Early Child Marriage is Illegal and a Sin

In recent past, one afternoon, on her back from School, Sajani was told by her parents that she would be no more going to school because they were making plan for her marriage. Sajani, daughter of Harihar Mahakud of Bagdafa village in Bhaliadal GP Thakurmunda block was just 13 years in 2018. As an ambitious girl, Sajani wished to continue her education like other girls. She tried to persuade her parents to postpone her marriage but failed.

Gloomy girl, Sajani sought the help of Ms. Arati Mohanta, a community teacher of Combating Child Domestic Labour Project of CYSD in Thakurmunda.

Together they embarked on a journey to fight against this child marriage. They put the case before the members of Birsa Munda Child Club, who in turn informed the village level Child Protection Committee. Some CPC members visited Sajani’s home, apprised Sajani’s family regarding the implications of early marriage and the importance of her education. But her parents were not convinced to postpone her marriage. But they were persuaded to attend the next CPC meeting scheduled on 6th February 2018. At this meeting, the parents were informed of the law relating to child marriage and stringent punishment for violating it. Then Sajani’s father agreed and made a written commitment to abide by the law and not to give his daughter in marriage before she attains the age of18, even without her consent. The villagers along with CYSD Project staff informed the Sarpanch, Child-Line activists about this renewed effort towards combating early child marriage.

“Together we managed to convince the parents of Sajani that giving marriage to a 13 years girl would be illegal and even a curse to them. They somehow agreed to postpone the marriage till their daughter becomes18 years,” proudly shared Arati, the community teacher.

Sajani delightfully says, “During this process of fighting against child marriage, I have become an active member of Birsa Munda Child Club and gained ample awareness on the implications of early marriage. The knowledge I gained on Prevention of Child Marriage Act (PCMA) provided me enough courage to stand up against child marriage”.

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Ray of smile in Jamuna’s face

Jamuna Mohanta, an illiterate tribal woman of 47, lives with her five member family comprising husband, son, daughter-in-law and a granddaughter of 3 years in Sialijodi village of Saharapada Block of Kendujhar district.

Jamuna happens to be a member of Om Shanti SHG promoted by CYSD-Plan project. Due to illiteracy, she often depends on her husband and son for taking important decisions. Few years back, the family was solely depending upon agriculture for their subsistence. Because of erratic monsoon and other factors they were not getting adequate yield from their 2 acres of land. The family was hardly earning an income of Rs.12000 to 15000/- per year. Income out of the agriculture was insufficient for managing their year the round food grains and other expenses.  Alternatively, to add to the family income, Jamuna was rearing some chicken and ducks. But the survival of chicken and ducks was uncertain every year due to bird’s epidemic.

Jamuna had been a regular attendee in the monthly meetings of SHG and was keeping her attention on the discussion of business promotion. Initially, due to fear of morbidity of birds, Jamuna had little confidence to initiate a medium venture. Still, in a small way, she was rearing some ducks and chicken, besides managing her household chores.

Incidentally, one fine day CYSD’s Facilitator was discussing with the SHG group about the potential of duckery and poultry farming, as an alternative source of income enhancement. While discussing, she explained the preventive steps required for the protection of birds from diseases. The facilitator also talked about the availability of space for duck house, water points, and other essentials. Enthusiastic Jamuna was motivated with the discussion on enterprise promotion. She decided to get more number of ducklings and develop a farm house for birds. With this intention she took Rs.10000 as loan from her SHG and bought 200 ducklings. With proper care and protection, the ducklings grew up rapidly and after 4 months time she started selling the ducks. In total, she got Rs.18000 as profit out of the investment of Rs.10000. With this profit she made up her mind to continue the duck rearing. She had to procure husk for ducks regularly, hence, subsequently she opted to set up a rice processing unit to collect the husk. For this purpose she applied for bank loan and ultimately got the machine installed. Out of the rice processing unit and duck rearing she could be able to repay the entire loan. While her husband looked after the rice processing unit, she herself concentrated on the duck raring.

