CARPED Fourteenth Annual Report 2002-2003 Centre for Action Research and Peoples Development 8-3-228/267 Rahmath Nagar, Yousufguda, Hyderabad – 500 045 INDIA Centre for Action Research & People’s Development Fourteenth Annual Report - 2002-2003 This year witnessed significant expansion in the areas of child rights and natural resource management in Kowdipally mandal of Medak district. Child rights along with women issues have received great attention. New balwadies have been started and immunization programmes have been effective all over the mandal. Several activities addressing the issues of reproductive health in responding to problems of health affecting children and women were initiated. Self help groups of pregnant women, adolescent girls and recently married women have become very effective in accessing health services from the PHC. Activities focused on adolescent girls, youth in general and reproductive age group were initiated. Youth motivation activities have also focused on right to development and social issues mainly focused on tribal regions and Telangana region. Natural resource management (NRM) focused activities have been focused on livestock management, land development and forest management. Community based organizations like Water Users Associations, VSS and other user groups were strengthened. Strengthening of farmers groups and self help among the rural poor continued to be the areas of attention this year. Advocacy and capacity building of Vana Samrakshana Samithi and the NGOs facilitating the process has been very effective during the year. CHILD RIGHTS Elementary Education Community mobilization has been effective in the year with major focus on birth registration and consequent issue of birth certificates. Enrollment campaigns for child labour and drop outs has been fruitful with the participation of VECs and SECs along with community representatives. Around twelve hundred children have been provided birth certificates establishing their identity. Gram Panchayats have been trained and sanitized on the importance of issuing birth certificates. Besides, we have promoted child education among the children of Lambada community and children from marginalized sections of the society in the mandal, through one day centre, nineteen evening centers and supporting 5 govt. schools through para teachers. In addition to that CARPED has also run five balwadies. Motivating parents and community for participatory involvement in child education and child rights has taken an intensive form through mass mobilization approaches. Child participation is also ensured in the programmes affecting the school, children. Child Ministries are formed in twelve schools. Each committee consists of nine children each responsible for a specific area of concern. The cabinet of ministers meets every month and looks in the affairs of school and makes plans for improvements. School Sanitation and Hygiene School committees and community mobilization has been effectivised. Community participation is ensured ion planning school infrastructure. The school committees have been successful in making plans for the improvement of school infrastructure in the form of compound walls, additional classrooms, sanitation, and drinking water facilities among other things. These works are carried out in infrastructure most of the schools in the mandal. Efforts have been initiated to improve schools in the area of sanitation and infrastructure. Construction of toilets in schools has been completed in 10 villages Children are provided with regular health check ups and the seriously ill children are referred for medical attention. Village Education Committees (VECs), the medium for improving conditions of schools and bringing the desired changes in the area of community participation in elementary education, are strengthened. Community participation and accountability is growing ion the mandal in the area of schools. Advocacy for protection and promotion of child rights Advocacy on child issues occupied great attention of CARPED this year too. Important activities in this area include community mobilization on issues related to pre schools, enhancing access to children through new DPEP centers, elimination of child labour and addressing the problem of child trafficking in the region. Several consultations with the members of SECs, VECs and the SHGs have been organized in the mandal both at mandal level as well as at the village level in the all gram Panchayats. Members of the community, especially from the VECs and SECs as well as SHGs have taken part in the rallies and meetings on child issues organized from time to time. They have also active participation in the state level meetings of the AP Alliance for Child Rights. Some members have also took part in NAFRE meetings outside the state. Campaign against child marriages among the Gangireddula community The problem of child marriages has been successfully curtailed in the area. There have been regular meetings in the village. Members of the community have been persuaded to put an end to this and efforts at sensitizing members of this community in other parts of the district were also initiated. This has proved to be very effective in ensuring that it does not recur but also helpful in building an environment that is not coercive on the members of Gangireddula gudem. We initiated efforts at a long-term strategy in collaboration with members of civil society and authorities of women & child welfare to address the issue of child marriages among the Gangireddula community in the entire district. In a way it was a strategy of scaling up the campaign to other members of this community in other parts of the district and other districts. It has to be carried further to other districts in the course of time where it is still in vogue. It has been very effective in ensuring that there are no child marriages in the community in this year. ECE centres CARPED has taken up community mobilization for getting Pre schools and alternative schools sanctioned in the mandal as part of Education Guarantee Scheme (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan). Early Child Education (ECE) centres have been started in eighteen settlements in September 2001. Efforts of community mobilization in this area also ahs been effective in getting plans for starting another eighteen ECEs this year. District authorities have been favorable to start new centers in the mandal. Tuniki thanda balwadi and Mohd Gate thanda balwadi are acknowledged the best Thandas ion the mandal and very effective. The community participation and the involvement of the teachers has been appreciated by several members of the community as well by outsiders. These balwadies along with other balwadies run by CARPED are effective in designing daily activities with locally available materials and the pre school kits. Integrated project on sanitation and health focused on mother and child development has been very effective. WATSAN committees formed in the villages were involved in bottom up approach in making plans for the improvement of drinking water sources and sanitation activities. Sanitary