India is the world’s second most populous country with a population of 1.21 billion with approximately 39 per cent child population. At 430 million, India has the largest child population in the world.
Out of the 430 million children, 40 per cent i.e. 170 million are destitute children and out of them 12 % (20 million) were orphans, having lost one or both parents and living without parental care.
Many children (number is always a big game) are engaged as a child labor in various parts of the country.
As many as 7.8 million children are trained to work and earn a livelihood even if they attend school. At the same time, it has been found that millions children have been deprived of schooling i.e. do not go to school at all (GOI, 2016).
Children are considered to be the most important asset of the nation. However, at the same time, they constitute one of the most vulnerable groups of the society. Changing socio-economic dynamics of Indian society like the rapid disintegration of joint family systems, migration, poverty and the loss of livelihood opportunities are the main reasons. Emergencies like floods, drought, earthquakes and armed conflicts expose the children to an increased risk of crisis, trauma, abuse and abandonment.
Child Marriage & Sexual Abuse
Statistics show that around 42% of the married women in India were married as children (CRY, 2017).
UNICEF data adds that one in every three child brides in the world is Indian (UNICEF, 2014).
It is revealed that two-thirds of children in India are victims of physical abuse. Over 50% have reportedly faced some kind of sexual abuse, and over 20% of them have been subjected to severe abuse.
WE BELIEVE Children and teenagers are potential change makers in a society! YCDA works with children and young adults to create a community where the rights of the children are realized to an optimum level. We Inspire talented young adults to popularize and scale up the good work & practices related to child rights through capacity building methods. We support every child & teenagers who wants to move the world to realize the children rights.We ensure that children are being heard at all the levels.
AWARENESS BUILDING: We create awareness among the change agents after identifying the core issues in the areas. We mapped 3000 children in 12 Gram panchayats of Boudh district.
MOBILIZATION CAMPS: We identified 92 potential change makers among 500 children through the mobilization camps.
TRAINING PROGRAMMES: We train the Changemakers on project planning, intervention & advocacy according to their core subject of intervention.
Seema Mahankud (Change Maker)
15 years old Seema Mahankud along with other 5 members of her family lives in Barapadug village of Mundpada Panchayat of Boudh district. Seema’s parents earn through daily wages and agriculture. A student of class 10th in Mundapada high school, Seema is an active member of child club and serves as the president in “Swami VivekandaSishu Sangh”. She represents the panchayat level child club Federation and also facilitate the micro-planning by mobilizing the community children of her village. She takes interest in working on issues such as lack of teachers, availability of school boundaries, issues pertaining to child marriage and child abuse in her village.
With YCDA’s support, she has learnt the techniques to address the issue and encash the opportunity of the advocacy through and among peer groups. Gradually she has evolved in to a noted change maker in her community.
In one such instances when she got a information about a child marriage happening in her village, she immediately took cognizance. She along with her team members went to the girl’s house and tried convincing her parents to call off the wedding. On being strongly resisted by the bride’s family, they intimated to the district authority and hence the marriage was stopped. She was honored by her village leaders for her courage and good work.
Her dream: She wants to became a teacher and a leader of her village. She believes that through education she can bring a rapid development to her native land.
Early marriage-the most dangerous social malady insidiously disturbs the serenity of a child’s childhood putting his/her life in complete danger. It does not allow child to reach its full development and thus violets theie rights. It’s undoubtedly a form of Sexual abuse; causing unmendable damage to the growth and development of the child. In Western Odisha cases of such violence were rampant prior to YCDA’s intervention through Integrated Child Protection Project (ICPP), which has significantly reduced such cases. Through the Integrated Child Protection Project, YCDA had taken the following initiatives to minimize it:
YCDA did lobby and advocacy with the district administration and took support of statutory bodies like CWC and DCPU
Worked in collaboration with ICDS and availed support of CDPOs and the frontline health workers like ASHAs and AWWs
Created awareness on the bad impacts of Early marriage in the community based organizations like Village Child Protection Committee (VCPC), Child Club (CC) and SMCs
Conducted training programmes for teachers, parents, youth club members and PRI members
Child line no. 1098’s support was also instrumental in putting a check on it
Focused on complete enrolment of all the children in the village by creating awareness on RTE-2009
Instilled in people about the importance of gender parity as gender bias was one of the hindrances on the way of education of girl children
Encouraged educational institutions to take part in the “Mass Pledge to combat Early marriage’ programme of the Govt.