Gaining confidence with duck rearing consecutively for five years, she has started a broiler farm this year and engaged her son along with daughter-in-law to manage the farm.

Jamuna has been a role model in her community and other SHG members also consulting her before initiating any new business endeavor.

“I am really grateful to CYSD-Plan project for promoting SHGs in our community and building the confidence of its members to be successful entrepreneurs like me”, proudly says Jamuna.

A life of dignity is the right of every citizen.  Self-employment is a significant step to have sustained incomes and to get out of the shackles of poverty. Jamuna’s life has been changing through a gradual empowerment process. The Manager of Bank of India says, “As long as Jamuna will continue the same spirit of entrepreneurship, our bank will keep her supporting with financial assistance in future”.

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Live and Let Others Live

With much hardship Laxmi Talia, 19 years, could manage to complete her secondary level education in nearby college with the support of CYSD’s Child Development Project. Laxmi belongs to Maheswarpur village from Korukonda Block of Malkangiri District. To become a good student was not her prime intention; she rather wanted to “live and let others live”.

Getting involved in CYSD’s activities, she realized the importance of adopting a healthy and productive adolescent life style which provides a solid base to become a healthy mother. With this motivation she started working with adolescent girls likely to be most neglected in tribal areas. She took an oath to fight against all kinds of ill mindsets in society and began forming adolescent girl groups focusing on girls’ right to Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health (ARSH). Gradually, she was accepted by the girls’ groups and could win the confidence of community people.

Next, she took it upon herself to combat ‘child marriage’ in her community. She demonstrated her protest in the form of silent rallies and pada yatras with the support of all adolescent group members. As of now, she has stopped 2 child marriage cases in her locality. This apart, she has contributed immensely to regularizing the support services of her Gaon Kalyan Samiti (GKS). With her active role, the Village Health and Nutritional Days (VHNDs) have become more regular and vibrant. Almost all adolescent girls taking part in the VHNDs and exercising their ARSH rights.

“I want to create many more Laxmis who can bring changes in the adolescent life style in the tribal communities”, says Laxmi confidently.

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School Management Committee (SMC) – A Case of Padiabeda UP School

Padiabeda Upper Primary School of Thakurmunda block, the operational area of CYSD, sets an example in terms of cent percent students’ enrolment; their retention till completion of elementary education; monitoring of school activities; and preparation and implementation of school development plan. This is possible only due to the active functioning of its School Management Committee (SMC) and adherence to the RTE (Right To Education) norms.  The school experiences changes in education standards through genuine community participation, especially the parents.

Drawing an ambitious School Development Plan, the SMC perfectly achieved targets and a bit more. This includes school beautification, renovation of school building, regular water supply to toilets, provision of safe drinking water, roof repair, temporary fencing of school boundary, creation of kitchen garden, and improvement in school attendance.

To achieve the last, it came up with an ‘out of the box’ idea. The SMC created Child Clubs with a boy and girl, from each hamlet, in each class, as child leaders. Their task is to ensure highest attendance from their hamlets, with those achieving perfect record are awarded with a small national flag every evening in front of other child leaders. That spurred such peer competition that school attendance never drops below 90%.

This SMC’s dynamism is due to active synergy between PRI representatives and their constituent parents. The former helped tap into hitherto unknown resources. Consequently, SMC members mobilized funds for regular water supply in toilets from CYSD-Plan Project while obtaining funds for repair of roof from Gram Panchayat.

The SMC has focused its attention on keeping school environment clean and attractive. For this, members collected flower saplings locally in monsoon, and built a garden at low cost in school. They mobilized free community labour to beautify the campus. They even created a kitchen garden using similar model while recycling waste water. The parents’ sense of ownership and pride in the institution is clearly evident, with female SMC members using cow dung to disinfect and level school campus every weekend, gratis.

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‘YUVODAYA’ – Inspiring and Activating Young Minds

Koraput / Rayagada: CYSD has added new feathers to its two project locations. With the intention of “Inspiring and Activating Young Minds to be the Change Agents for social inclusion and realization of SDGs, CYSD, in collaboration with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) India, has launched an innovative project ‘YUVODAYA’ in Boipariguda and Kolnara blocks of Koraput and Rayagada respectively.

