With grant support from Save the Children – Bal Raksha Bharat, CUTS-Centre for Human Development is implementing ‘Stronger Voice to Excluded Children in, Government & NGO Policies and Programmes’ project in Chittorgarh block of Rajasthan. A brief outline of the project is as follows:-
With more than a third of its population below the age of 18, India has the largest child population in the world. This backgrounder explores the level of health, nutrition, education and social security of children, and government policy and action on child rights. India has made some significant commitments towards ensuring the basic rights of children. There has been progress in overall indicators: infant mortality rates are down, child survival is up, literacy rates have improved and school dropout rates have fallen. But the issue of child rights in India is still caught between legal and policy commitments to children on the one hand, and the fallout of the process of globalization on the other.
Child sexual abuse cuts across class, caste, cultural and economic backgrounds. But there is no specific law to make it an offence. The recent disclosure of the Nithari killings may prompt the government to pass the much-awaited and long-needed Offences against Children Bill, 2005. But more laws may not ensure more rights for children. A landmark study by the Indian government along with two civil society organizations — Prayas and Save the Children — and backed by the United Nations Children’s Fund admitted on April 9, 2007, that two-thirds of children in India are physically abused while more than half have faced some form of sexual abuse.
Looking into above issue, project shall aim at overall involvement of the Children in the process of their own development at the same time aspiring for the overall development of the societal atmosphere regarding all kind of discrimination and abuse.
By December 2013, socially excluded children (Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes) in Rajasthan have improved status with their voices being heard and recognized institutionally by formal and informal structures.
Socially excluded children (Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes) in 28 villages of Chittorgarh district in Rajasthan, benefit from the development programmes, policies and schemes of Government, donors and NGOs by end of December 2013.
Excepted Output of the Project Outputs
SC/ST Children living in 28 villages of Chittorgarh district in Rajasthan become visible to formal and informal structures; their voices are heard and recognized institutionally
- Enhanced understanding, improved capacity and support by civil society1 and duty bearers on issues pertaining to the rights and needs of SC/ST children
- Strong community based structures and mechanism established for protection of the rights of SC/ST children
- Improved interface between SC/ST children’s forums and adults with the community / duty bearers leading to better understanding of issues of SC/ST children and addressing /advocating for the same.
- Media highlights issues of SC/ST children consistently and responsibly
Interventions designed (policy, programmes and schemes) to address the rights/needs of excluded children
- Policies, programmes and schemes of government and CSO’s focus on issues of SC/ST Children
- Significant increase in accessibility of government facilities to the SC/ST children and their families with special focus on health nutrition and education (ICDS, mid day meal, Education, birth registration and routine immunization)
- Enhanced skills amongst CUTS staff on working with and for realizing rights of SC/ST children
- Advocacy strategy is developed and adopted by CUTS.
Under the project, 28 villages of 6 Gram Panchayats (Eral, Ghatiyawali, Netawalgrhpachali, Sawa, Samri and Shambhpura) of block Chittoor under Chittorgarh district would be covered as given below.
Total Duration: 01 June 2009 to 31 December 2013
First Phase: 01 June 2009 to 31 March 2010
Status and details of the beneficiaries
Direct beneficiary of the project will be children (backward cast – ST/SC and others, poor and vulnerable). Roughly 1800 children from SC/ST and backward class will be benefited. Besides, hundreds of children from other vulnerable class will be benefited directly from the project.
- Parents and relatives of the children
- Community and Religious leaders
- Village Level Institutions
- NGO workers
- Local Member of Legislative Assembly
- Government officials
- Local Health Workers – Dais, Anganwari workers
- Official of education and child labour department
- INGO/ NGO who are working on child and other district and state level official
All stakeholders mentioned above will play supporting role in planning and execution of project activities. The children are the focal point of the programme and their forum will play pivotal role in identifying gaps in education and planning for yearly school education plan. The parents and local community will participate during problem identification and planning process. Children and parents would also help during campaigns. Local leaders (community/religious), PRI members, teachers, SHG members, dais, Aanganwadi workers and village elders would help in mobilizing community for the programme. Officials of government department would help in researching the gaps in child related issues and draw a plan for protecting children against social atrocities and ensuring a friendly environment for safer life. Local NGOs will help doing advocacy with local administration on child protection issues and campaigning for the cause. The media will play a crucial role in raising the issue with larger mass and pulling the attention of the local administration.
All stakeholders have been consulted in the design of the project/programme through meeting and Interaction.
There have been a series of visit that have contributed to the present state of affairs. The plan that CUTS has devised, has led to the sustainability of the Project till the present period. The strategy further shall be as follows: –
The entire network and other village level functionaries, which will be created over the years, shall look after the sustainability of the project activity.
The local members of Legislative Assembly would act as additional support structure for the project activity.
The local level village institutions would act as a medium on continuing the above-mentioned activity in their respective areas in absence of the financial support.
CHD has had a long association with the mentioned target area and the field staffs of the organization makes frequent visits of the area regardless of the fact whether projects are going on or not.
The forum of children created at the village level will be linked with government supported forums at the block, district and state level.
The project will be financially viable. A key tenet of the project is negotiation with the government to fulfill its obligation towards protecting children. The involvement of the PRI’s and local people in the planning and execution of various project activities is the key component in determining the success of the project. Local involvement and leadership in the project increases its sustainability by maintaining the community’s commitment to the project and by providing a means of accountability with the stakeholders. Sensitization programme for the Panchayat members, health workers, and schoolteachers will be organized so that they are able to take up the responsibility in realizing the rights of the children belonging to their village/school.
By cultivating relationships with relevant government representatives and locally active NGOs, CUTS-CHD & Save the Children will be creating a source of ongoing support. This includes technical advice, funding assistance and another source of monitoring and evaluation. Developing these relationships will be the responsibility of both CUTS-CHD and village level institutions. This will be done in partnership with the community members and Panchayat members so that they feel responsible towards making the programme successful along with the NGO.
Stronger Voice to the Excluded Children
Stories we have lived and learned about child rights development
This monograph has been published under the project ‘Stronger Voice to Excluded Children in Government & NGO Policies and Programmes’ implemented by CUTS Centre for Human Development (CHD) in Chittorgarh in partnership with Save the Children – Bal Raksha Bharat, with the objective to advocate for protection of child rights and inclusion of children, is an attempt to capture the key learning from the intervention for dissemination to a wider audience. The book encapsulates successful efforts made by CUTS and community (especially) in villages of Chittorgarh district of Rajasthan to fight against exclusion.