Programme 1: Promoting Child Rights in Spice Growing 30 Villages of Guntur, Andhra Pradesh
India is home to the second-largest population in the world. While this can be an advantage for a country’s growth, India has unfortunately not been able to use this to its advantage as 3.8 million children work as child labourers, often involved in hazardous jobs.
One of the recent amendments in the Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act (CLPRA) allows child labour in “family or family enterprises”. This is likely to increase the involvement of children in agriculture because it is usually a family enterprise. This will make more children prone to get caught in the clutches of child labour, one of the biggest enemies of a happy childhood.
Producton of spices comprises an important part of India’s agricultural sector as India is the largest producer, consumer and expoter of spices. Given the fact that 69.5 percent of child labour (5-14 age) in India works in the agricultural sector (according to a 2013 report titled ‘Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labour’, by the US Department of Labour), it is important to look at the situation in the spice inustry from the lens of child rights.
Children are forced into spice farming because of alarming issues like poverty, lack of awareness about education and lack of protection mechanisms. Gender discrimination is a major reason why girl children drop out of schools. 44 percent of children working in the spice industry had dropped out of school. Children receive almost 30 percent less wages than adults for similar nature and duration of work.
Save the Children is working in Guntur, one of the nine coastal districts in Andhra Pradesh. The district is the largest producer of chillies in India and therefore it is a lucrative sector for traders. Many children work in these chilli farms. Chilli culvitation takes place is hot summers and children are often prone to occupational hazards like sunstrokes and breathing problems because of chilli dust.
The main project objective is to promote child rights in 30 spice-growing villages through strengthening school and community-based mechanisms by 2020. Through our interventions, children between the age of 6-14 years in the spice-growing villages have been enrolled in schools.
- Community-based groups have been set up in 21 villages to ensure that the environment is conducive for children to learn.
- 43 Community Reading Camps were organised in 30 villages.
- 30 Children Groups with 519 members were formed in 30 villages.
- Bal Sabha (Childrens' Groups) meetings have been conducted on a regular basis.
- Suggestion boxes were installed in 30 schools and a complaint redressal mechanism was implemented.
Through the course of the project, various challenges were encountered. For example, some of the villages were very remote and there were no transportation facilities available. Abject poverty and migration of families also led to high drop out rate and absenteeism. Besides, there is a serious lack of awareness on the importance and benefits of social protection schemes.
These challenges were overcome by constantly engaging with the children and their community and sensitising them on their rights. Community members were roped in at every step of the project with an aim to empower them to stand up for their rights.
Programme-2: School Safety Initiative for Schools in South Delhi, India
School Safety in Schools of South Delhi was an initiative of Save the Children. The project started on 1st October 2016 and will be completing on 15th October 2018.We work with 40 schools under South Delhi Municipality Corporation (SDMC) in South Delhi to strengthen their resilience to disaster, climate change and protection risks. This is being done through promoting regular access to knowledge, strengthening institutional disaster management practices and advocacy with the concerned departments for changes in statutory guidelines and policies. Save the Children is using its internal technical team and technical agencies for the project. Our Delhi office is advocating with the concerned departments to meet its advocacy objectives for bringing about changes in the institutional statutory guidelines. For sustainability of the project practices, the knowledge resource developed during the project will be co-branded with the municipality and disaster management departments.
The project has directly benefited 20,000 children, 200 teachers, 520 School Management Committee members and 20,000 parents. It has also reached indirectly to another 30,000 children and 200 teachers through cross sharing of project learning.
The activities and major highlights of the project:
- Development of Child Safety Checklist for Delhi Government.
- Sessions on child rights, child protection, disaster and climate change development, and module writing.
- Provision of a basic emergency kit for schools.
- School Safety Plan (SSP) preparation in 40 schools.
- SSP sharing session with students in each class room to familiarise the plan.
- Development of General Safety Module (dos & don’ts).
- General Safety Session in the class rooms.
- Display of Evacuation Maps in schools.
- Display information, education and communication (IEC) in selected schools across the district (both project and non-project intervention).
- Develop/Adapt session content for technical training to task forces on early warning, search and rescue (adults), first aid (adults), psycho-social first aid (adult).
- Conduct a training on how to organise a mock drill for project staff.
- Conduct assisted mock drills in schools.
- Refresher Training of project staff on GIS mapping and reinforcement meetings.
- Quarterly Exchange Programme- children from intervention schools visit non-intervention schools to spread key awareness messages.
- Develop/provide interactive child friendly games for children of different age groups (6-12 years).
- Training on "Urban Disaster and Climate Change Resilience" with MCD, DDMA, partner NGO, and Ministry of Urban Affairs.
- Celebration of Child Right Week.
- Orientation of School Safety Committee Members.