Young minds play a very crucial role in visualizing as well as achieving the SDGs of 2030. Over one third of the 169 SDGs targets highlight the role of young people and the importance of their empowerment, participation, and well-being in materializing SDGs in true sense (UNDP, 2017).  Most young people are optimistic about the future. A Youth Speak global survey states that 68% of the young people believe the world will be a better place by 2030.  This marks the evidence to realize the importance of Youth participation in realizing SDG by 2030. In this context, CYSD is motivated to engage young minds across the globe in conceptualizing the context of SDGs from local levels and at the same time orient them to become the future change agents of the society and advocate for social inclusion in the community and local governance.

At the impact level, CYSD seeks to promote inclusive development in Odisha through strong community based development interventions, to complement already existing governance efforts, through capacity building, research, creating information based reflection platforms, advocacy, and creating of a vibrant youth base.

 Objectives of the programme:

  1. Creating Youth leaders to be the Change agents in sensitizing the local youth & community on Sustainable Development Goals. These youth leaders shall act as the face of all other youth as well as the community (including men, women, other socially excluded groups and differently able persons) who can understand, identify, raise the issues of the community and include them at local planning level.
  2. Creating a Youth Platforms to build their capacity and basic understanding on the entitlements of the people with disabilities, women, and other socially excluded groups in the communities. Also to strengthen their leadership qualities and Communication skills to evolve as more Informed citizens of the state as well as be the Face (representatives) of the Community before Government (at panchayat, block and district) level.
  3. Sensitising and Mobilising PRI members to increase their knowledge on disability and other issues related to social exclusion. Also to train them on necessary skill, knowledge and framework required for planning by focusing on SDG 2030 agenda with the help of Youth leaders and Volunteers.
  4. Developing a common Consensus on Sustainable Development Goals by Federating the Youth Groups of Panchayat Level, with the Block and District level.

 YUVODAYA, an eight months project commenced in August 2018 will continue till March, 2019.

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Project ‘SAMVAD’ – An Innovative Digital Community Engagement Platform

Thakurmunda & Saharapada:  CYSD envisages that its engagements in community development process will be strengthened more by video documentation and dissemination processes.

Keeping in view the above, CYSD has recently launched, an innovative Project ‘Samvad’ – Digital Community Engagement Platform for Improving Maternal Child Health and Nutrition Outcomes supported by Digital Green. The project is being implemented in 150 villages covering 23000 women in Jashipur, Thakurmunda and Saharapada blocks under Mayurbhanja and Keonjhar district respectively. The aims of the Project “Samvad”- is to create demand and enabling environments for adoption of practices that are critical for improvements in planned family and nutrition outcomes by integrating behavior change communication regarding nutrition-specific interventions with nutrition-sensitive approaches (including use of health and other safety net services and hygiene practices).

Project Samvad’’s core intervention is centered around, a) scaling-up its participatory video-based approach targeted to women’s groups; b) leveraging the use of other ICT-platforms including community radio and mobile platforms and c) partnering with state government programmes to deliver locally feasible solutions at scale. Further, the activities shall be replicated in other operational areas of CYSD as well.

This new initiative will certainly strengthen our engagements in community development processes; through video documentation and dissemination processes which is intensively monitored at the grassroots level for adoption and impact assessment processes.

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Odisha Vikash Conclave-2018 Unveiled Critical Development Road Map for Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Under the aegis of Odisha Development Initiative, more than 2600 delegates drawing representation from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), government, academia, intelligentsia, PRI, and the media congregated at Bhubaneswar on 24th August, in a carnival like atmosphere,  for a three-day Odisha Vikash (Development) Conclave-2018 (OVC) that which concluded on 26th  of August 2018. Following intense deliberations, the participants delineated clear action agendas on 19 critical development issues and challenges of the state like tribal empowerment and development; women and violence; community rights over forest and community governance of commons; food and nutrition security; rain-fed agriculture; rural employment and migration; green skill and entrepreneurship development; school education and quality learning; health and wellness; drinking water, sanitation and hygiene; river ecology; inclusive governance, fiscal management and social accountability; democratizing urban governance; panchayati raj (local self-governance); towards resilient Odisha : disaster and climate change action; corporate sector in localizing SDGs; university community linkage; social exclusion and inequality; and child rights.

KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE CONCLAVE

  1. Enhance transparency and accountability in the local self-governance system through proper bottoms-up participatory planning, monitoring and implementation of welfare schemes and programs;
  2. Double the budget of MGNREGA and reach out at least 50% job card holders and ensure 100 days employment to 25% job card holders;
  3. Increase public spending on health to 2% of GSDP by next 3 years and regulate price, quality and access to health care in private sector; closely monitor the implementation of health insurance schemes;
  4. Invest on building human capital, through higher levels of resource commitment for social sectors, especially education;
  5. Promote rainfed farming systems including livestock and fishery in aspirational districts and develop Farmers Resource Centres that can act as convergence points for rainfed areas in all the districts;
  6. Enforce regulation on conservation of water and promote decentralized water supply systems rather than mega piped water supply systems;
  7. Formulate Odisha Migrant Workers Welfare board (OMWWB) and corpus fund for the welfare of vulnerable migrant workers in the state; strengthen interstate coordination and facilitation centres at both source and destination locations;
  8. While dealing with nutrition, follow a life cycle approach with a focus on 
  9. first 1000 days, promote lactational management units, creche services for pre-school children and home visits at critical life stages;
  10. Activate Area Sabhas and Slum Improvement/Welfare Boards in urban areas;
  11. Ensure 100% RtE compliance in schools by next Academic Year;
  12. Ask for adequate budgetary allocations for proper curricular and co-curricular activities through well-defined School Development Plans (SDPs);
  13. Re-activate the regional imbalance commission to address inequality; take block as the lowest possible unit; bring the State Finance Commission around to prioritising the backward rural and urban local bodies that are plagued with gross inequality;
  14. Universalize social security pension and fix it at a minimum of the half of minimum wages per month; go for 5% reservation of PwDs in the local self-governance system;
  15. Include the third gender in all facilities, rights and entitlements;
  16. Prepare and empower communities to undertake local Hazard-Risk-Vulnerability (HRV) analysis; factor the risks and remedial measures in GP plans and allocate resources accordingly;
  17. Restrict the transfer of patta land of tribals to non-tribals;
  18. Formulate and implement an Inclusive River Policy and set-up a River Science Institute to promote research, advocacy and model for effective management of river basins;

The proposals of all the 19 thematic tracks shall be complied and submitted to the State and Central Governments, for necessary and timely action, said Jagadananda, Convener of the Odisha Development Initiative.

Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairperson, Niti Ayog; and Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Cabinet Minister (Petroleum and Natural Gas and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship) Government of India, who both graced the inaugural ceremony as guests of honor promised that the proposals emerging from the Conclave would be seriously considered by the Union Government through a process of inter-ministerial consultation at the national level.

Gracing the valedictory session, the State Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare and Cooperation Minister Shri Surya Narayan Patro affirmed his commitment to convey the various proposals emerging from the Conclave to his State government and initiate swift action on the same. He also promised to ensure that the conclave’s recommendations got included in the election manifesto of their party.

Dr. Subrato Bagchi, Chairman, Odisha Skill Development Authority (OSDA) emphasized the need for improved governance and accountability at the grassroots level. While Prof. H.K Senapati, Dircetor, NCERT laid emphasis on intensification of training of teachers for quality school education, Prof Srikant Mohapatra, Vice Chancellor, Odisha Open University concluded that the conclave has created a wonderful opportunity for linking the academic bodies of higher learning with the aspirations of the community.

