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Location

22 villages in Chittapur taluka of Kalaburagi district, Karnataka
Thematic Focus: Education, Health, Nutrition, Protection, Participation


Project Background:

Margadarshi began its work with street children on railway platforms of Gulbarga (now renamed Kalaburagi). It has been involved in many projects (in collaboration with the state government, independently as well as with other networks) addressing the issues of street children and child labor. It has also been part of various studies involving this crucial issue. Anand Raj, the Project Holder, has been active in many networks and forums engaging with the state for the protection and rights of the children. He has also contributed significantly towards improving the quality of management of many state run children’s homes in the district in the capacity of a member/ Chairperson of the District Child Welfare Committee of Gulbarga. Margadarshi’s vision is that it “visualizes a child friendly and sustained society, where children are free from all forms of abuse and exploitation, enjoying childhood and their rights, with respect and social justice and without any discrimination”. In the CRY operational area, Margadarshi has brought significant improvement by ensuring access to sponsorship programs under ICPS (Integrated Child Protection Scheme) to children of single parents/orphan; re-enrollment of dropouts and child laborers in schools and hostels; approve of a high school after three years of advocacy; improvement of infrastructure/ facilities in Anganwadi centers providing pre-school education and supplementary nutritional under ICDS (Integrated Child Development Scheme) and schools; formed School Development and Management Committees (SDMCs) in schools.

Problem Statement:


Margadarshi is working in 22 villages under Chittapur taluka of Gulbarga/Kalaburgi district. Kalaburgi is considered one of the most backward districts of the state of Karnataka. About 28% population of the district belong to socio-economically marginalized Dalit communities. The child rights situation is also poor in all the seven Talukas. The state is closing down schools in the district in the name of rationalization of resources and utilization. Karnataka has the second highest child labors in the 10-14 years age-group in India as per 2011 census. Children are compelled to work as bonded labor in landlord’s agricultural firms/ houses or looking after cattle when their parents are not able to repay the amount of loan taken from the landlord. Elder children have to stand for family support in times of crisis situations. Children aged 12 to 18 years are involved in domestic work, quarry, cotton picking, cattle grazing, agriculture and facing different risks like accidents while carrying load in quarry work; get affected with Asthma in cotton picking work etc. Besides children are also working as a part of the gang to dig & load sand; in hotels / bars in different capacities; driving tractors for owners or for rent; begging; rag picking and other seasonal agricultural work. Girls are perceived better at seed crossing, pollination, cotton picking, and chilly picking since a lot of them are short in height and do the work more effectively.

There are only 14 government schools in 22 project villages teaching from Grade 1 to 8. Hence, there is an access gap of 47% in primary schools by standards set by the RCFCE Act (Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009). And, there are only 4 government high schools for Grades 9 and 10 in the project area. The infrastructure situation is poor in these schools. While 16 schools do not have toilets, some schools do not even have drinking water. Major reasons for drop out in the area are poverty, search for survival needs, lack of access to school, safety and security concerns of adolescent girls, migration of parents, low educational attainment of parents, single parents or orphans with no care takers, health crisis in families and other problems in the family. Thus, dropout is influenced by a complex maze of factors from school environment to socio-economic and socio-psychological factors.

Achievements and Impact:

Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

Result Area: Ensuring universal access to quality pre-school education for all children aged 3 to 6 years old through full enrollment, retention and transition to schools.

• Conduct regular home visits, identify 3 year old children and enroll them in Anganwadi Centers (AWCs).
• Seeking approval of new AWCs through regular liaison with the government officials.
• Conduct regular visits to AWCs across project areas to collect and identify children aged 5.5 years old in the centers, motivate parents/ teachers to enroll the same children in primary schools during school enrollment time and pay extra attention to vulnerable children to ensure enrollment in 1st Grade.
• 80% AWC graduate children transitioning to Primary Schools across operational areas

• Community organizers have regularly visited AWCs in operational areas. Before Covid (3 months) they have identified 16 children from the most vulnerable families and enrolled them in AWCs.
• While the AWCs remain closed due to Covid precautions, below engagements were carried out:-

- Conducted special sessions for 3 to 6 year old children.
- Motivated parents to engage children in creative activities and create opportunities for children at home to explore and learn
- Motivated adolescent girls collective members to teach/ play with AWC children as they are being ignored due to lockdown.
- In this process adolescent girls voluntarily conducted sessions for 72 children across operational areas.

• 4 AWCs were approved in operational areas, namely in Kulkunda, Chamnuru, Sugur N. and Tunnuru during the period due to consistent efforts by the partner. However, due to the Covid lockdown construction of the centers became delayed.
• 178 AWC graduate children’s data were collected and the parents were met and sensitized to prepare the basic documents that are required for enrollment – such as birth certificate, aadhar card, caste certificate, income certificate etc.
• In this process, 47 children’s parents were assisted by our team in obtaining and submitting applications for Aadhar Card and Caste Certificates.

Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

Result Area: Ensuring universal access to quality education for all children aged 6 to 18 years old through ensuring full enrollment, retention and transition, prevention of dropping out and reduction of out of school children through main streaming.

