The organization firmly believes that Health is not merely a concern of doctors and service providers but an issue of social justice. Since the beginning the organization has undertaken several initiatives to address the health concerns of the communities. Presently the organization is working mainly on the areas of sexual and reproductive health, HIV, immunization of children and Safe abortion.
A.1) Reproductive & sexual health:
In the rural society with strong gender inequality, the girls are deprived from all kinds of health services. Early marriage further aggravates their health status. In addition to the psychological immaturity of an adolescent bride, very often her body is not prepared to accommodate the early onset of childbearing. For young girls in India, poor nutrition, and early childbearing and reproductive health complications compound the difficulties of adolescent physical development. Anaemia is one of the primary contributors to maternal mortality and is associated with the progressive physical deterioration of girls aged 10-19 years. Nutritional deprivation, increased demand of her body, excessive menstrual loss, and early/frequent pregnancies all aggravate and exacerbate anemia and its effects.
For improving the Sexual and Reproductive Health of Young People by Influencing Age at Marriage, GENVP in collaboration with European Union through MAMTA Health Institute for Mother and Child, New Delhi is implementing a project in 51 villages of Chandi Block of Nalanda district. Adolescents and young people, especially young girls, will be the primary target group for the project. A population of 100,000 with approximately 30,000 young people would be covered. Unmarried-married; out of school-in school; working and non-working young girls and boys will be targeted through the program. Special efforts would be made to be inclusive of the marginalized (based on caste, ethnicity, religion) and the poorest of poor. Change in behaviour should focus not only on individual behaviour, but also on collective behaviours, norms and values of the society, therefore a wide range of stakeholders will be addressed. Under this project GENVP has undertaken several activities which are as follows:
Advocacy initiatives with Govt. functionaries for enforcement of laws and policies for legal age at marriage and delayed first pregnancy.
The govt. functionaries were identified and regular interactions were made with them to ensure the proper implementation of the laws and policies for prohibition of early marriage and early pregnancy. The major issues of advocacy involved:
Proper implementation of PCMA
Education for girls and school retention
Youth friendly health services
Life skills education for adolescents
The advocacy approaches made include the one to one interaction as well as workshop for sensitizing them on the above mentioned issues. Apart from this the organization took the initiative for the implementation of Youth friendly health services (YFHS) in the PHC of Nalanda District. For this orientation workshop of Medical Officers and paramedical officers were organized to familiarize them with the NRHM strategies of YFHS and plan for its implementation in order to improve the access of adolescent boys and girls to the information related to their Sexual and reproductive health.
With an objective to initiate Life skill education for the adolescents, in the Secondary schools of Nalanda, Orientation of teachers were done on life skill and adolescents education programme.In order to sensitize the stakeholders and make them aware about the impact of early marriage and early pregnancy on the SRH of the young people, sensitization workshops for different stakeholders were organized by GENVP.
Community Mobilization :
Community Mobilization activities involved the sensitization of the key community stakeholders such as PRIs, ASHA, ANM, AWW, Religious leaders, teachers and influencing persons through regular interaction. Regular meetings of the youth groups and parents groups were also done on the issue related to the SRH of young people.
Awareness activities were carried out in the villages on the right age of marriage and delaying first pregnancy. The awareness activity involved Nukkad Natak, Cycle Rally, Chetna Abhiyan and celebration of important days like International Youth day on 12 August, World AIDS Day and International Womenâs Day. Apart from all these awareness building activities, peer educators were selected in the villages to spread awareness among the young people.
Networking of like minded NGOs :
Network of 11 such NGO who are working on the issues related to young people, in the implementation area have been formed. Regular interactions are made with the network members to make them initiate the activities related to SRH of young people in their implementing areas of operation.
Media Advocacy and Monitoring :
Media has a significant role to play in generating a public opinion and build positive support for delaying marriage and first pregnancy. Besides this, media plays a most significant role in reviving advocacy and lobbying attempts for bringing about policy level changes at the political and bureaucratic level. Media can significantly contribute to creating the enabling environment by regularly filing articles on the issue and bringing different dimensions of age at marriage to public debate namely, educational, health, economic and denial of rights. Hence Media houses were identified and media persons were sensitized on the issue through regular interactions and sensitization workshop with them.
Media monitoring and analysis has also been undertaken in order to strategize media advocacy to promote meaningful participation of media to generate public opinion on âright ageâ of marriage and delayed first pregnancy and monitor the change in the content and frequency of stories/articles on related issues. Further the media monitoring is also linked with the over all MIS of the project and captures changes in the media in terms of quality of reporting and frequency of reporting at regular intervals, which is expected to be enhanced over a period of time.
