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The Orissa Institute of Medical Research and Health Services (OMRAH)

Location: Cuttack district, Odisha



This project area in Orissa area is primarily inhabited by scheduled caste and other backward communities-accounting for nearly 70% of the population. However it is mostly the upper castes that have control over the land .Though land is fertile, the employment opportunities are not sufficient to sustain the entire working community throughout the year. The agricultural laborers are compensated through the Bataidari system (the wage laborer puts in seed money and labor, while the produce is shared between the land owner and the laborer). The practice is exploitative and discriminatory. The gravity of the situation is compounded by the recurrent floods and inadequate rehabilitation resulting in marginal farmers being alienated from their land as well


• Untouchability, religious fundamentalism and class-based work division in the society are rampant.

• Child rights violations like, malnutrition, high incidence of infant mortality and high dropout rate among children, particularly among the 15 - 18 year old, is rampant.

• Child labor too is rampant - household work, petty businesses and agriculture being the prime absorbers of child labor.

• The meagerly available government health services, including the ICDS, are inaccessible for the backward communities.

• Women and children remain deprived of basic health care, immunization services and supplementary nutrition support resulting in a high rate of malnutrition


• In the initial years, OMRAH focused on organizing health camps and providing trainings in urban slums and later establishing comprehensive health care services in urban slum pockets.

• OMRAH became the district coordinator for health sector NGO's working in the entire undivided Cuttack district by 1992

• OMRAH intervenes to initiate & sustain participatory interventions to promote rights of children & adolescence and empowerment of women, with a focus on health & well being.


• 100% immunization ensured in all the 18 project villages.

• 125 children got birth certificates.

• 125 children got immunization coverage.

Health checks were done for 959 children.

• 88 drop out children were mainstreamed and 54 are yet to be mainstreamed.

• 47 girl children were covered under mainstreamed education.

• 10 women's self help groups (SHG's) were active in analyzing and intervening in child rights violations in the area.





OMRAH was registered as a society in 1987-88. OMRAH possesses ample experience of working in the rural areas as well as in some selected urban slums in Cuttack.  The organization was providing health services in urban slum areas of Cuutack from 1992 to 1996. They took up a research project on reproductive health practices in a tribal block of Phulbani District sponsored by ICMR. In 1992, OMRAH was awarded a project under PVOH-II sponsored by USAID covering 106 villages in 14 Gram-Panchayats in undivided Cuttack District.  In 1987 it started intervention by organizing health camps in the villages and organizing Sunday clinics. It expanded its outreach to more than 100 villages through PVOH- II project in 1992. From 1997-98, the CRY extended support to OMRAH for comprehensive health care services to 15 villages. Under this program, OMRAH provides the outreach maternal and child health care services through its mobile medicare unit. OMRAH has come a long way in its approach and strategy. Post 2006, OMRAH is strengthening its adolescent programme through peer education. It is also sustaining the rights based programs for the holistic development of children along with disaster preparedness programmes. At present OMRAH is working in Nischintkoli block of Asureserwar Panchayat of Cuttack district. Operating area of OMRAH in CRY project comprises of 18 villages.


The majority of the population comprises of scheduled caste and other backward communities, agriculture being the main occupation.  Flood is a recurrent and perennial problem in the villages. . Landless and marginal families face oppression and are forced to migrate due to lack of sustainable livelihood options. 4% of children are in the age group of 0-2 years, among which 54% are male child and 46% are female child. Children in the age group of 3-5 years are 6% of total population. The prominent child rights violations identified in the operational area are child malnourishment, low birth weight, high incidence of infant mortality and high drop-out rate among children, particularly among the age group of 15-18 year. Child labour is also seen as a prominent issue in the area. Over the years the percentage of working children is increasing in the area, a big population of the adult labourer migrate to the Cuttack city for construction works. The government health services system, ICDS scheme and Public Distribution System (PDS) are inaccessible to the backward communities. Consequently, women and children from these communities remain deprived of basic health care and immunization services and supplementary nutrition support thereby resulting in a high rate of malnourishment. 35%-40% school going children are irregular in schools which is a critical issue that need to be addressed. The number of the actual drop outs is much higher than the school records.


  • To promote Reproductive and Child Health Services among disadvantaged population.
  • To create educational opportunities through Balwadis for pre school children and through Non Formal Education Centres (NFE) centers for school dropouts, particularly girls.
  • To provide health care services on preventive and curative aspects with focus on health education, to adolescent girls and mothers.
  • To enhance the scope of direct interface by the community to the government department for monitoring of the government services
  • To continue the child cultural programme in the community for strategic sensitization of the community in mobilsation process on child centricity.


OMRAH is working with CRY since 1998. Since last 13 years CRY is supporting OMRAH for intervention in 18 villages with the objective to make the villages as ensured child rights. In the 13 year collective intervention of CRY and OMRAH some significant changes were made. Nabadiganta Gram Unnayan Samity (NGUS) were formed and become functional to ensure child rights issues in these villages. The focus of intervention has also changed from direct service delivery mode to right based approach.

Some highlights of the organization in this year are:

  • 90% institutional delivery in government health institutions.
  • Identification of Malnutrition status among under-five children in five select operational villages.
  • Community monitoring on ICDS functioning initiated in five villages on quarterly basis.
  • In 18 villages women group monitored ICDS services in their villages through report card regarding six basic services of ICDS and shared it in Peoples' Organizations.
  • 100% immunization ensured in all the 18 project villages and increase awareness on immunization and birth registration among the communities for children in the age group of 0-1 year.
  • Base line data base updated in 18 of the project villages covering health and education aspects of children.
  • Children action groups were involved in expressing their views on the problems they are face through children's observation and appeal card.
  • Village committees are actively working for the development of village, especially in involvement of the landless in NREGS.


  • Tracking of the malnutrition status of 100% children in the age group of 0-5 in 10 project villages apart from the 5 villages done in last year.
  • To activate the pre schooling and supplementary food distribution services of ICDS through community involvement.
  • Raising demand for adequate infrastructure and adequate number of teachers in primary schools as per the RTE act.
  • To sustain Enrolment and Re-enrolment campaigns with focus on girl child enrolment.
  • To ensure proper delivery of the social security schemes in the project area. (With focus on PDS/NREGA) by involving volunteers and peoples' organizations.
  • To strengthen the process of children observation and appeal card on primary education issues.

Budget summary:

Particulars Amount (US $)
Right to Development 6,764
Right to Survival 4,439
Right to Protection 2,114
Right to Participation 1,057
Administration 6,764
Total 21,137


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