• Conduct sensitization meetings with 50 School Management Committee (SMC) members in 5 selected villages on functioning, structure, roles and responsibilities of members etc. and facilitate SMCs regular meetings and interaction with teachers and education department.
• Facilitate development of School Development Plan in 15% of schools through training of SMCs on vision setting and planning for school improvements.
• Liaison with officials and stakeholders for approval of 2 new schools.
• Ensure 75% of children aged 6-14 years old are enrolled in schools through mapping and tracking out-of-school children through regular home visits to identify school dropouts/ never enrolled children, counsel children and their parents, organizing school enrollment campaigns and community awareness jathas and school visits to ensure retention in school.
• Ensure at least 50% of children cleared Grade 10 school board exams through identification and organizing motivational sessions and special supports.
• Strengthen children collectives through facilitating regular meetings and sensitizing at least 150 members on importance of education and encouraging peer support.

• 4 SDMCs have been active and have school development plans (SDP) due to efforts of the partner and in the last 6 months 9 SDMCs have organized meetings on their own.
• The team has been in discussion with the education department and BEO for a new high school approved in Konchuru. The following activities were performed for the same :
- A play was organized along with school children, SDMC members, Panchayat members and local leaders.
- A memorandum was submitted from school children to Block Education Officer (BEO).
- Partner team facilitated the discussion on the issue of school dropouts, child marriage and child laborers due to absence of a high school in the village.

• 5 schools have been approved with separate bathrooms for girls.
• 47 children’s collective meetings were conducted and 94 children were regularly attending the collective meetings.
• 143 children participated in a 10 week children’s activities during the Covid lockdown period.
• 84 adolescent girls collective meetings were conducted where 132 girls are attending.

• Adolescent girls have been taking change making initiatives such as:
- Raising awareness on Covid in their neighborhoods;
- Conducting tuition for primary school children;
- Meeting with peers for self-help during lockdown and pandemic stress;
- Supporting implementation of Covid child rights 10 week activities;
- Paying extra attention to fellow adolescent girls;
- Meeting AWC children at home and engaging in playing and writing basic alphabets.

Plans

Key Result Areas Program Activities Planned

Result Area: Ensuring effective functioning of child protection systems under ICPS (Integrated Child Protection Scheme) and CLPRA (Child Labor Prohibition & Regulation Act) in the intervention areas.

• Strengthen community through organizing street theater on child protection issues and regular meetings of mother’s collectives to discuss child rights issues such as child labor, child marriage and child trafficking etc.
• Strengthen 5 Village Child Protection Committees by regularizing meetings.
• Mainstream rescued child laborers in formal schooling.
• Organize discussion meetings of children collectives on issues of child labor, child marriage and child trafficking issues to strengthen children collectives’ understanding and role on protection issues.
• Assist needy children and vulnerable families in accessing benefits under child protection programs e.g. foster care, sponsorship etc. through conducting coaching for Murarji entrance tests for residential schooling, obtaining caste certificate, disability certificate, income certificate, Aadhar card, BPL[1] card, employment opportunities under employment guarantee program (MGNREGS[2]).

• 2 community meetings were conducted in Ladlapur, focusing on discussing the child protection issues – as Ladlapur has the highest number of child laborers and negative impact of engaging children in labor work. Girls’ education was also discussed in the meeting.
• 77 children attended 9 meetings conducted by 7 children collectives on protection issues, especially on child labor and child marriage.
• 4 Village level Child Protection Committee (VCPC) meetings were conducted in Ladlapur, Konchur and Mattimud.
• 9 village level awareness jathas were conducted in 9 operational areas on child marriage and child labor issues. 1,138 children and 116 adults participated in the jathas. (Before Covid lockdown).
• The team has successfully helped in providing the following benefits -
- 170 children were supported in applying for Murarji exams for admission to residential schools.
- 67 children and their families supported in applying for caste and income certificates
- 15 families were helped in obtaining job opportunities under employment guarantee program MGNREG.
- 47 children/families were supported in opening bank accounts to receive scholarships from schools.

COVID 19 Response and Activities Impact in Kalaburagi:



The Kalaburagi district in North Karnataka is the very first area where death cases were registered due to Covid in India. During the lockdown period, the entire district was sealed; which made movement difficult for the public and the most affected are the marginalized and vulnerable groups; daily laborers; poor communities living in Kalaburagi town and villages in general.
In this context, our partner, Margadarshi Society came forward exposing the already existing malnutrition issues and the problem that pregnant and lactating mothers are facing with proper nutrition. Partner team worked hand in hand with the District Commissioner, Women and Child Development (WCD) department and all local government bodies to ensure supply of ration kits to vulnerable groups.
The team has also reached out to several other local donors and gave support to the partner in the relief work. During this process, they have also identified the early married girls (married before 18 years old) and analyzed their economic, socio and health condition; and concluded that 56 girls’ families are at high risk. Post identifying these families, they have reached out to other NGOs and relief organizations to support these families.