GENVP has a remarkable achievement in addressing the challenging issue of early marriage & early pregnancy. The organization has been successful in working on the issue among the community as well as the government officials. For addressing the problems of youth, NRHM provides Youth Friendly Health Services to promote SRH of young people. But there was no such implementation in Bihar. GENVP made state level advocacy with Ministry and govt. officials of health Dept. on the issue. After advocacy with the cooperation of the Civil surgeon of Nalanda District, orientation was given to all the MOICs and paramedical officers of Nalanda District on YFHS. As a result of which YFHS were initiated in the PHCs, which was yet a big challenge. GENVP has undertaken another such challenge by initiating the SRH based life skills in the conservative community of Nalanda District. A training module has been developed for Life skills on adolescent SRH in collaboration with MAMTA health Institute for Mother & Child. The headmasters and teachers of government secondary schools of Nalanda District were given SRH based life skills orientation. It was a great achievement for GENVP that the Dist Education Officer accepted the Life Skill module and government schools incorporated the session in their daily routine of the classes.
A.2. Conversance project on HIV/AIDS and RH
GENVP in with partnership with PATH is implementing âPATH Convergence Projectâ on the issue of HIV/AIDS. A large number of populations are at risk of HIV and unintended pregnancies. Such young men and women, people who sell sex, and people with HIV are not able to access the HIV and SRH services they need. Young women and sex workers have difficulty accessing family planning services. Services for family planning, maternal and child health (MCH), sexually transmitted infection (STI), HIV, and abortion are provided separately and often target different populations. Consequently, there are several missed opportunities for providing a better response to HIV and SRH. âConvergenceâ of HIV and SRH services refers to a very wide range of activities or processes, which are undertaken with the broad objective of capturing these âmissed opportunitiesâ by adding on services or paying attention to the overlap areas in HIV and SRH. Several activities have been undertaken by the PATH Convergence Project, which are as follows:
Liaison with state level stakeholders
Regular interactions and consultation with the different state level stakeholders in the form of regular liaison meetings has been done. During the liaison meetings with BSACS, SHSB and the Bihar Department of Health and Family Welfare, bottlenecks in project implementation were identified and strategic planning was done to address them.
Mapping of stakeholders Mapping of stakeholders
working on HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, sexual and reproductive health and rights were done in Patna and Muzaffarpur. The mapping exercises involved participatory sessions in the districts where information regarding number of sex workers, people with HIV and young men and women were gathered.
Coordinate and provide support to partner organizations
Support were provided to the partner organizations for holding regular meetings with these groups, collecting information from them and tabulating them, paying honorarium to the individuals for fieldwork and meeting attendance and covering the incidental costs for doing demand generation activities. GENVP has successfully facilitated these meetings and have discharged the duties with respect to payments and arrangements towards facilitating these.
Provide support to Patna Network of Positive People to organize focused meeting with HIV positive people to discuss SRH needs and issues
There have been many times meetings and interactions with the Patna Network of Positive People and these meetings have helped to identify the intervention needs among the real stakeholders. GENVP has been committed and facilitated these meetings.
District Level Stakeholders Meeting
District-level stakeholders meeting on HIV-SRH Convergence was organized in Patna and Muzzafarpur, to communicate with local stakeholders about the progress of the HIV and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) Convergence project in Bihar.
The objectives of organizing this meeting were to share a common understanding about convergence of HIV and SRH services, discuss the PATH initiatives in HIV-SRH convergence, share key approaches to HIV-SRH convergence, share the project activities and underline lessons learned and challenges faced and to discuss the role of partner organization and stakeholders.
During the meeting presentations were made which involved the discussion on different issues of sexual and reproductive health services and HIV services.
State Level Workshop of Stakeholders :
State level workshop of stakeholders on HIVSRH Convergence was organized to illustrate the convergence of HIV and SRH services and discuss the PATH initiatives in HIV-SRH convergence. The workshop also involved the sharing of the key approaches to HIV-SRH convergence, the project activities and underline lessons learned and challenges faced and to discuss the role of partner organization and stakeholder.
Support PATH Media consultants and assist their role with the media to get articles on or interviews about the initiative published in Bihar News Papers :
The PATH Convergence Project is progressing in the planned manner, which would ensure the success of the project in attaining the objectives behind these activities.
A. 3.) Immunization Programme
Immunization of children is important issue for improving the health status of the community. The focus of PHCâS and Sub centre in general is more on pulse polio, thus the service providers pay lesser attention for immunization of children. With the support of Hope for Children, GENVP is carrying out immunization health check up programmes in Patna district.