The event was organized collectively by more than 65 organizations known for their work at the local, national and global levels. Presence of key international development agencies and corporate bodies enriched the profile and dialogues of the Conclave. Many leading donors like UNICEF, WFP, PCI, Ajim Premji Philanthropic Initiative (APPI) and key development leaders from India and abroad deliberated upon and chalked out strategies as to how to localize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the specific context of Odisha. Among others dignitaries who addressed the gatherings were Parliamentarians Soumya Ranjan Pattnaik and Pinaki Mishra; the Chairperson of the State Food Commission, the Development Commissioner of Odisha; the Mission Director, National Nutrition Mission; and Officials from University Grants Commission, Government of India.

  1. 2670 representatives and 65 organizations participated and shared development plans on 19 thematic areas;
  2. NITI Aayog assured to consider the proposals from the Conclave through a process of inter-ministerial consultation.
  3. Odisha’s Development Commissioner promised to hold periodic dialogues on the Conclave recommendations;
  4. State Minister promised inclusion of OVC recommendations in election manifesto of their political party.
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News & Events

Proposal for Conducting a Comprehensive Baseline Study on Implementation of Child Development Project in Malkangiri and Rayagada Districts of Odisha

Background 

Child Protection has been an overarching component in CYSD’s strategic programme direction in line with the SDGs. Currently; CYSD in partnership with ChildFund has designed its programmatic interventions with an integrated approach focusing on child protection, education, health and livelihoods. Further, child being the centre, complete life-cycle approach is followed until completion of 24 years of age. The interventions are in operation benefiting 2089 enrolled 1287 non–enrolled children and their families in 165 targeted villages of 18 Gram Panchayats (GPs), in 5 blocks of Malkangiri and Rayagada, coming under the aspirational districts, in Odisha. While designing and rolling out the interventions for the holistic development of children and youth in Malkangiri and Rayagada, the implementing agency felt an urgent need to undertake a comprehensive baseline study.

The Assignment

A detailed proposal including the objectives, methodology, sample, work plan and budget is invited from consulting firms or individual consultants for conducting a comprehensive baseline study on implementation of Child Development Project in Malkangiri and Rayagada Districts of Odisha.

The proposed baseline will provide an in-depth understanding of the eco-system of community development in general and children in particular. The findings of the comprehensive baseline will also guide the future programmatic interventions and help in developing scalable evidence on holistic development of children through a complete life-cycle approach.

Objectives

The broad objectives of the proposed baseline study would be to assess:

  • The existing child protection issues and the effectiveness of the mechanism adopted for protection of children;
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) behaviour of Adolescents and Youth in the age group of 11 to 24 years;
  • The educational status of children in the age group of 6-14 years; and
  • Capabilities and competencies of vulnerable families (Youth/Parents) towards household food security and quality of life.

 Scope of the Study 

  • Child protection issues at the level of family, community, school and the society
  • Community based child protection system and its linkage with the mainstream institutions
  • Knowledge and understanding of the adolescents and youth on SRH and nutrition
  • Demonstration of rights and entitlements relating to SRH by the adolescents and youth
  • Implementation of health services, and the issues and challenges there-in
  • RTE compliances and educational outcomes at the elementary level
  • Learning achievement of  students
  • Community participation in school education
  • Mapping out skills and competencies of youth
  • Participation of youth in the development process
  • Employment, migration and house hold level income
  • Opportunities for convergence and collaboration to take the development agenda forward
  • Documentation of good practices/stories of change

Methodology

Keeping into the objectives of the study, both quantitative and qualitative techniques will be used for the proposed comprehensive baseline survey.  Data will be collected from primary and secondary sources. Primary information will be collected through Scheduled questioner, key informant interviews and Focus group discussion; and secondary data will be collected from secondary sources.

 The Universe and the Sample

The project is in operation in 165 targeted villages of 18 GPs, in 5 blocks of Malkangiri and Rayagada benefiting 2089 enrolled 1287 non–enrolled children and their families.

Based on the programme out reach, sample units will be selected both from the intervention (HH having sponsored child) and control (HH not having sponsored child) groups using appropriate research methodology for a comparative analysis of the impact, if any. Further,  Panchayat Raj Institution, School, Youth/Children clubs, community members,  relevant  committees including  SMC, PLCPC, BLCPC, DCPU, JJB, CWC, Child Line etc., and officials concerned will be taken into consideration as appropriate. The detailed sample design to be proposed for conducting the baseline effectively.

