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Location

52 villages in 3 blocks of Ramananthpuram district, Tamil Nadu
Thematic Focus: Education and Protection


Background of the Project

Rural Workers Development Society (RWDS) was registered as an organization by Mr. Sathiah in the year 2007 with the objective to ensure the rights of Palmyrah workers in the reference district of Tamil Nadu. The project holder has decades of experience of working with the community. He was a member of a previous CRY partner in the same district from where he came out and formed RWDS to sustain his focus on ensuring rights for the children of Palmyra workers. Since inception the organization has been addressing child rights issues in 90 villages in 3 blocks. Through the years, RWDS has been working exclusively for re-enrolment of drop-outs, activation and strengthening of school management committees (SMC) and other education and protection issues.

Problem Statement:


RWDS has been intervening in 52 villages of 3 blocks ( Kadaladi, Thiruppulani and Mandapam) of Ramnathapuram district to address child rights issue of the Palmyrah worker community (Palmyrah workers are a group of people with a low status in the society whose core work involves tapping Palmyra trees which is the state tree of Tamil Nadu). Ramanathapuram is perhaps the most backward and drought-prone district of Tamil Nadu. Palmyra workers make up almost 1/3rd of the total work force. Child labor is one of the primary issues in the intervention area. Girl children are mostly employed in salt pans, sea food processing and Palmyra related work. Boys are employed in mechanic shops, grocery stores in other districts and in Palmyra tapping. The children get recruited through agents / middlemen who come during the summer vacation to identify vulnerable children and recruit them. Because of the restriction levied by the government on Palmyra tapping, all families who were dependent have lost their livelihood which has led to indebtedness for them. Many of them had to resort to seasonal migration for livelihood, which resulted in dropout of children. The protection mechanism such as District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) and Children Welfare Committee (CWC) does not get involved in any child rights violation issues. Thus child labor and drop out due to seasonal migration continue to be the major issues with focus required on the issues of lack of availability of schools, lack of accessibility, lack of infrastructure, complete denial of free health services, lack of sufficient ICDS centers and poor functioning of centers.

Achievements & Impact


Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

Key Result Areas: Ensure reduction & prevention of child labor among children in the 52 villages of the operational area.

Focused household visits to 130 vulnerable families (single parent/grandparent headed) and interactions with parents and children to motivate and closely monitor them during exams and to continue education beyond that.

The project team organized 361 meetings with children from 130 vulnerable families. They also held Mandal (block) level meetings against child labor where 914 parents participated.
The team interacted with 2969 children to motivate them to continue schooling. As a part of the re-enrolment drive, they met 62 drop-out children and their families for re-enrolling them back to school.
Due to home visits and regular follow up/motivation, Arthi, a 13-year old child who was out of school for 3 years got re-enrolled back into 5th standard in Kanjirankudi Govt. Primary school. Close watch also prevented 25 children from going away with their families to support n work during vacation times.

Organizing Children enrolment drive with specific focus to Kadaladi block involving school teachers, Panchayat and sangam members to ensure retention

The partner organized village level enrolment campaigns in 35 villages of the operational area. A total of 556 members participated in the enrolment campaign of which 138 were parents and 418 were children.
One School level Enrolment campaign was organized in Poopandiyapuram government middle school where 10 parents and 46 children along with 2 teachers took part in the rally.
One cluster level campaign was organized in Koravalli cluster where 21 children and 33 parent / sangam members participated.
250 irregular children, aged 14-18 years, from migrated areas were regularly and closely monitored.
The immediate output the team was able to observe post the enrolment campaign was:
* 9 Villages ensured as 100 % enrolment villages
* 3+2= 5 got admission in Govt. school from Private school
* 4 Govt Primary Schools Prevented from closure


Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

Team with the support of cadres/ volunteers
1) Initiate Evening auxiliary coaching for 14-18 years old children (9th to 12th) in 10 villages on alternative days
2) Follow up of students who have failed to ensure reappearance for the exams and passing
3) Initiating one digital center for children in the community

The team has initiated evening support classes in 11 villages which had a higher number of children appearing for the 10th and 12th board exams.
A total of 116 children are attending the supplementary classes regularly. Older peers support them in coaching.
This year the children in the operational area have shown 100% results in 10th & 12th standard including the transition to higher classes.
* 344 children were eligible and appeared for the 10th grade Exam – 100% passed
* All the 344 children were enrolled in the 11th standard
* 322 children appeared in the 12th Board exams and 100% passed out
* 216 children were enrolled in College
* 12 Child laborers, who started working new in the villages, were also re-enrolled into school.
* The partner set up the digital center in Naripayoor village on 16-08-2019 where it is more accessible. A volunteer Ms. M. Ajitha Mary was supporting the center in the evenings in coaching the children about computer and basics of typing, word, excel, power point and paint. Also additional supplementary coaching of studies was also handled. 22 children & 3 CL from two villages (Veppamarathupanai & N. Kamarajapuram) are attending digital center.
* Currently the partner is also planning to keep the digital center relocating once in every two months so that children from all other villages can also learn.


Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

Focused interactions in the Children's collective meetings
1. Existing 9 CLC / Adolescent collective meetings
2. Simplify the Science to children in the age group of 13-18 years through.
3. Initiate 5 adolescent girl children collectives
4. Organize regular meeting of CCs and initiate sports like Kabadi, Volleyball, football and chess for boys and girls and form girls team

* 158 children collective meetings were organized for 52 collectives in 52 villages. 2245 children were part of the collectives who attended the meetings. Discussion on the aspects of participation in the family, school and society happened in all the collectives.
* 26 cluster level collective meetings organized in Mayakulam, Sayalkudi, Kavakulam and Koravalli clusters where 418 children participated.
* 22 Adolescent Girl children meetings were conducted with 141 girls from 10 villages.
* A separate workshop was organized for 30 children selected from 10 adolescent collectives & Child labor collectives wherein sessions from CRY Life Skills Education module was taken and where 30 Child laborers participated.

Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

Key Result Areas:Creating a protective environment for children of migrant families who are exposed to risks for 9 months a year.

Focused discussion and debating with the CL parents & sangams on child labor issues and move towards pulling them out of labor sector and measures taken to re-enroll the CL in the age of 11-14 yrs in schools

* 51 meetings conducted in 41 villages with parents of child laborers. 96 sangam meetings conducted in 43 villages, particularly in Child labor intensive villages. 310 parents and sangam members participated and discussed child labor related issues.
* Four out-of-school children were re-enrolled in the first half of the project cycle.
* 12 children were re-enrolled from the newly identified working children.

Organize refresher trainings for members of PLCPC, and insist on the formation and activation in all Panchayat + insist on the Panchayat president candidate to make formation of PLCPC a mandate in the manifesto.

* Refresher trainings were provided to 31 members of Panchayat Level CPC who got to understand about formation and roles and responsibility of VLCPC members. Similarly VLCPC refresher trainings were conducted with 18 members.
* Trained members were enrolled in 10 Panchayat level CPC’s in 3 Blocks. They played a vital role in VLCPC’s.
* VLCPC’s were formed with support from district administration in 10 Panchayats Kannirajapuram, Methalodai, Mookkaiyur, Narippaiyoor, Pillayarkulam, Kanjirankudi, Irumeni, Koravalli, Pudhuvalasai and Mayakulam.

Plans


Key Result Areas Program Activities Planned

Goal 1: Education - Focused engagement in Ensuring increased retention of school going children from 70% to 80% and ensure physical access to schools, infrastructure & quality within schools & ICDS centers.

* ICDS data collection from 33 ICDS for focused health status of children in the age group of 0-5 years and 11-18 years, ANC and PNC.
* Assessment of children data in migrant places.
* Collecting baseline data and household data as per the MIS register formats for 5 new villages in Kadaladi block where there is high child labor.
* Ensure 100% children transition from pre-school/ICDS to primary school / regular schooling; from grade 5 to 6, grade 8 to 9, and grade 10 to 11.
o Campaign into villages of Kadalady block focusing on enrolment and retention in the transiting grades to ensure all children are in AWC / schools / higher education.
* 100% children cleared 10th and 12th board exams.
o Keeping a close track of children writing board exams and motivating them for reappearance of exams to clear the subjects.
o Initiating supplementary classes in 5 villages.
* Ensure one new school and one AWC approved in the last reporting year.
o Motivating children and keeping a close track of them to prevent dropouts.
* Promote experimental learning methods and motivate children through one day experimental session on easy understanding of concepts in Science & Maths

Key Result Areas Program Activities Planned

Goal 3: Protection - Reduction of incidences of child labor from 23% to 10% and preventing further children in becoming child labor in the 52 villages of the operational area.

* Ensure 15 rescued child labors mainstreamed in formal education
o Focused discussion and debating with the out of school children, parents of child labor. Sangams on child labor issues and move towards pulling them out of labor sector
o Take appropriate action to re-enroll the child laborers in the age of 11-18 yrs in schools
* Ensure 1 district and one cluster level meetings/interactions with stakeholders to discuss amendment of CLPRA/ PCMA and other child protection Acts and policies
o Observing anti-child labor day in district level and cluster level with the participation of panchayat members, District Child Protection Unit(DCPU),Child Welfare Committee(CWC), Juvenile Justice Board(JJB),Panchayat Level Child Protection Committee(PLCPC) and labor department along with the community to sensitize the system officials on the issue
o Focused interactions with the migrant mothers on the importance of nutrition, early school readiness and continuing education and ensuring all children are enrolled in ICDS / schools
* Ensure 5 out of 32 villages Panchayats have resolution against child protection issues that include one or more of child marriage, child labor, child sexual abuse or child trafficking
* Engagement with the community/ sangams and newly elected Panchayat leaders and demand for passing of resolutions against child labor / child marriage
* Ensure 2 meetings of each of the 5 committees organized with other village level stakeholders (including Panchayat, Schools, and AWWs) on child protection issues.
* Follow up and engage with the active Village Level Child Protection Committee (VLCPC) to discuss about child protection issues and ensure official recognition of the committee with District Child Protection Unit (DCPU)

Key Result Areas Program Activities Planned

Goal 5: Child Participation

* Ensure all adolescent members of 11 Children Collectives are taken through the CRY life skills education module focusing on elements of Self-Identity, Self Confidence building, thinking positive towards finding solutions, on Awareness and Expression of Emotions and understanding the changes that happen during adolescence
* Organize regular meetings of children collectives and initiate sports like Kabaddi, volleyball, football and chess for boys and girls and form girls’ teams in all the sports & motivate them for representation at cluster / district level competitions.
* Ensure members of 10 Adolescent Children Collective, 9 child labor collectives sensitized; 30 children trained in Karate

Financial Summary: January to December 2020


Budget Breakup 2020

Protection

10,562

34%

Education

10,562

34%

Administration

9,853

32%

Total Grant Approved

30,977

100%