We work in vulnerable rural areas across states of Karnataka, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Poverty, cultural norms and lack of education push children to work or get married at an early age. Children undergo severe exploitation in hazardous work environments. Child brides are also victims of abuse, anaemic and get pregnant early which brings many reproductive health issues. Children are also trafficked for sex and labour. Children from marginalised communities face violence and discrimination.
We take children and their families out of exploitation by providing them with education, livelihood support, health care, legal support and encouraging child participation for advocacy. We also involve stakeholders such as the Government, Law Enforcement Agencies and the Private sector to help us tackle issues.
We partner with NGOs at the grassroots who support us in the implementation of our programmes. In 2020, we reached out to nearly 74,000 children and 35,000 families.
To combat exploitation, children are enrolled in schools, provided school supplies such as uniforms, books, bags and given access to quality education through activity based and digital learning. Children enrolled in school who have learning gaps are also enrolled in remedial classes to ensure age appropriate learning. Parents are counselled on the importance of education and the learning environment is made to be enriching and joyful so that children don’t choose to drop out. Child brides who find it difficult to go back to school are enrolled for public exams as private candidates.
Apart from tuition and study material support, we provide bicycles to girls who are not allowed to go to school due to long distances. Girls are helped to file cases for domestic violence and other forms of abuse meted out to them. Girls with anaemia are given supplementary nutrition and taken for health check ups. Child brides are advised against early pregnancy and early union. Awareness on menstrual hygiene, life skill development, psychosocial support and child rights training are also provided to ensure girl child development.
We specifically focus on fighting for the rights of the children through Child Participation approaches. We have created a movement for married adolescent girls where they advocate for their entitlements and a strict implementation by authorities to prevent child marriages. Children are grouped into clubs where they are trained on child rights, child protection laws and advocacy. Through this, many children have solved village level issues, reported cases of child labour, child marriage and child exploitation.
Our Youth Advocates have also conducted various innovative campaigns such as rallies and flash mobs to sensitise the public on the need to voice against child marriage and child trafficking.
Poverty fuels child exploitation. To address this, we provide monetary assistance to families such that they invest in additional income generating activities such as livestock development, tailoring, fruit selling, thereby earning more income. Girls at risk of exploitation are also provided skill training to become financially independent. Women are grouped into SHGs where a corpus is revolved among them from which each of them invest in small businesses. The money is ploughed back into the fund at a minimum service, thereby building the corpus to reach out to more women. Families are also given access to social security.
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