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Initially the project holder, Mr Uma Shankar Sahu, along with other associates of his had started with flood relief programme in the Bolangir. At personal level he was initially involved with the other movements in the State and got inspired from those to start some work in the Bolangir district. In 1992, some educated youths of the Loisingha block region started working on social issues of the local communities under the banner of ADHAR. Since inception they focussed on forming community collectives and empowering them to ensure their own benefits. They also focused on to form the farmer’s organization in the area for the benefit of the farmers. From 1995-96 onwards, they began forming self help groups in Loisinga block. They took up the drought issue at the district level and began working for a network in the region to address the issue in a larger way. They also started model watershed in the region in order to make it as tool for advocacy at governance level. Social reformation through collective action of the vulnerable groups is the fundamental guiding principle of the organization.


ADHAR works in 62 villages spread over 3 blocks – Loisingha, Turaikela and Khaprakhol, all falling within the Bolangir district of Odisha. Part of the infamous KBK (Kalahandi-Balangir-Koraput) region of Orissa, it is among the 100 poorest districts of India and ranks high in terms of incidence of malnutrition and infant mortality. Over 90% of its population lives in rural area. Schedule tribes (ST) and schedule caste (SC) constitute 22% and 15%, respectively of the total population. The district is drought infested, largely due to depletion of forest cover. This has resulted in displacement of large numbers of people from their traditional work. Agriculture, wage labour and collection of firewood and NTFP are the main sources of livelihood.

The status of children naturally has a bearing of these adverse factors. Lack of adequate health care and education facilities is common. Added to this is the poor quality of services rendered. The lack of adequate infrastructure, poor quality of education, paucity in the number of teachers and caste and gender discrimination compel children to stay away from schools. The degree of malnutrition is very high among children – mostly due to mothers lacking proper nutrition. Insufficient job opportunities at village level lead to large scale migration – mostly without proper registration. Workers are compelled to work for long hours with grossly inadequate compensation and under stressful conditions. Children too get into working with their family members under such difficult circumstances. Children, particularly adolescent girls, are also prone to high degree of abuse and exploitation of different forms. Child marriage is rampant.


  • To mobilize community to reduce malnourishment and infant mortality
  • To strengthen community monitoring of ICDS, schools and health care services
  • Ensuring of 100% adequate infrastructure in schools, health centres and ICDS centres
  • To reduce the malnutrition up to 10% in the entire operational area
  • To ensure 100% child enrolment in schools and pre schools
  • To reduce 90% dropout among migrant children
  • To increase the children participation in child collective process
  • To reduce migration of children, campaign and strengthen collective action against child marriages, child abuse and child labour

Review and Impact

The major program strategies that ADHAR adopted right since inception have been broadly five-pronged – direct action with children and communities, mass mobilization and empowerment to ensure community monitoring of available services, critiquing policies of the state and networking with local NGOs at block and district levels to bolster child rights advocacy and lastly knowledge and capacity building of different stakeholders [project personnel, community groups, Panchayat members, children’s groups] to enable them to address child rights issues.

ADHAR over the year has evolved to be a very outcome oriented organisation. It has planned very meticulously by considering every aspect of the issues it has dealt so far. From CRY’s intervention point of view also it falls in a district which is highly critical in terms of education issue. ADHAR is also very systematic on maintaining child related data. A convergence between the issues organization addresses and the critical area it serves is quite visible.

Some of the prominent achievements include the following –

  • Out of 406 new births, 400 cases were registered and certificates facilitated
  • Vaccination was completed for 90% children, aged 0 – 6 yrs, as per the basic immunization norm, 90% villages thus have 100% immunization coverage
  • 60 of 62 villages recorded zero infant mortality
  • All 62 reference villages had 100% enrolment in the ICDS centres (0 – 6 yrs children) as well as 100% enrolment in formal schools (6 – 18 yrs children)
  • Degree of malnutrition was reduced from Red category for 23 children out of 49 identified cases
  • In 48 out of 62 villages, community monitoring of schools and other service delivery centres was active
  • 39 out of 62 villages reported zero incidence of child labour
  • 76 children’s clubs were active at village level with 4123 members


  • Create awareness among parents and community members on quality education for every child and effective implementation of RTE norms in the area
  • Ensuring teachers appointment in all project villages, with a focus on single teacher schools and schools without teachers
  • Ensure 100% child enrolment in schools and pre schools, reduce 90% drop-out rate among migrant children
  • Open and manage seasonal hostels with a view to arrest child migration
  • Forming village and block level protection committees under ICPS[1]
  • Ensure community monitoring of services from ICDS centres, health care centres and schools
  • To reduce malnutrition among children by at least 10%
  • To increase the children participation in child collective process


  • Right to Development
  • Right to Survival
  • Right to Protection
  • Right to Participation
  • Administration
  • Total Grant Approved