In orders to understand and implement policies to make abortion safe, it is important to map and study the availability of safe abortion services both in public and private sectors understand and comprehend the reasons for utilization pattern of safe abortion services as well as the social and economic factors associated with the same.
The experiences of organizations working in the different districts of Bihar clearly shows that stigma and lack of awareness on part of the community on one hand and practice of unsafe abortion on the other, has contributed to the situation.
Given the present scenario, various civil society organizations have developed strategies to address the gaps including the service provision and community awareness of health behaviours. Currently the work around abortion in Bihar is mainly around capacity building of formal providers on clinical aspects and also located in the service delivery mode. However raising community awareness and rights realizations around safe abortion is still a far fetched idea or only happening at a miniscule level.
GENVP is carrying out advocacy programmes in three districts of Bihar which are Patna, Nawadah and Muzzafarpur.
1. To understand womenâs perceptions on abortion services and need for abortion in 5 villages of select blocks each in 3 districts of Bihar.
2. To understand perceptions of formal, non-formal providers and key informants on womenâs need for abortion services in 3 select blocks of 3 select districts of Bihar.
3. To map the availability of abortion services in 3 select districts of Bihar from secondary data and interviews with women, providers and key informants.
4. To initiate community and district level advocacy on safe abortion through meetings and IEC material on the basis of the evidence.
1. Meeting with three identified partners to launch the project
2. Setting up ethics guidelines and questionaire used during the mapping
3. Develop and discussed the mapping guidelines
4. Conducted field testing of the guidelines
5. Formation of local investigation team
6. Two days capacity building workshop on ethics and mapping exercise for the local investigationteam at Patna before starting field investigation
7. Identified the villages within the reach of a government health facilities including a PHC or
wherever upgraded to CHC
1. Setting up a coordination mechanism between common health and implementing agencies
2. Included regular exchange of information and support as required
3. Mapping of service providers and different services available at district level including secondary data collection and analysis
4. Group meeting with senior women in the age group 40 years and above
5. Interview with key informants consisting of ANM, INGO/NGOs working on health issues
6. Interview with the providers wherever available formal, informal, profit, Non Profit at PHC or CHC, MTP trained doctors, DPM under NRHM Gynecologists, Surya Clinic, Meri Stop Clinics, Private Clinics, Charitable Hospitals,PMCH, Dais, Rural Health Care Providers such as Jholachap Doctors and RMPs
7. Consolidated of information from three districts and preparation of draft reports
8. Developed relevant information, education and communication materials emerged out of the learning from mapping of exercise
9. Shared the findings of the mapping exercise at community and district level and created awareness in the community on safe abortion
The group meetings conducted with senior women in a cluster of 15 villages led to the following findings:
1. Women have been admitted in the hospital due to the health problem arisen out of pregnancy. Only one death occurred due to pregnancy in village Shivchak in the past years
2. The women perceive that there are many reasons behind the grave situation of maternal health worth mentioning a few like nonexistence of hospital or health center in the area, absence of proper counseling facility by Doctor, nonavailability of the means of transport on time, carelessness, less conscious of food and their own health, lack of awareness, no prenatal check up in time and poor economic condition.
3. The women understand the fact that abortion is a grave issue in the area and it is solely connected with the maternal health problems. Unsafe abortion has serious impact on the maternal health like anaemia, weak conception, prone to severe diseases, poor health, pain in uterus, inflammation in uterus, disability, pale appearance, loss of facial charm & beauty.
4. Locally abortion is termed as Dholaiya and Kacha Darha
5. Women terminate pregnancy under circumstances like Preference of son or daughter, having more number of children and unable to feed the mouth, if the child is deformed or disabled and the mother is at risk
6. There is no infrastructure and trained professional in the area for conducting safe abortion and providing abortion care. Women have to go to the nearby town Daniyama, Fatuha, Patna for terminating pregnancy
7. Some of the women, girls and widows prefer to abort in the village with traditional Dais or RMPs
8. Though Government PHC is available in Daniyama and Anganwadi worker, ASHA worker are operating in the villages but they are not competent to handle abortion cases
9. Most of the married women pursue private clinic for termination of pregnancy
10. Girls and widows pursue nonformal services from Dais and RMPs
11. Women pay Rs.1500-2000 for the service
12. Women in general fail to access the services due to several reasons like Lack of money, Poverty, Helplessness, Parents/In-laws do not favor, pressure of husband and family members.
13. It has happened that the woman seeking abortion goes to the clinic and after diagnosis male child is confirmed, husband and other family members put pressure to abstain aborting.