Besides this, the Margadarshi team has conducted the following activities as a response to the Covid pandemic:

• Visited 678 families during the lockdown period in and around 22 operational areas and raised awareness on the Covid issue.
• Visited 34 Anganwadi centers and monitored the take-home ration distribution process. Ensured 800 children receive take-home rations.
• Liaison with District Welfare Committee (DWC), Child Development Project Officer (CDPO), School head masters, and School Development and Management Committees (SDMC) across operational areas to distribute take-home rations to school children.
• 1,500 school children in 34 schools were given midday meal take-home rations.
• Partnered with local donors and mobilized Ration Kits for 4,312 families and mobilized money/ raised funds to support 50 migrant families.
• Locally mobilized resources to distribute dry ration kits to 420 poor families and distributed 750 masks to children and adults across the operational area.
• Conducted meetings with pregnant and lactating mothers; raised awareness on nutritional in-take and self-care during the pandemic period.
• Conducted Covid child rights activities and engaged 182 children in creative and educational activities.
• Monitored/followed up ration distribution to families at Public Distribution System (PDS) shops in operational areas.
• Supported ANMs[3] / nurses/ doctors in identifying and counseling migrant families on quarantine procedures.


SL No Covid19 Response and Relief work summary by Margadarshi

1

Number of villages visited

22

2

Number of families visited

678

3

Number of school children reached through midday meal ration provision follow up

1250

4

Number of AWC children reached through ICDS ration provision

800

5

Ration distribution to families through mobilization of local resources

800

6

Mask distribution to children and adults through mobilization of local resources

750

7

Food/dinner distribution to migrant families

1500

Case Story:



Community organizer drove mother and child for health check-up –
Samarth (name changed), an 18 month old child was seen and observed suffering from cold, cough and fever. Our community organizer lives in the same village (Kallagurthi) and noticed the child was falling ill for a few days and talked with the mother and family. Samarth’s mother and the family members were advised to take the child to the Community Health Center (CHC). But due to lockdown and the anxiety about Covid in the district – family members were afraid to leave home. Also there was no transportation facility and the family was not able to afford other options.

Mr. Narasimha, counseled the mother and family members and also offered transportation. The family then agreed to take the child to Kalagi CHC. Narasimha drove the mother and child on his bike to Kalagi. At the CHC, the child’s health was checked and it was found that the child was weighing only 5 kg. The doctor advised the mother to give nutritious food to the child. Narasimha regularly followed up on the child’s health. Now the child is doing better by overcoming cold, fever and cough. The mother was advised to give breast milk and supplementary nutrition.

Plans

Outcome Activities

Goal Area- Education

Regular Program

Promote Early Childhood Stimulation and School Readiness. (Increased enrollment in AWC[4]s among 3-6 year old children)

• Village level awareness campaign on ECCE[5] for parents and community.
• Identify 3 to 6 year old children and enroll them in AWCs.

Reduce school drop-outs and maintaining retention (6-14 year old children enrolled in schools)

• Meetings with children, adolescent collectives and families to identify dropouts/never enrolled children.
• Enrolling children in schools. Counseling and motivation to school dropout children.
• Engage in depth conversation with children who have failed exams, give them hope and motivate them not to give-up. (In context of Covid, when schools reopen)
• Collect/prepare village-wise and school wise children details and follow up on the transition to high schools; regular visits to schools

Covid Specific Program

Promote Early Childhood Stimulation and School Readiness

• Engaging children in educational activities during lockdown. Discussing the importance of staying home and reading, writing, drawing and engaging in creative activities.
• Conduct sensitization awareness meetings with child collective members on Covid pandemic and sensitize them on hand wash, wearing mask, social distancing and Covid symptoms. Follow up and identify, track vulnerable children and give special attention to ensure they do not dropout.
• Involve SMC[6]/VCPC[7]/ANM[8]/ASHAs[9]/teachers to monitor cleanliness of school surroundings and proper sanitization of school building/ classrooms/ school areas /kitchens/toilets.
• Conduct planning meetings with School teachers, panchayats and SMC members for preparing for school reopening.

Outcome Activities

Goal Area : Protection

Regular Program

Reduced Child marriages/ Child laborers in operational areas

• Conduct sessions with children on negative impact of child labor.
• Identify high risk adolescent girls; follow up and have regular interaction with vulnerable girls
• Identify vulnerable children and follow up by tracking their school attendance.
• Conduct village level awareness jathas on negative impacts of child marriage.

Goal Area : Participation

Regular Program

Create an enabling environment for children to feel safe and confident in expressing their views through their own preferred medium of expression.

• Inspire ASHA, ANMs and Anganwadi teachers to have one on one conversation with adolescent girls to address their concerns related to menstrual/ psychological health etc.

Covid Specific Program

Enable children and adolescent girls with key life skills that are necessary to make decisions that affect them and raise their voice when their rights are being violated.

• Raise awareness among child collective members about the Covid Pandemic. Conduct in-depth discussions about precautionary measures like social distancing, washing hands with soaps, wearing masks and staying home during lockdown.
• Engage children in creative and life skill activities during and post lockdown periods.

Total amount disbursed in 2020 - 24,797


Financial Summary: January to December 2021


Budget Breakup 2021

Education

17,118

67%

Protection

3,485

14%

Administration

5,023

20%

Total Grant Approved

25,626

100%