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Location

8 villages of Narsingarh, Bairasia, Sanchi and Nateran blocks of Rajgargh in Raisen and Vidisha districts respectively in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh (M.P.)
Thematic Focus: Education and Protection


Project Background

Samvedna was established in 2005 by a group of development professionals from Madhya Pradesh. Ms. Triputi Jhaveri Panchal is the project holder. She has been an Assistant Professor at TISS[1] since 1984. She is also Director of Special Cell for Women project of TISS running successfully in 184 police station units of Maharashtra. Her area of work have been action-research, programmatic coordination across seven States, work with Police & State and for expansion/ institutionalization of feminist praxis models, Social work academia/education (including teaching ) training and action research on issues of VAW, gender & sexuality, Child Sexual Abuse, strategic planning and review etc. Samvedna works to combat commercial sexual exploitation and human sex trafficking. It works on community development so that patriarchal mindset can be challenged and changed, and opportunities in an enabling environment can be created for women and children to be able to gain say any kind of violence or exploitation. The organization has been registered under the Indian Societies Registration Act (1860), Bombay Trust Act (1950) since 2005. Samvedna is working with the most marginalized community ‘Bedia’ in 8 villages of 4 Blocks of Rajgarh, Bhopal, Raisen, Vidisha district of Madhya Pradesh.

Problem Statement:


In Madhya Pradesh, Bedia community is predominantly found in three regions; Chambal, Malwa and Bundelkhand with presence in more than 12 districts. A conservative estimate is that about 70% families from the community still derive incomes from the trade. They live in enclaves in villages, normally in the periphery. They suffer from discrimination at all levels, from childhood in school to access to other opportunities as part of social justice in all walks of life. Looking into the economic angle and gender discrimination in Bedia Community, most of the time the girl in the family is the only bread earner. According to India today a Bedia sex worker earns between Rs 1,200 and Rs 2,000 a day. It is 10 to 20 times the government approved wage of Rs. 149. There is common understanding in the community that the trade is not something forced but is carried out with consent. The girls do not consider marriage as an institution. They saw marriage as a lifetime of domestic drudgery. At the same time brothers’ wife, who are not engaged in trade, are treated as bonded labor. The community has been facing sexual exploitation since old times and over a period of times it has become tradition in the community.
Children in this complex social milieu come as obvious and the most vulnerable groups, whose future are compromised in the name of tradition. As education is still not a popular alternative, children in the Bedia community are not encouraged to be educated and end up living the stereotyped images they grow up looking at. There are several issues with children which need attention e.g. malnutrition, psychological needs and education.

This exploitative tradition continues among youths in the community due to prevailing social conditions. As children are not motivated to take up education, boys grow up visualizing themselves as indolent males of the community enjoying the earnings of the exploited females of the family. On the other hand, girls are groomed to become prostitutes and discouraged to get married (only options available to them – marriage or prostitution). Majority of brothers and son’s turned out to be local pimps for sisters and mothers.
Women, who join prostitution to provide for their families find their own set of challenges pursuing the myth of economical supremacy. Having no other livelihood alternatives, for survival, they force their own girl child or sometimes adopted girls into prostitution and the exploitative cycle of sex trafficking goes on. Women, who are not into prostitution, get married as the other and only alternative and are responsible to take care of the whole joint family.

Samvedna is been working in the following Key Responsibility Areas through the partnership of CRY:


● Improve the dignity of Bedia community through preventive approach (awareness creation /sensitization / interface /dialogue/mentoring/counseling etc.) so that children are not forced to enter in to child prostitution as a trade for livelihood.
● Explore the determinants (ability, opportunity, motivation factors) of Bedia community by documenting issues specific to Bedia people and pitching community specific entitlements with the government line departments and duty bearers
● Liasoning with various bodies and groups specifically government to ensure comprehensive rights of Bedia community children and community at large.

Throughout the years Samvedna is working on protecting rights of girl children who are forced into prostitution at very young age where the community does not consider the act of prostitution as bad culture. Education has been taken up as the primary tool to work with this community and build trust. This year the partner successfully implemented the program in several aspects - with the support of Bal Mitras , educators enrolled children from the community in schools, academic support classes, remedial classes and open schooling, admitted in hostels; mothers started realizing importance of education and sending their children for studies in schools and hostels. Assessment of children was done in academic support classes and individual child plan prepared. Children appearing for 10th and 12th exams are being supported to prepare for exams and progress in result observed. To prevent girls from entering into the profession, mapping was done and workshops conducted for adolescent girls. A New School Management Committee has been formed and ensured members form Bedia community and their capacity building was done on RtE[2], quality education in school and infrastructure. Digital Learning Centre initiated and MOU[3] signed for a certified computer course. The team put efforts to explore alternative livelihood for adolescents, community people and women self-help groups formed and linked with banks. Children and adolescent groups are being oriented through life skill modules. The partners have sensitized and empowered the community and now they started participating in Gram Sabha, School Management Committee (SMC) meetings and placing their points and issues. Some of the achievements are as follows:
• Bedia community members are now part of Gram Sabha and School Management Committees.
• Bedia females who are into profession and who are out of profession have come to a common platform for the cause of children.
• Almost 100% children below 14 years are now in schools through the efforts of Samvedna. • Moreover 4 children have been put in hostels in Bhopal and these children have potential to become role models and draw more children towards education.

Plans:


Education
• Conduct sessions for children and adolescent collectives on child rights, laws, importance of education, issue identification and redressal mechanism;
• 160 members) of CBO[4]s to be sensitized through conducting sessions on child rights, laws, consequences of children involving in sex work, importance of education, issue identification and redressal mechanism;
• Half yearly tracking of children from 0- 18 yrs. and identifying drop out children and irregular children;
• Linking eligible children with ICDS and schools;
• Mapping of various social security schemes available for Bedia Community and overall communities in the operational area.
• Enrolling children between the age group of 3-6 yrs. in Anganwadi Centers or play schools for ensuring pre-school education. Ensuring transition of children from pre-school to school.
• Conduct issue mapping with the children collectives/adolescent collectives and CBOs in the community and schools and developing action plans to resolve the issues.
• To ensure Bedia community members attend Gram Sabha and start having active participation.
• To ensure 25% of 6-18 year eligible children enrolled in remedial classes, of the total children dropped out of school or never been to school through tracking, listing and enrolling them in remedial classes.
• To ensure 75% of 15-18 year out of school young adults enrolled in vocational training. This will be contributed through all the children enrolled in the Digital Learning Centre (DLC) and final assessment conducted.
• Building rapport with SMC[5] and getting information regarding status of school development plan in primary schools of the target area.
• To ensure 100% of children transiting from grade 5 to grade 6 and grade 8 to grade 9. This will be contributed through preparing a list of all children of the target area who are in Class 5th and class 8th; tracking of all children and ensuring 100% transition rate to Class 6 and Class 9th.


Protection:
• Capacity Building of project team on ICPS[6] and other protection related issues; quarterly community meetings on issues of child protection in the area.
• Interface meeting between community and stakeholders involving officials from ICDS[7], ICPS, WCD[8], Child line etc. to discuss protection issues and to improve infrastructural situations in these institutions.
• Awareness program on child labor, child sexual abuse, child marriage and reporting mechanism in the targeted area through Nukkad Nataks (street plays) and Information Education Communication (IEC) materials.

Financial Summary: January to December 2021


Budget Breakup 2021

Education

12,053

44%

Protection

12,053

44%

Administration

3,287

12%

Total Grant Approved

27,393

100%