against Child Marriage
CUTS CHD with the support from United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and Rajasthan State Woman Commission, organised, ‘Social Awareness Campaign against Child Marriage’ in 30 extra sensitive villages of Chittorgarh district during April 15-May 15, 2006.
The objectives of the campaign included: to sensitise the community on the ill-effects; to create awareness on laws against child marriage; to discourage people from child marriage; and to create a compact environment against child marriage in the area. In this month long campaign, different stakeholder, i.e. panchayat raj representatives, community leaders, religious leaders, media representatives, people related with judicial mechanism and community organisations, provided active collaboration.
Akshay Tritiya (an auspicious day) fell on April 30 this year and because of the blessings associated with the date, a number of child marriages were supposed to be held on this day. Hence, all activities under the campaign were concluded by April 29 and on this day, a workshop was organised with PN Khandelwal, the District and Session Judge as the chief guest. Under the campaign, CUTS CHD organised a number of events, including: cultural programmes, chaupal meetings, awareness rallies, workshops, seminars, slogan writing, workshops, and distribution of resource materials. These attempts were made for the elimination of child marriage and make people aware about its demerits.