14. The group came up with the suggestion that the problem can be solved by Mutual understanding, decisions may be taken by both wife and husband and other family members
15. Proper counseling with a doctor is necessary before taking any such step
16. The decision of terminating the pregnancy is taken by the spouse but the decision of husband is prominent
17. The non formal service providers use drug and other uterine device but largely they conduct with hands
18. The women have a common consensus on the issue that abortion is womenâs basic right as they bear the child but some have a feeling that it should not because the family bears all responsibility. Husband has also a key role as he meets all her needs and requirements.
19. The perception of women is very clear in this regard that abortion service should be available to the women who have conceived twin child, deformed and disabled child, the women who is not willing to have more child, unexpected children, suffering with severe disease, weak and who can not afford to feed extra mouth.
20. Most of the women have a perception that abortion is legal but they are totally ignorant of the appropriate law and act associated with abortion
21. All women recognize that women have to face serious health problem after termination of pregnancy like anger, anxiety, dullness, mental tension, headache, bad appetite, pale appearance, excess bleeding, physical and mental stress, psychological trauma.
22. The nonformal service providers have fair attitude towards married women but different attitude towards corrupt women, unmarried girls and widows. Sometimes the girls and widows are exploited in the hands of the providers. The Government doctor have bad attitude towards girls and widows and demand more money and even she is sexually harassed.
23. The situation restricts the service providers in termination of pregnancy if the service seeker is weak, delivery of first child by scissor, having less no. of child or the first child is small, uterus is weak and having some chronic infection in the uterus
24. All women are of the view that the Personal identity is kept secret otherwise they will not get further client
26. The community feeling towards married women is not bad but for unmarried girl and widows it is different. The community does not consider it as a good practice. Killing of child in the fetus is not socially permitted and treated as a sin.
27. The interviews conducted with non formal service provider one Dai and one RMP in each cluster of 15 villages led to the following findings:
28. All the nonformal service provider admitted that abortion is a grave issue concerned with womenâs health in this area
29. The service providers are of the opinion that married women terminate their pregnancy except few cases of widow and unmarried girls
30. Women opt abortion when repeatedly she has given birth to a girl child. Son preference is the most prominent reason. In some cases if the woman is weak, anemic, expected child is disabled abortion is the only choice.
31. Women come for abortion from 1st to 6th months
32. The majority have the opinion that abortion services should not be made available to all women but for those women who are in need
33. The decision of terminating pregnancy is taken by the spouse but the decision of husband is prominent
34. None have the knowledge and information about MTP Act
35. Women do not abort themselves but in some cases women adopt traditional practices like carrying heavy load, taking some medicines like mensoprost.
36. Dais or RMPs have no idea about the abortion service provider in the district
37. Dais conduct abortion on their own experience using hand and traditional method. They apply soap in hand and wash. The RMPs conduct abortion in the O.T. assisted by trained nurse. They Check B.P.apply anesthesia, Sterilize the instruments and then wash.
38. The major obstacle before Dais is fear of untoward happening, as they have no gloves equipments, proper arrangement and trained assistant. It is painful too.
39. Dais charge Rs.200-500/-; RMPs charge Rs.700-1000/-while others charge Rs.1500-2000/-
It is evident from the above findings that women neither perceive utilization of safe abortion services nor comprehend need of abortion care facilities in their area. They are ignorant of the sensitive issue of reproductive health .The community not at all addresses the realization for entitlement of right for safe abortion and abortion care. At the same time the perception of non formal service provider on the legal aspects like MTP Act and PCPNDT Act is not yet very clear.
There is a need of creating community level awareness as well as district level sensitization through advocacy meetings on the grave issue of safe abortion and need of abortion care.
District and community level workshop has been conducted for advocacy for safe abortion and to sensitize the key stakeholders on safe abortion. The district advocacy workshop involved the participation and sharing of knowledge and experiences on safe abortion practices by the government functionaries, ASHA, ANM and PRIs. The community advocacy workshop focused on gathering information about the abortion practices prevailing in the local community and service providers like Dais and RMP. The outcome of the workshop was the findings that women neither perceive utilization of safe abortion services nor comprehend need of abortion care facilities in their area. They are ignorant of the sensitive issue of reproductive health. At the same time the perception of non formal service provider on the legal aspects like MTP Act and PCPNDT Act is not yet very clear. There is a need of creating community level awareness as well as district level sensitization through advocacy meetings on the grave issue of safe abortion and need of abortion care.
B. GENDER EQUALITY:
Patna district has considerably low child sex ratio (0-6 years) of 942 females per 1000 males. The strong gender discrimination and prevailing patriarchal dominance in the community creates desire to have boy child which often tends the families to go for sex selective abortion or female feticides is very high in different blocks of the district.
