In 1988, after a fire broke out in Jahangirpuri slums, Prayas JAC Society was born out of the realization of vulnerabilities faced by children, women and the underprivileged and our founder’s (Mr Amod Kanth) aspiration of contributing towards resolving the social and developmental issues plaguing our society. In pursuance of these aspirations and keeping up with the challenges our society faces today, Prayas works in the following thematic areas:

Education Education
Alternative Education   The concept of Alternative Education (AE) has been defined in many ways and the way we in Prayas see it is – planned and deliberate educational activities or programmes for out of school children of 6-14 years age group, leading to learning outcomes comparable to that of elementary schools. The focus of Alternative Education is ensuring the participation of all out of school children including children in need of care and protection and other categories of children like street children migrant children girl child etc.  Alternative Education works on the premise that the formal system may not address the needs of all children. Mere imparting literacy may not solve the requirements of these children. Hence the need for a system that adapts to the diversity of needs of the street and working children.   Prayas works with the following categories of children

  1. Street Children
  2. Child labour
  3. Child Prostitutes
  4. Children in Conflict with Law
  5. Children in need of care and protection


The Alternate Education Programme of Prayas

 
Prayas has been providing Alternative Education to street and working children in Delhi for the past 15 years. Over the years the model has evolved and undergone many changes. Prayas does not attempt to create a system that runs parallel to the formal system already in place. Our aim is to complement the formal school system by addressing its weaknesses and making it malleable to address the needs of those that have been left out and are marginalised. It is an attempt to bridge the distance between the formal and the non-formal in the best interest of the children.  

The AE model as followed by Prayas can be understood as-
 
  • Non Formal Education
  • Provision of education to all the children out of school in the 6-14 age group by neighbourhood learning centres, following a flexible schedule and incentives like mid-day meals, uniforms, shoes and sweaters.  

  • Formal Education
  • Preparation and enrolment of more than 5000 children every year in formal schools.  

  • Distance Education
  • Prayas is accredited by the Ministry of HRD to run the National Institute of Open Schooling for street and working children.  

  • Inclusive Education
  • Prayas interprets inclusive education as a philosophy which aims to bring together all children into the mainstream. This includes those with learning difficulties, the disabled, the girl child and children from marginalised sections of society.  

  • Vocational & Life Skills Education
  • Vocational & life skills education – Mere literacy will not equip the children to deal with the vagaries of life. Non formal education coupled with vocational training and life skills education create a positive impact in terms of placement and rehabilitation of the trained children and their mainstreaming into society. The Jan Shikshan Sansthan set up with the Ministry of HRD imparts training in more than 20 skills to children in the 15 to 18 years age group.  

  • Ensuring Quality
  • Access to education of poor quality is tantamount to no access at all. Prayas seeks to ensure quality in its educational programme by 1     Development of comprehensive curriculum in collaboration with national level institutes like NCERT and NIEPA 2     Regular training of teachers 3     Development of appropriate teaching learning material 4     Joyful education 5     Emphasis on experiential learning through theatre, craft, art etc 6     Involvement of community and parents in PTAs. 7     Involvement of children through Bal Panchayats  

  • Education for All (EFA)
  • ‘Education for All’ means what it says. The international community committed itself, in the Dakar framework for Action, towards providing free primary schooling by 2015. Besides reducing the adult illiteracy by half it heavily stressed on increasing the early childhood education and programmes for out- of school children, and improving the quality of education. It also emphasizes the elimination of the gender disparities in primary and secondary schooling by the year 2005. The Education For All (EFA), led by UNESCO has embraced a mission that includes both advocacy and a sense of accountability towards commitments. It campaigns to improve the quality and availability of education at both global and country levels.              

    CONVERGENCE ON CHILD PROTECTION Child protection is one of the most pressing issues in the social sector which must take the first call in the government, CSOs and other stakeholders at large, being the most fundamental amongst the 4 categories of UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child) rights namely, survival, protection, participation and development. The issues concerning child protection are scattered all over and directly concern the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Social Justice & Empowerment, Human Resource & Development, Labour & Employment and Home Ministry which deals with legal issues and human trafficking.

    While the JJ Act 2015 provides a broad and overall structure for child protection in the country, various Programs and Schemes of Government are currently functional under different Ministries/Departments. For instance, Integrated Child Protection Scheme – Ministry of Women and Child Development, National Child Labour Project Scheme- Ministry of Labour & Employment, One Stop Centre Scheme – Ministry of Women and Child Development), Samagra Shikhsha Abhiyaan – Ministry of Human Resources & Development, Victim Compensation Schemes – National Legal Services Authority, etc. Moreover, programs related to child protection require active participation of Ministries such as Health & Family Welfare, Human Resource & Development, Home Affairs (Police- Special Juvenile Police Units, Anti-Human Trafficking Units), Labour & Employment and Railways.

