Governments, civil society, and concerned citizens are essential stakeholders in any program to revitalise a community’s needs and bring them out of difficulty. India’s biggest, and most marginalised community is its children. At every stage of their life, even at birth, India’s children face life changing challenges. Strategic and consistent intervention by NGO workers, in the form of on-ground support and activism, while also working with officials is a necessity to give every child a better future.
Here is how India’s child development NGOs working for child development.
1. Eliminating child labour:
Ten million children today work 14-16 hour shifts in farming, stone cutting sector, embroidery, and mining industry. India ranks among the 74 countries with ’significant incidence of critical working conditions’ (US Department of Labor report – ‘List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor). NGOs work with trade organisation to educate businesses about the evils of child labour. Locals in villages and cities are also instructed to report child labour at businesses. Reducing its demand is one of the most effective ways of ending child trafficking and labour.
NGOs like Save the Children also fight for stronger anti-child labour laws through providing compelling evidence that forms the basis of legislation. Legislative victories include the Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act which was strengthened with the NGO’s intervention.
Additionally, the NGO has relations with vulnerable communities across India, as well as state and national level governance to address child labour, abuse, corporal punishment, trafficking, and child rights violation.
2. Education and enrolment
Despite having the world’s largest education system, India faces low literacy due to low enrollment, andhigh dropout rates.
How Save the Children is working for child education:
i. Driving the importance of child education in ‘safe schools’ that do not discriminate on gender, caste or socio-economic background
ii. ‘Inclusive Learner Friendly Environments’ (for children aged 3-18 years) across slums and villages
iii. As Right to Education forum members, push for a financial framework supporting the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009
iv. Dialogue with families to send their children to school, while also providing admission assistance
v. Create fun and meaningful experiences in school, with child-friendly and interactive teaching-learning methods
vi. Create funding for libraries, computers, sports equipment and Mobile Learning Centres
vi. Bringing out-of-school children back to the classroom
vii. Bringing street children and child labourers back to school
Rehabilitation and relief
Save the Children reduces newborn and child death through awareness campaigns on nutrition and essential healthcare. The NGO works closely with Integrated Child Development Services Scheme, Department of Health and Family Welfare and Panchayat Raj Institutions, creating an ecosystem of infant health and survival.
In India’s most backwards and marginalised communities, the NGO does the following:
1. Community Healthcare Workers (CHWs) are trained to give immediate health care to mothers, newborns and pregnant women
2. Pushing for better implementation of policies
3. Supporting India’s public health and access to nutrition
4. Educating communities about natal checkups, hospital deliveries, breastfeeding, and access to nutrition and medicine
7. Cooking demonstrations, setting up health camps and providing nutrition rehab to malnourished children
8. Providing medical assistance in disaster hit regions
Save the Children’s campaigns have reduced infant mortality, chronic malnutrition, child trafficking, and has increased access to education. These are part of a holistic approach to engage governments, civil society and community. All these initiatives require heavy investment and infrastructure around the clock and there’s always a cause the NGO is tirelessly working for. Donate online to instantly become part of a movement to give every child a future, no matter what his or her circumstances. You will not only receive tax benefits, but also the satisfaction that you have genuinely made a difference and given back to society.