Children constitute more than 30% of India’s population, and for a developing nation like India, we have to plan a child centred community development programme, since children are the future of the world. India’s youth dividend can be a game changer if we invest more in the youth and children of our country. Our Child Centered Community Development Programme aims to work on an overall development across the major domains of education, health, livelihood, WASH and women empowerment, but with our focus on children. Child centered development programmes envision development in a child friendly manner, which involves making the communities safe for children, working on community health that prevents major diseases and cures critical/fatal conditions, improve the sanitation and hygiene of the community and most importantly create a platform for child participation throughout the development. Children are not passive receptors in an adult centric world. They can be active agents in changing the world and making it a better place to live in. This holistic approach towards creating a safer community for children focuses on some of the major domains that largely affect the lives of the children.
The theory of change behind CCCD is that a community is accountable for the ecosystems it creates for the children of the community. Our interventions are designed in a way that they converge at a point to increase the accountability of the community towards the development of the children. A child’s ecosystem is heavily influenced by the decisions made by adults around them.
It is thus essential to empower the some of a community, strengthen the livelihood of families, especially of the women in the community, to establish WASH compliant schools and Anganwadi centers, to bring about behavior change towards better sanitation, to improve the nutrition and thus work on preventive healthcare, and also create mechanisms to create access to healthcare services and thus improve curative health care seeking behaviour, to work on greener environments and sustainable community development, to construct child friendly spaces, to strengthen the pedagogy in the schools and decrease or eliminate dropout of students – to ensure that children are growing holistically in the given community.
- To ensure every child in the community has access to quality formal education in a child friendly environment.
- To Improve Healthcare access for all the residents of the community
- All women in the community have access to community information regarding their rights and entitlements provided by the government and non government organisations. All women/girls are supported in cases of violence against them. Adolescent girls/Young women are enabled towards a safer/ brighter future.
- Reduction in the Carbon Footprint in community
- To ensure that all elderly in the community have access to pension and geriatric support, along with psycho social support to elderly living alone.
- To enable poorest and most needy families in community to access higher quality of life by generating additional income, such that families can invest in quality education, better health care, especially for their children as well as the rest of the family
- The plan of action in the project is an all engaging one rather than following a chronological pattern. To meet the needs of wholesome and holistic community development, our program works in the following domains :
- Children’s Education & Child Rights
- Women Empowerment
- Health and WASH
- Miscellaneous Activities ( Elderly Care,Environment,Renewal energy etc.)
The interventions made in the above domains are targeted to bring about sustainable and tangible change in the community. Our interventions are a balanced mix of expert knowledge and the lived experiences of people. Eventually we want to enable change makers from the community itself by training those who are active, honest and envision development in their own community.
This project looks at intervention through community. Based on the CCCD framework, two Low income urban communities in Paradeep have been adopted to pipeline the interventions. In Paradeep, we have two Low income urban communities that have been adopted with the support of Paradeep Phosphates Limited : Balijhara and Bauriya Palanda. To bring a holistic change in the community, it is essential to start by understanding the needs of the community in depth, working on multiple domains, and building change agents in the community itself for any sustainable and comprehensive impact to take place.
The interventions can be looked at through various domains, as described earlier so let just go through them one by one:
According to the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, “Education is much more than an entry to the job market. It has the power to shape a sustainable future and better world. Education policies should promote peace, mutual respect and environmental care.” Education and child rights go hand in hand. An educated child sooner realises her/ his/ their rights and accessibility to education is one of the primordial child rights. CCCD realises right-based approach towards developing child right sensitization among the children in the community. We believe in creating a holistic environment where meaning and scope of child rights is understood and realised. The initiatives in CCCD are framed to apply child rights realisation through various systems and stakeholder. Educational systems, institutional policies, community participation etc are some of areas CCCD directly engages in.
Empowering a woman means empowering a community. Improving women’s access to resources improves the lives of children in their lives and surrounding too. There were a number initiatives taken up in the targeted communities for empowering women and directing them towards a gender just society. Women empowerment was seen through financial independence, self protection, realisation of rights and gender cleavage sensitization.
Livelihood is becoming an important aspect of income generation for every family in rural areas. A steady and sustainable mode of income generation not only economically develops a household but also brings social development. CCCD primarily focuses on livelihood generation which will further stimulate empowerment among the community. In CCCD, Community integrated livelihood generation mostly focuses on women and Youth. Some of the livelihood generation initiatives include tailoring, mushroom farming, small entrepreneurship etc.
SHG through CCCD are one of the important examples where financial independence among women ushers social independence. A persistent feeling that has come out in a number of interactions with the women, through FGDs, meetings with SHGs, community meetings, or personal interactions too, is that women are eager to get involved in additional income generating activities to supplement their family income. In our intervention areas the average income is about 6000-7000, and the family needs are difficult to meet within such meagre amounts. The livelihood options that are most common include – daily wage labourers at the various plants, port or fishery.
Health becomes one of the key indicators of a developing community. A healthy community leads to a healthy household and in turn the children also are garnered with health and wellness. Hygiene, Health and sanitation of a community together constitute the prima facie for the Public health of the community.
Access to healthcare is a major concern in urban slums of Paradeep, and many other places. For specialist consultation they have to visit bigger cities, and in the process the poor, daily wage earners , lose their day’s pay, as well as pay for travel, doctor’s fee, etc. All in all, such barriers prevent the marginalised from accessing health care. Thus, in CCCD we attempt at bringing health care to them in two ways:
- A weekly free primary health check up camp
- TeleMedicine Consultation with Specialist doctors
The check up camp helps people in addressing minor health issues while also helping us screen people who need specialist consultation. The telemedicine consultation with specialised doctors from Bhubaneswar/Cuttack then give consultation.
To strengthen the health of the community’s children we have started working with maternity groups of pregnant women & lactating mothers. In these groups we address nutrition, care and health during and post pregnancy, psychosocial care for the mothers, myths about childbirth or pregnancy, etc.
Water has been a unanimous need that has come up in all the community meetings. A water quality testing has thrown light on the safe sources of water , and also shown that most sources being used by the community are below permissible limits. The world has shown us how important hygiene can be in all communities, at all times. Many of our hamlets have dysfunctional community toilets. The average number of houses that don’t have toilets per hamlet is 60 households. Under our WASH initiative , we are working towards making safe water accessible to the whole community. We are also working towards behaviour change of children, women and other members in the community through multiple awareness and sensitization processes. We are on our way to create sanitation clubs in all the schools, after multiple workshops on handwashing , usage of toilets etc.