In collaboration with UNFPA through Women Power connect, GENVP has taken initiative to address the issue of declining sex ration with proper implementation of PCPNDT act in different blocks of Patna Districts under UNFPA supported âBitia Bachao Abhiyanâ. Under this project GENVP has undertaken several activities, which are as follows:
Formation & Capacity Building of Community based Resource Groups
Community Resource Groups have been formed and capacity building exercise has been initiated for 10 such groups in each block to act as peer educators. As a part of the formation of community resource groups, Project team consulted the communities through different meetings and discussions. Through these sessions the participants have been oriented for the formation of community based resource groups in monitoring the implementation of PCPNDT Act.
Capacity building workshop was organized for these community based resource groups to share information on reasons and impact of reducing sex ratio in the district, to develop understanding on genealogy and chromosomal constitution, to explain men carry forth the family line, to develop positive image of girl child and to prepare and equip them with power of knowledge so that they could work as peer educator to address the issue in the community.
Advocacy with Government and NGOs:
Regular interactions have been made with the government officials to sensitize them on the issues related to PCPNDT. These advocacy initiatives involved one to one interaction as well as the Block and State level workshop.
Block level workshop:
Block level workshop for advocacy was organized at five Blocks of Patna Districts namely Daniyama, Naubatpur, Phulwarishariph, Danapur, Dhanarua. The workshop was participated by the Government Officers of the Block, functionaries of PRI, Health Service Providers and ASHA workers .The total no of participants in altogether five blocks were 242.The participants assured to extend all support and cooperation and involvement in identification of the social, ethnic, cultural and other behavioral aspects will be sought .The workshop made them clear the difference between MTP Act and PCPNDT Act. The main objective of the workshop was to sensitize the Stakeholders on the programme and issues related to PCPNDT.
Mr. Ram Kishor Prasad Singh,General Secretary of GENVP, Dr. N. Hamsa, E.D. of
WPC, Mr. Ravi Parmar (IAS), E.D. of State Health Society, Bihar, Mr. Nand Kishor
Yadav, Health Minister, Govt. of Bihar & Dr. Raghvanshi of UNFPA, Bihar
Participating at the state level Workshop on Declining sex Ration
State Level Workshop:
A state level Workshop organized, which was participated by 81 Participants, including Govt. Officials from Health Dept. of Bihar, Civil surgeons from intervention Districts, Honâble Health Minister, Govt. of Bihar, Nodal Officer of PCPNDT, Bihar, Executive Director of NRHM mission, Program Officer of UNFPA, Bihar, Principal secretary of rural development, Managing Director of Women Development Corporation, Representative of International agencies, Representative of NGOs, Advocates etc. The inauguration was done by Honâble Health Minister, Govt. of Bihar Mr. Nand kishor Yadav.
The objectives of the workshop was to gain an understanding on the status of the decline in child sex ratio in India particularly Bihar and to discuss the programs and policies run by governments.
GENVP has also shown significant achievement in working on declining sex ratio in Bihar. Prior to the efforts made by the organization, there was no initiative for PCPNDT act, but after the intervention of GENVP, remarkable changes have taken place. With the cooperation of GENVP, government has developed a format for PCPNDT, which is being followed by health Dept. for all the districts of Bihar. GENVP has provided orientation to the MOIC and health functionaries and have also sensitized them for birth registration in 2 blocks of Patna Distrct. After the orientation, the Phulwari Sharif and Daniyawan Block has emerged out as a model PHC, setting an example to other PHCs. The organization has also involved the community based resource groups for spreading the message to promote the birth of girl child in the community.
B. 2.) Campaign For 33% Reservation
In collaboration with Women Power Connect, Intensive campaign and information dissemination was initiated by the member of the Bihar. On an average nearly 2000 families were covered by each member in campaign information dissemination and getting the support of the grassroots as well as mobilizing them towards an expressed will to demand change in the prevailing political and social situation. The campaign paved the ground to mobilizing the signatures in the next step.
The campaign included a signature campaign exclusively demanding 33% reservation to women in all political processes. A memorandum was prepared in Hindi language so as to ensure that every one who signs it has understood what it stands for and was circulated from the state convener to all the member organizations. The member organizations disseminated the information contained in the memorandum and exhorted the women to sign on to the campaign and become part of a greater movements and mobilization at the state level. The support to the signature campaign was more than expected. All together the members of WPC were able to mobilize 7819 signatures in support to the memorandum.
