on the details of
18 villages in Nalbari district and 13 villages in Kamrup district (new area), Assam, India
Mr. Prithibhushan Deka is the President and founding member of the organisation. He studied in a school located in Nalbari district. After completion of EIID (Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India), he worked for NABARD, ICICI and other agencies. GVM was started by him as a local club with a band of young people in response to the need of the community and annuals floods. Gramya Vikash Mancha is a non-political, secular non-profit, professionally managed, people oriented developmental organisation. The organisation’s emphasis on micro planning enables direct involvement of people living in the villages to do the blueprint of the planning. Each project has a monitoring and review process with involvement of the community. Currently they are operating in 3 blocks at Kamroop district, 7 blocks of Nalbari, 3 blocks of Baksa district in the state of Assam.
Nalbari district is situated in between Kamrup and Barpeta District. The district was originally a part of undivided Kamrup district of Assam. The entire area is known as one of the most active conflict zones. Since the area is prone to floods and the weather is dependent on climatic conditions in nearby Bhutan, agricultural process is no longer a viable source of livelihood. Hence most of the people are focusing on education to get government jobs. Education institutions up to graduation level are more or less available but, due to shrinkage of Government jobs, numbers of unemployed educated workforce is increasing rapidly. At the same time increasing natural calamities like floods have been reducing the income in Agricultural sector and increasing distress situation among the community since last 3 decades.
Education system has been paralyzed. Large numbers of school buildings have been destroyed during this period. Due to lack of education and employment, other social problems like frustration, anti social means for easy money, drugs addiction, corrupt practices etc have been increasing rapidly particularly among the young generation. Kamrup (rural) is among one of the oldest districts in Assam. Though the area is not far from Guwahati [capital city], they face issues like migration, child labor, and child marriages. Due to increasing numbers of industries in the city, children are migrating to Guwahati or out of state, especially children above 14 years in search of livelihood which leads to the high rate of drop out and substance abuse in this area. Problems like child trafficking, sexual abuse, child marriage, child malnutrition, drop-out, child labor are also major issues in the operational areas. There is lack of awareness on issues related to child rights within the community and less participation of underprivileged communities in the development process.
- To reduce the infant and child deaths in the operational area.
- To reduce malnutrition among children of selected 18 villages
- To work towards ensuring quality education in the operational area.
- To reduce incidence of child labor and child marriage
Achievements & Impact in the Review Period
GVM works directly with children on issues of children’s rights and with the system to make policy changes on child rights issues. They have skillfully engaged in community mobilization (including capacity building) with relevant stakeholders. Its progress on programs has been quite satisfactory.
- The year started with 14 cases of infant deaths in the 18 villages in 2013-14, but as of July 2015 the number has come down to 3. These cases are of complex deliveries, premature babies, physical complications and internal disorder of baby. All the cases have been referred to Assam Medical College and Hospital.
- Growth monitoring and health check up at Anganwadi centres under RBSY (Rastriya Bal Swastha Yojana) by the NHM (National Health Mission) reduced child deaths to zero.
- There were 311 institutional deliveries (above 98%) and only 5 cases of home deliveries.
- 5 cases of severe malnutrition were identified through VHND (Village Health & Nutrition Day) process; 2 cases were treated at Nutrition Resource Centre (NRC) and 3 cases treated at the community level.
- Efforts were made for mainstreaming drop out children into formal schools. School teachers played a vital role in linking children back to school
- 2 cases of child marriage were registered in the operational villages (the number has come down from 12 cases of registered child marriages).
- Through different interventions and regular tracking system, the project has achieved 100% immunization of 0-1 year children.
Jarjina is a 30 years old woman of Cherabari village. Her husband’s name is Najim Ali. He is 45 years old. The village is under number 10 South Bahjani Gram Panchayats and the Chamta Health Center. Her husband is a daily wage earner and she is a housewife. She has 3 children. She had given birth to all the children at home and had never immunized her children. She did not take the anti-tetanus shots during pregnancy either, due to her husband’s religious and superstitious beliefs. She also had an internal conflict with ASHA and therefore she has no immunization card and has never gone to the health centre for check-ups and immunizations.
The GVM team with support from CRY has been tracking each and every pregnant and lactating woman of the operational areas. When the team learnt from the mothers group discussions that Jarjina has not immunized her 5 month child, they met with the mother multiple times to ensure immunization of the child.
Finally Jarjina and her husband got motivated and went to a Dhania Shekh ICDS of Deharkalakuchi with a GVM volunteer for immunization on Village Health and Nutrition Day. At first, the ANM refused due to the lack of the immunization card and that Jarjina was also not registered with the health center. GVM staff spoke with the ANM (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife), MPW (Multi Purpose Health Worker) and then they agreed to provide the vaccinations. The mother was happy because it was the first immunization for her baby.
GVM in Nalbari will focus on Health and in Kamrup (rural) will focus on Education for the coming years. The focus for Nalbari district will be Reduction in IMR (Infant Mortality Rate)/MMR (Maternal Mortality Rate)/CMR (Child Mortality Rate) and malnutrition and Access to free primary health care.
Focus 1 :Engagement with children:
- Organising health education sessions - hygiene, hand wash practices, balanced food, body mapping.
- Meeting with adolescents for health check ups (hemoglobin levels) and discussion for controlling child marriage.
- Promotion of kitchen garden in schools and ICDS (Integrated Child Development Services) centre through engagement of children's assembly.
- Child participation workshop with the children’s assembly in 5 villages- through weekly engagement by the volunteers and the staff.
Focus 2 :Capacity Building:
- Capacity building of staff about pre and postnatal care of pregnant and lactating mothers.
- Capacity building of community members about pre and post natal care of pregnant and lactating mothers.
- Capacity building of community members about various child health centric government programs.
Focus 3: Home based interventions:
- Counselling of pregnant and lactating mothers.
- Interface meeting between the ASHA/ANM and the target community (mothers),
- Consultation & orientation to lactating, & pregnant mothers for immunization and meeting with mothers on health checkups & hygiene.
Focus 4: Community leaders/ mothers/ Panchayats:
- Motivation programs through various interface
- Orientation on child marriage, child nutrition, immunization, health & hygiene, institutional delivery
Kamrup (rural) district key activities :
Focus 1: To ensure 100% children are retained in schools:
- Community meeting on child rights issues held in all the villages
- Baseline survey (home visits) conducted
- Meeting with the ICDS workers (collecting data on infrastructure), TLM (Teaching Learning Method), children's attendance, SNP (Supplementary Nutrition Program) monitoring committee.
- Village level process for developing CCRE (Child Centric Reflection Exercise)- meeting, data collection, triangulation
Focus 2: To ensure rights to Education milestones are implemented:
- Meeting with the school teachers (for collecting data on infrastructure, TLM-Teaching Learning Method, teachers’ regularity, Mid Day Meals, functioning of SMC (School Management committee)
- Monthly meetings with SMCs in all villages to discuss their roles and responsibilities, leadership skills, provisions of RTE etc.
- Village level meetings of all stakeholders and parents for school mapping
- Identification of children who require special training for better performance in schools.
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