Key Deliverables

  • Final Tools and techniques
  • Report of the Baseline Study
  • Consolidated Baseline database/Information in soft form

 Timeline

The assignment is expected to be completed within two months from the date of commissioning of the assignment, which will include desk review, field work, and report writing. It is expected that this work will begin on 1st October, 2018 and the field study should be completed in all respect by the end of October, 2018.  The detailed work plan to be worked out for conducting the study effectively.

Budget

The consultant is expected to work out and submit the detailed budget (all inclusive) for conducting the proposed baseline study.

Qualification and Experience of the Consultant/team 

The Consultant should have:

  • Advanced degree in social sciences, development studies, education or relevant fields.
  • Significant experience in evaluating education related projects. Knowledge of child rights and experience in evaluating programmes with children and vulnerable groups.
  • Excellent writing and speaking skills in both Odisha and English
  • The agency/consultant should preferably be based in Odisha

Ethics and Child Protection Statements

The agency/consultant must agree to abide by the child protection policy of CYSD and Childfund and related requirements.

Terms of Compensation 

The payment will be as discussed and agreed to in terms of rates and schedules between the AMIED and the selected agency/consultant.  Payment will be based on available budget from the donors.

To Apply: 

Please submit a proposal that indicates the following:

  • Proposed team members and relevant experience in mixed methods data collection, analysis, reporting (include CVs)
  • Technical proposal should comprise of technical profile of agency demonstrated by evidences as also clarity of plans for deliverables with time schedule for each deliverable
  • Proposed Budget for the Assignment

Application Date: Please send your application latest by 27th September 2018.

Key Contact: 

Shri Prafulla Kumar Maharana

Senior Programme Manager

CYSD-ChildFund India

Mathili, Malkangiri -764044

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News & Events

Odisha Vikash Conclave-2018

Odisha is endowed with rich natural resources and glorious cultural heritage. The long term stability in the Government over more than a decade in the State provides great opportunity for structural changes. A plethora of programmes and schemes have come out in recent years to address the issues of the poor and the vulnerable communities. However, the real and sustainable development of Odisha continues to remain elusive in spite of the economic growth rate of more than 6% during the last few years.

It is evident that, development challenges in Odisha are a ‘many hands problem’ and need a multi stakeholder approach. For too long the Government, the social sector and the private sector have been operating in isolation from each other with different priorities and agenda. Whilst it cannot be denied that the social sector and the private sector play a vital role in the growth and development of Odisha, there is a pressing need for this growth and development to be more inclusive and be an effective vehicle of development for all.

The Core Thematic Areas proposed for Discussion/Deliberation in the Conclave are:

    • Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
    • Health
    • Food and Nutrition Security
    • School Education
    • Tribal Development
    • Rain-fed Agriculture
    • Employment and Migration
    • Skill
    • Disaster and Climate Action
    • Inclusive Governance and Social Accountability
    • Social Exclusion and Inequality
    • Forest and Natural Resource Management
    • Water and River Ecology
    • Democratizing Urban Governance
    • Panchayati Raj
    • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
    • University Community Linkage
    • Child Rights

The proposed initiative would facilitate larger participation of different stakeholders in the development process, inform people about the innovations & best practices, and influence the policies and programmes so as to achieve the goals as reflected in the SDGs.

  • Stimulating public debate and creating an informed discourse around Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 for Odisha;
  • Articulation of a clear road map for addressing the development challenges;
  • Building an effective Collaborative framework to reach the SDGs;
  • Creation of an Institutional mechanism for follow-up;
  • Devising an independent monitoring mechanism through the Odisha Development Report (beginning 2018).

Odisha Development Initiative will create opportunities for meaningful collaboration and synergy building among the Government, Civil Society Organizations, Corporate Houses, Research Institutions and Donor Communities to have dialogue on the developmental challenges and collectively agree upon a common agenda to strategically overcome those challenges in the State.

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