Compilation of the signatures
After the signature campaign, all the signatures long with the memorandum received at the office of GENVP in Patna. All the members had been given same format for collecting the signatures along with the memorandum. The format was simple with the serial number of signing persons, names of the persons and signatures. Thus it was easy to compile all these separate sheets from different areas to one document having the whole signed papers. This document along with a fresh copy of the memorandum attached to it as the covering page with the signatures of the WPC Bihar leaders have been made ready for submission by the morning of 8th March, on the Occasion of International Womenâs Day.
Charter of demands handed to the Governor
The charter of demands/the memorandum was taken by a delegation of Bihar WPC to the Honorable Governor of Bihar. It has also been commendable that the WPC Bihar was able to get the appointment to meet the Governor in Person and hand the memorandum.
The Governor ensured the women leaders that proper follow up will be ensured on the charter of demands handed over and that the charter of demands will be discussed with the Assembly Members and all other relevant stakeholders. The Governor and the WPC Bihar leaders also exchanged warm greetings on the occasion of International Womenâs Day.
Gender budgeting in Bihar
With the association of Women Power Connect, GENVP organized a two dayâs regional workshop focused on Gender Budgeting in the year 2008. Honâble Dy. Chief Minister cum Finance minister, Mr. Sushil Kr. Modi participates in the advocacy workshop and gave assurance for incorporating Gender Budgeting in the State Budget of Bihar. After the advocacy workshop, the follow up with the Finance Minister, Govt of Bihar and initiative taken by Mrs. Anju Sinha, GENVP and convenor, WPC, Bihar resulted in the incorporation of Gender Budgeting in Bihar. Bihar is the first state in the country to incorporate Gender budgeting. A significant achievement in this regard was that in 12 women related departments of govt. of Bihar, the budgets would be prepared only by the women officials.
B. 3.) Political Empowerment of Women
Empowerment of women means making them capable to take decisions and voice their thoughts and to inculcate leadership qualities in them. With support of PRIA, GENVP is working for leadership development for political empowerment of women in Nalanda district of Bihar.
C. DALIT EMPOWERMENT:
Dalits are the most unprivileged section of the society is socially excluded since long. The community despite its significant contributions to social and economic aspects has been considered untouchable and lived in exclusion. Even today Dalits are poor, deprived and socially backward. They do not have access to basic amenities of like food, clothing, shelter health care, education and employment. The years of social exclusion has incapacitated them and they compromised with whatever they got at mercy of upper castes and lived in isolation. They lack proper leadership to take up their issues.
In course of its different studies GENVP realised the need to aware and build cadre of the community at all levels so that an effective leadership can emerge. This cadre if oriented properly can claim their rights and entitlements besides ensuring respect and recognition to the community. With this objective GENVP initiated the HAMARA HAQUE with support from CWS. The strategies adopted Was awareness generation, cadre building and stakeholder sensitization. During the implementation of the project following approaches have been made by GENVP to ensure inclusion of dalits as other section of the society:
Formation of Village & Block level Platform of excluded groups:
Formation of 15 village level organizations of Dalit groups and one Block level federation of the Village level organizations has been done. These groups are in the form of organized village groups having their democratic leadership. Each of the groups has its president and secretary elected by the members. The process of electing the leaders has been by itself an empowerment exercise which has contributed in to the confidence building at the grassroots level as well as helped in getting the Dalit groups to exercise and experience a democratic way of rightful representation.
As initiation of the block level federation processes the project has been able to form a coordination committee at the block level. The coordination committee has also been selected in the democratic process and this body has been entrusted the responsibility to ahead with the federation facilitation processes.
Identification of Dalit Youths and Training on Govt. Schemes & RTI:
From the 15 intervention villages, 30 youth (two each from each village) were selected for training and capacity building aiming at making them grassroots pillars for the sustainability of the project processes.
The identified youth were trained in various discriminatory practices being followed in the society. The training covered issues like constitutional provisions for dalits, Provisions and Functions of Social justice committeeâs and Prevention of Sc/ST (Atrocities) Act to strengthen the knowledge and information base of the SC youth leaders in their fight against incidences of atrocities and access to their entitlements. The trained dalit youth have been motivated to form a village level association of the excluded communities at village level enabling them to speak in one voice and to sensitize the community on discriminatory practices as well as their rights and entitlements.
Focused studies on education, healthcare, food security and entitlement to enhance knowledge base of social exclusion and discrimination
A detailed survey was conducted by the project team to analyze the status of different entitlements claimed by the community. This aimed to prepare a data base for advocacy. The analysis of the survey has helped to identify the loop holes in the government services and programmes due to which the Dalit have been deprived of getting the benefits from govt. schemes. The survey was conducted to collect information regarding the government schemes related to education, health services livelihood and other govt programmes.