latrines, maintenance of drinking water supply, construction of GLSRs, cleaning of drains and mass education on personal hygiene had been very effective in the mandal. There have been capacity building programmes for the members of the AWTSAN committees and other members. Traditional Dias were trained from 18 villages for two days to provide safe deliveries in the absence of professional doctor attending to deliveries in an hospital. Water samples are taken by the village committees regularly to monitor the quality of drinking water supplied in the villages. NRM activities Farmers associations are now effective in 16 villages. They include viz., Mantur, Tuniki (thanda), Mutrajpally thanda (Singamarri Thanda), Kushangeddathanda, Jajithanda, Rommlathanda and the old villages. These villages have prtogrammes for promotion of sustainable agricultural practices. We organized awareness and orientation camps on non- pesticide management to adopt NPM methods in their cropping fields, resulting in a good number of farmers adopting NPM methods, especially among the Lambada farmers in some villages. These measures also helped in soil conservation and improved soil fertility in the farms of the farmers engaged in adopting sustainable methods. Regular monthly meetings with small farmers were held to promote collective action on farmers’ issues and to discuss local specific problems and share knowledge & information about sustainable practices. Exposure visits were organized to visit the farmers in the district and representatives were taken to Adilabad, Warangal and Nalgonda. Network of Water Users Association has been strengthened through regular meetings. Tendu leaf collectors federation held regular meetings with beedi leaf collectors in the month of January, February and March 2002 to ensure that fair means are adopted in allotment of kallem and fair prices are paid to the beedi leaf collectors. Forest official s were invited for the discussions. Popularizing herbal medicinal practices for livestock received attention during the year. Livestock medicare through barefoot veterinarian services to the villagers was very effective. Weekly camps were organized to cover all the villages in the mandal in varied seasons during the year. These services were availed buy the small and marginal farmers as well as by well to do farmers. The veterinary services made blending of traditional and modern methods YOUTH MOBILISATION ON LOCAL ISSUES ADYAYANA, as a programme of conscious interventions aimed at sensitizing and capacity building of youth in regard to contemporary issues of Telangana region, has been focused more on youth mobilisation and enlisting the involvement of youth on addressing local issues. It is more focused on problems affecting the local youth of Warangal. Adyayana also witnessed three of its long time members-Mr Sudhakar Reddy and his colleagues, starting youth activities in the Sangem mandal. Anjaiah a tribal youth of Khammam has been actively associated with campaigns on effective implementation of Dr B D Sharma’s campaign for tribal self rule. Mr Janardhan has been seriously engaged in facilitating the rural library movement with inputs of local members and Telugu NRIs. Besides, the lecture programmes have been held at Andhra Balika College for girl students. Similarly there have seen several meetings with the Thoti tribal youth focused on addressing the health and educational issues of the community through local self help. Walktoschool campaign The campaign and sensitization activities promoting safety to children attending schools. It is also focused on sensitizing the community for pedestrian safe road environment. CARPED has been the national coordinator for the international campaign. Campaign is popularised through NGOs engaged in child rights campaigns. Activities include sensitising children, teaching community, parents, community and NGOs. Consultations with NGOs and sharing of information on the walktoschool campaign are part of the sensitisation activities. Major activities include organising essay writing, painting and poster competitions in schools on “safety for school children”; transact walks and processions involving children, parents and members of the community to take stock of the situation around the school. This year campaign has witnessed a variety of activities in Hyderabad, Warangal, Rangareddy, Medak, and Mahabubnagar districts. Campaign was effective in reaching out to a larger number of NGOs and districts. Campaign was coordinated to take place during October and November 2003 to coincide with the international campaign. Children from a blind school along with their parents and school authorities took part in walking to the school in Warangal district. School children adjudged as best essay writers in the competition on road safety for children were given awards in Warangal. Activities are effective in making the parents and school authorities appreciate the need for safety around the school. It helps one realize that safer environment is not ensured by “expensive” travel arrangements for the children to school by private transportation (autos, rickshaws or cars) but by only healthy and safe environment. Campaigns organised in a synchronised manner in a particular month across the state/ country are effective in enlisting participation of various stakeholders. walktoschool campaign is viewed as an extension of the campaign for child rights and safe environment. Funskool, AIESEC, Community based organisations and NGOs in the villages were the major partners in the campaign. Anne Schäfer from Germany, an Intern for CARPED has co-ordinated and accomplished the assignment at Funskool. AIESEC- international Exchange Programme CARPED has forged a long-term collaborative effort with the AIESEC- Hyderabad chapter. CARPED has received eight interns from America, Germany, Japan and Australia. These interns were provided leaning in the field exposure on varied issues of development concern. These interns during their three to five month stay have visited several villages and interacted the members of the community, CARPED staff, officials and the NGOs to gain understanding issues of their interest. It was a very rewarding exercise for both interns and the members of CARPED in terms of a cross-cultural perspective to development issues. CARPED HR Aspects CARPED now has around fifty members from different areas of specialisation. It has five women organizers, two ANMs, an Engineer, four forestry specials, twenty-eight education motivators and community organizers. Besides, it has a team of administrative staff. The staff has been trained in PRA methods, Drought Mitigation and Child Rights during the year. Acknowledgements We are thankful for the support from donor agencies (CAPART, CRY, IGSSS, ILP, Intercooperation NGO programme, UNICEF, DRDA, Forest Department), and for non financial collaboration and support of AIESEC, other NGOs, A P Alliance for Child Rights, TNRMG, walktoschool, Auditors (Rao & Ravi Chartered Accountants), and CARPED members (of the executive committee and general body) who have contributed to the success of the activities in different ways.