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3 Red light areas in Kolkata, West Bengal
Thematic Intervention: Protection

Project Context

DIKSHA’s effort are generally aimed at creating change in externalized factors that adversely affect varying segments of civil society in different ways, resulting in a number of organizations providing a wide range of services. The uniqueness of DIKSHA, both programmatically and methodologically, lies in its stress on creating change from within and involvement of adolescent groups through development of CBRT (Community Based Resource Team). Ms. Paramita Banerjee, the founder-coordinator of DIKSHA, has been actively involved in development activities since the early 1980s. Her innovative ideas about shifting from service delivery to evolve a holistic rights and participation based approach for adolescent development won her a Mac Arthur Fellowship for Leadership Development in 1999. DIKSHA is the culmination of her activities with adolescents living in red light areas. Paramita was also selected as regional coordinator of ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking) in 2005. Diksha has evolved its own methodology of experiential approach that specializes in offering a safe space to adolescents to make individual development possible. The operational areas of Diksha are red light areas in and around the city of Kolkata. Within the city the operational areas are Kalighat and Khidirpur. The third operational area they have ventured is in Suri in Birbhum district. This was taken up as an outcome of a consultative process with CCRP. The project is works with the children from families dependent on prostitution and the core groups formed of these youths implement the project activities. They have been able to stop entry of 2nd generation into this occupation without any dignity.

Achievements & Impact

Key Result Areas Achievements

Reduce child abuse (violence against children - physical, mental and sexual) and substance abuse in 3 project areas.

* 10 sessions were undertaken on abuse, child labor, child marriage, substance abuse and child protection in the 3 Drop-in-centers. These were attended by 161 children from Kalighat, Munsigunj and Khidirpur.
* 17 individuals and families in abusive and violent situation have been enrolled in to systematic counseling support. Another 31 children attended group counseling sessions.
* Violence has reduced in the 3 children identified to be in the dysfunctional family due to sustained engagements.
* 1 child sexual abuse (CSA) was reported to police and the child has been enrolled in counseling.
* 1 child in Khidirpur who has been identified to be dependent on substance is not willing to sit for individual counseling.
* 8 Comic posters have been developed and published on abuse especially CSA, which has facilitated discussions on different forms of abuse including CSA, and has aided in disclosure in Munsigunj and Khidrpur.

Key Result Areas Achievements

Reduce Child labor in project area

* 2 Child labors has been taken out of labor and mainstreamed.
* 4 children have been identified in Munsigunj who were not going to school and have been enrolled in school.

Preventive measured are instituted against child marriage and reduce instances of child marriage.

* 15 cases of marriages were prevented through engaging with their families.
* Elder married siblings especially in Khidirpur have started taking proactive role in influencing families against child marriage.
* 2 Girls are receiving Kanyashree (the conditional stipend for girls to complete schooling and not get married). Applications of another 3 girls have been processed at school level and forwarded to concerned authority.

Juvenile Justice systems especially CWCs, SJPU, DCPUs are fully functional in 2 operational wards of Kalighat and Chetla.

* Meeting with the WLCPC members were held in the Councilor’s office in Ward 83. Borough Chairman attended the ward level CPC meeting despite the state assembly being in session.
* The ward level CPC members were capacitated with support of Prajak.

Other Highlight Processes and Achievements – 2017.

Mapping of Mental Abuse of children – In Munshigunj –the areas of discrimination faced by the child is a mean of verification, while conversing with the child. In Munshigunj, the male child is seen to be discriminated where the girl child is given money to buy food, the logic being given the girl works in the house so she needs to be fed properly (there is this notion that girls would earn money through engaging in prostitution for which they are considered as asset). The child sexual abuse sessions have been noted to bring about a discomfort in a child (boy of 10 years). He is unable to sit still in the sessions. He has been identified to be sent for counseling. He has been found to missing the sessions and is trying to withdraw other children also from the sessions. It was he who used to bring children to the sessions earlier. This disturbing nature has been identified as the need for linking the child with the counselor. Group Counseling might be initiated first and thereafter individual counseling can be initiated.

Update on knowledge and capacity building workshops that the project team may have organized /participated in them (this is for the project team and not for the community groups):

Twp orientation programs for the project staff have been conducted by Praajak & DCPU. One dealt with the procedure in reporting of the CSA case with the Police, the section of POCSO to be used during the filing of FIR, placing the case to the CWC, the manner in which the recoding of statement under section 164 and medical test to be done. A flow chart was developed through the discussion process during the orientation. The team were also oriented the team on the roles and responsibilities of ward level child protection committee (WLCPC’s). A guidelines handbook was also shared with them for easy reference and clarity.


Key Result Areas Program Activities Planned

Reduce child abuse (violence against children - physical, mental and sexual) and substance abuse in 3 project areas.

* Organize individual, family and group counseling for children at risk of abuse: physical, mental, sexual and substance.
* Community programs to sensitize community on not selling tobacco products, alcohol and other abusive substances to children.
* Conduct regular sessions on abuse (physical, mental, sexual and substance), child labor, child marriage and child protection in the 3 Drop-in-centers.
* Conduct Play Therapy initiated to identify children’s vulnerability and address them through Counseling
* Capacity Building of Rakhi Group members (of women in prostitution) to campaign and act against abuse of children.
* Organize one community programme in collaboration with stakeholders for raising awareness on child protection issues and felicitating actions of different stakeholders.

Reduce Child labor in project area

* Home visits for advocacy against engagement of children under 14 years in hazardous labor and prevention of school dropout.
* School visit for enrolment / re-enrolment through engagement of teachers, guardians and children.
* Engagement with employers through meetings and discussions.

Key Result Areas Program Activities Planned

Preventive measured are instituted against child marriage and reduce instances of child marriage.

* Home visits for family counseling against child marriage.
* Community awareness on ill consequences of child marriage.
* Leadership skills building sessions with children and Community-based Resource Team members and inter-generational dialogues.

Juvenile Justice systems especially CWCs, SJPU, DCPUs are fully functional in 2 operational wards of Kalighat and Chetla.

* Conducting Education PLUS workshops in at least 1 school in each ward and feeding in issues of children surfacing from the workshops in the ward level child protection committee (WLCPC).
* Orientation meetings of the WLCPC in conjunction with Praajak to evolve capacities of members.
* Organize meetings of the WLCPCs for discussing the issues of child protection and redressal under the Child Protection systems.

Financial Summary: January to December 2018

Budget Breakup 2018



64 %






31 %

Total Grant Approved