Padyatra for creating awareness on SCP and RTI and on the finding of the above study:
To create awareness among the community a Padyatra was planned by village level groups formed under this programme. Before Padyatra a core group was formed to plan the strategies of Padyatra. The core group comprising 4 members of the community planned the routes and issues to share during the Padyatra. The Padyatra by 110 members started from Madhopur village and passed through bishunpur, jaitipur, bhagwanpur, Satnag. Malbigha and finally converged at Chandi block where it was addressed by different leaders. It succeeded in creating awareness among different villages it passed through besides sharing the information about the build cadres in different villages.
Block Level Workshop:
To share the findings of our study a block level workshop was organised, which was attended by Block level official, Dalit cadre formed under the project. Altogether 43 participants attended the workshop.
During the workshop the findings of the detailed survey was shared to understand the present status of different schemes for dalit community. As an outcome of the study revealed that despite provision of No. of beneficial schemes for the community by the central and state Govt. its reach to the community is minimal. It is primarily due the lack of knowledge, effective leadership and poor participation in governance process on part of community and ignorance and large scale corruption on part of bureaucracy. But now the group of dalit leaders formed under the project will certainly take care of it and the benefits of the schemes will reach to the last man as envisaged during the formulation of these schemes by the Govt.
To create awareness among the community about the importance and need of Dalit organization Nukkad Natak was played by the cultural team of GENVP in all 15 villages of Chandi block of Nalanda district. Nukkad Natak still has relevance in our society especially among the rural community. It is an effective tool to communicate the message. The main theme was âHow community based organisations can help the community in claiming their entitlements effectivelyâ. The Nukkad Natak was named as âAndhkar se Adhikar ki oreââ.
GENVP has established itself as one of the leaders in social change and developmental interventions in the state of Bihar. The greatest achievement of the institutions is that it has been able to organize thousands of dalits in to community based organizations and capacitate them for claiming their rights following non-violent and democratic methods. The efforts of the organisation in the fields of women empowerment, provisions of basic services to the deprived communities, gender mainstreaming and ending the discriminations practiced gender wise and caste wise across the state. The organization in this process has also established a strong networking relationship with the government departments as well as with a large number of civil society organizations.
D. CHILD RIGHTS:
Childâs Right to education is one of the most important rights because education is the most powerful agent of bringing about change in the society. But a large number of children are still deprived from primary education. There are numerous factors which de motivates parents to send their children for education. These include lack of awareness about the need of education, lack of access to a school in the vicinity of their community and the poor economic condition of the parents, which compel their children to go for labour.
GENVP with support of Bihar Education Project Council is running âUtperna Kendraâ, for 100 children who are either drop outs or non school going, in Patna. These children under the age group of 11 to 14 years are kept in the residential classes and provided with the basic learning so that they could further be mainstreamed into regular schools to ensure proper education, thus reducing child labour which violates the childâs right to education.
Apart from this, the organization is also running 10 Alternative Education Centre in Lakhisarai for children living in difficult situation for preventing child trafficking.
Hundred new SHGs have been formed by the organization, with the support of WDC, in addition to 400 SHGs formed earlier. These SHG acts as a local platform for sensitization of women, which involves the activities like Nurturing of SHG, Regular Savings, Inter loaning, Bank Linkages, Entrepreneurship development and income generation programmes and capacity building programs.
Capacity building exercise have been organized on various issues, like: Book keeping & maintenance, Leadership development, Strengthening of SHGs, Microfinance, enterprise development, Cluster managements and convergence with government schemes.
F. RIGHT TO INFORMATION:
The contribution of GENVP in the field of Right to Information is no less. Workshop was organized by the organization in collaboration with commonwealth of Human rights initiative in which representatives of different CSOs participated. The workshop involved the detailed discussion on the amendment Right to information Act on 19th November, 2009, which is against the poor community. The participants of the workshop shared their views on this.
The organization has made considerable efforts with the organizations working on RTI, in the formation of State Information Centre for RTI in Bihar (Call centre). GENVP took the initiative to conduct a campaign against the amendment of RTI act in the year 2009, which is against the welfare of the poor community. GENVP is making regular advocacies with Government and non government organizations for taking action to back the amendments against the poor community and has taken considerable steps to add this to the manifesto and of the parties before the elections in Bihar.
G. NETWORKING OF WOMEN ORGANISATION:
This year involved further expansion and strengthening of the WPC, Bihar (State Level Network on Women Issues. Altogether 67 members have joined the network for promoting the activities for women empowerment. The organization has made efforts on various sensitive issues, i.e., prohibition of child marriage, Child trafficking, violence against women, Gender Gap, Policies & Laws for women and Gender Budgeting.