Encouraged Children club members to present Early marriage issues in the Gram Sabhas to expedite the redressal process and create a protective environment
Western Odisha becomes the hub for migration during the lean agricultural period. Mostly the economically weaker section goes out in search of livelihood to the neighboring states and unfortunately it has been in practice for generations. The predominant reason for it is lack of employment in the region. Such a practice used to hamper child’s development to a great extent disturbing the formative age and shattering the dreams of the children as they had to accompany their parents to the alien place. In view of this YCDA designed its programmes and devised the following activities to keep such a harmful practice in check:
Ensured complete enrolment in schools through Enrolment campaign
Focused on increased retention of the enrolled children in school
Regularized irregular children with the support of Village Child Protection Committee (VCPC), Child Club (CC) and SMC
Mainstreamed Drop out children in schools with the support of village level institutions
Identified economically weaker families and linked them with different govt. schemes and sent their children to CWC for Care, Treatment, Development, Education, Training and Rehabilitation
Encouraged Village Child Protection Committee (VCPC), Child Club (CC) and School Management Committee (SMC) to develop coordinated effort to keep tab on it
Due support from Dist. Labour office and Dist. Police was also sought to keep tab on such practice
Child Sexual Abuse has reached an alarming stage not only in Odisha but also in every nook and corner of the country and it requires a concrete and concerted effort to be curbed. Early and provident care is the call of the hour, otherwise it will be too late to create a healthy society. Girl children are the most affected groups in this matter, although boys are also seen to have gone through this suffering. Such incidents keep children in a dolorous state where they suffer a lot in silence and get into depression which completely impairs their development process. Considering it a complex issue, YCDA through its pro-children programmes, executed the following activities:
Train teachers on their role and responsibility to help children remain protected from this issue
Facilitate rallies to create awareness among people about such an abominable issue
Conducted sessions in schools and training in Children clubs and VCPCs on “Good Touch, Bad Touch” and how to say “NO” in such situations
Encourage parents through “Parenting Skill” trainings to create a friendly environment in the home to help children share their daily experiences freely with the parents
Village level institutions like the VCPCs, CCs and SMCs were awakened through meetings to go hand-in-hand in and to stimulate strong action to curb this menace as it secretly spoils the life of the children by damaging their image and self-confidence
Establish Common Access points in schools to which children can bring such issues without any hesitation
Drop-in Centre is an additional support system for CNCP category children through which they can avail temporary stay facility in a homelike environment during their visit to CWC or DCPU . Earlier children coming from rural set-up had a very harrowing experience of taking rest in the rest houses at Bus-stands and under the shop awnings. Such practice discouraged children and the caregivers to come to official establishments for official documentation work thereby the child protection service mechanism loop seemed to have snapped. For an effective and continued service to CNCPs, YCDA devised this concept in collaboration with Dist. administration. Children are no more facing stressful situation as they are being provided fooding, lodging, medical care, counseling and night-stay facilities at the centre. Such a facility has come out successful in bringing the following outcomes:
Children visiting CWC or other offices find themselves in a homelike environment and enjoying their time without getting bored
Deployment of well-trained caretaker at the centre taking good care of children and accompaniers
Strong counselling at the centre has resulted in reuniting children with their families
administration feels relaxed as they were facing problem in executing documentation work requiring frequent meeting with children and the caregivers
It has certainly lessened the unnecessary mental and transportation burden of children and the caregivers
Children, being in homelike environment, are free from stressful situation and also spending quality time with smiles on their faces
Drop-in Centre for children in immediate need of care & Protection