Analysis of different act related to the gender issues has been done and the shortcomings have been identified. Based on this advocacy formats have been made at National as well as state level. The shortcomings of the Acts as identified by WPC are:
Pre Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act
Persisting gender discrimination, declining child sex ratio and high rates of sex selective abortions.
The Act is more focused on technology and medical professionals and does not critically analyze socio cultural patriarchal biases which are directly linked to the declining child sex ratio.
Lack of training and awareness about the law.
No budgetary allocation for training and awareness of the Act for the service providers.
Lack of monitoring & supervision of inspections of genetic clinics and centers.
No proper maintenance of records by clinics.
Inability of the law to reach the mobile clinics and other sex selection test centers.
Overall low rate of the implementation process of the Act.
Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act
Majority of the states have assigned the duty of a Protection Officer as an additional charge to existing officers who already have other full time commitments.
A common obstacle faced in the effective implementation of the law is inadequate infrastructural provisions and absence of proper service providers to the aggrieved.
There is a lack of training and awareness amongst the various stakeholders as they are often unaware of their duties.
Lack of proper monitoring and evaluation of the Act
Prohibition of Child Marriage Act
Several contradictions exist in the law for instance, the PCMA prohibits child marriages, but the Indian Penal Code exempts a husband from the charge of the rape of his wife if she is above 15 years of age.
The Act merely gives a girl child the option to end her marriage after the age of 15 years; it does not invalidate marriages that have occurred between people under a certain age.
This Act seemingly is discriminatory as it continues to stipulate different ages for boys
and girls to get married.
The Act discusses punishment of the guardians of the child involved in the child marriage, without considering the issue of dependency of the child on them.
Deterrent measures in the form of punishment for officials partially being responsible for this practice are not present in the present Act.
The Act does not address registration of marriages.
On the basis of the above shortcomings and recommendations, the organization is undertaking advocacy initiatives for implementation of the acts properly and achieves the targeted results.
H. NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT:
Conservation of natural resource management has been one of the key activities of the organization. The organization in alliance with other NGOs working in the field of natural resource management to address the issue of flood and famine through conservation of natural resource through NARMADA (Natural Resource Management and Developments) network. The network has participated in several state and national level events to highlight the issues of conservation of natural resource in Bihar. Several issues were advocated by the network as Ahar â Pyne system for addressing the water needs for agriculture and to improve the employment opportunity for farm laborers in Bihar on one had and to revive the traditional irrigation system on the other.
NARMADA (State level network of NGOs working on the issues of Natural Resource Management in Bihar) was formed during the year 2004 and Gramin Evam Nagar Vikas Parishad is the coordinating agency of the Network. The Network concentrated preparing a state level action plan on Natural Resource Management during the current year for adopting a unified approach on addressing Natural disaster like Flood/Famine which causes wide spread damage to life and property in the State.
I. AGRICULTURAL INITIATIVES:
Agriculture is one of the major sectors in context to Bihar. Besides providing livelihood opportunity to larger mass it also contributes to the economy of Bihar. With time and new innovations in this field, the Agriculture sector also needs to be upgraded. Shift from traditional farming to scientific farming is need of the hour. Nalanda district is recognized for its agriculture based economy since time immemorial. The community organization processes with the small and marginal farmers in the lines of collective farming, value addition and widening of livelihood options related to agriculture is raising the hopes of land owning as well as landless communities in Nalanda District of Bihar.
GENVPâs agricultural interventions involve the orientation of the farmers on the SRI techniques of farming. The training session covered the following aspects of farming:
Debunking of Myths about paddy cultivation: Under SRI paddy fields are not flooded but kept moist during vegetative phase. Later only one inch water is maintained. SRI requires only half as much as normally applied in irrigated rice.
SRI Technology uses less external Inputs: Under SRI paddy cultivation, less quantity of seeds- 2kg / acre is required. Hence fewer plants per unit area (25 X 25cm) where as in mainstream chemical intensive paddy cultivation requires 20 kg seed per acre.
SRI involves less expenditure on fertilizers & chemicals: In SRI Rice crop grows healthy in natural conditions and its root growth is massive. It receives nutrients from deeper layers of the soil.
SRI is initially labour intensive, once the right skills are learnt and implemented, the labour costs will reduce.
SRI encourages Rice plant to grow healthy with large root volume, profuse & strong tillers, non lodging, big panicles, more and well filled grains & higher grain weight and resists insects because it allows rice to absorb soil nutrients naturally.