    Prayas discussed this with Hon’ble Minister, MWCD, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani and Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog besides Mr Alok Kumar, Advisor, NITI and Secretary and Additional Secretary, MWCD. Following this, a meeting was organized at NITI Aayog on 28th February 2020 under the chairmanship of Shri Alok Kumar, Advisor, NITI Aayog and attended by Chairperson, NCPCR (National Commission for Protection of Child Rights), and other officials from NITI, MWCD and some CSOs including Prayas. It was decided that a Plan of Action shall be prepared to ensure better coordination and convergence amongst relevant Ministries/ Departments.

    In these extremely difficult COVID-19 times, when children across the country are suffering the most without being able to voice their problems, there is an urgent need to synergise efforts of all relevant stakeholders and Government Ministries/ Departments so that all the necessary services are accessible to the children, especially those in need of care and protection.

    PRAYAS’ Role in Child Protection

    INSTITUTIONAL FACILITIES Shelter Homes for Children:Prayas strives to provide institutional facilities for the protection and growth of neglected children or children rescued from difficult circumstances. To address the issue of child protection, Prayas runs 38 (Thirty-Eight) Shelter Homes for Children throughout India where every child is provided a family environment for proper growth and development. It caters to the educational, social, emotional and mental well-being of the children.

    Drop-in centres: Prayas runs multiple Drop-in-Centres, which are essentially a ‘Contact or Facilitation Centre’ wherein a child may seek assistance in the form of care, protection and other support services including a temporary abode, where he feels protected from an exploitative environment. These Centres operates for those children who are defined as ‘children in need of care and protection’ under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.

    NON-INSTITUTIONAL FACILITIES

    Crisis intervention Centre and 24 hour Out Reach Service:

    Prayas through its Crisis intervention centre and outreach services provide emergency assistance and support services to vulnerable individuals (children, youth and women). We assist in securing emergency health services, counselling and legal assistance to those in need.

    Child Protection Unit The Child Protection Unit (CPU) of Prayas plays a pivotal role in drawing the experiences from the numerous institutional and non-institutional programmes and raising issues of concern at the policy level. The organization has raised the issue of child protection vehemently in collaboration with more than 280 Child Protection NGOs in the light of the Integrated Child Protection Scheme of the government taking their recommendations to the doors of the Planning Commission as a member of the Steering Committee and the Working group on Children.

    Children being an extremely vulnerable population, their protection assumes great significance for their healthy development. However, not seen as a major issue earlier it has surfaced as a matter of major concern for policy makers and even public at large. The United Nations Convention on Child Rights, by declaring Right to Protection as an issue of child rights has provided some attention and obligation on the signatory states though much remains to be realized. Going by literal meaning, Child Protection would bring under its ambit numerous categories of children whose security is at stake, reeling in situations of neglect, maltreatment, injury, trafficking, sexual and physical abuse of all kinds, pornography, corporal punishment, torture, exploitation, violence, and degrading treatment waiting for immediate attention and protection.

    These children often addressed by different names has been recognized by the Indian government as children are in “Especially difficult circumstances” with their estimated figures at nearly 30 million as per the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The much needed infrastructure and administrative mechanisms for dealing with the apathy of such children in India has been far from being adequate in spite of the recognition of the problem. Prayas has been striving for providing institutional facilities as well as promoting non-institutional mechanisms for the effective rehabilitation of neglected children. The organization considers the juvenile justice, child trafficking, child labour and child abuse as issues of child rights and child protection and addresses them through Six Shelter Home for children, Childline, 24 hours emergency out-reach service and Crisis Intervention Centre. The Child Protection Unit (CPU) of Prayas plays a pivotal role in drawing the experiences from the numerous institutional and non- institutional programmes and raising issues of concern at the policy level. The organization has raised the issue of child protection vehemently in collaboration with more than 280 Child Protection NGOs in the light of the Integrated Child Protection Scheme of the government taking their recommendations to the doors of the Planning Commission as a member of the Steering Committee and the Working group on Children.

    Child Rights Child Rights

    CHILD RIGHTS, JUVENILE JUSTICE AND LEGISLATIONS IN INDIA WITH REFERENCE TO PRAYAS RELATED EXPERIENCE

     AMOD K KANTH 

    Any talk about child rights must obviously begin with the intrinsic meaning of what a childhood essentially is.The great poet of the 19th century William Wordsworth in his poem ‘My heart leaps up’ writes, ‘The child is the father of man’ -an interesting description which has been understood and interpreted differently by the future generations, mostly in imaginary terms.What the poet actually meant was that one should not let the child in him die even when one grows up.In the small poem he suggests that everyone should enjoy the view of a rainbow as much as a grown up as he does when he was a child.

    Without getting into the poetic nuances, in legal terms we would rather tend to quote the ‘MC Mehta Vs State of Tamil Nadu and Others (Judgement on 10/12/96: AIR 1997 SC 699)’-the historicjudgementconcerning children forced into economic activities and servitude as child labour deprived of their all basic rights including education, wherein it is contextually quoted: “Child is the father of man.

    To enable fathering of a valiant and vibrant man, the child must be groomed well in the formative years of his life. He must receive education, acquire knowledge of man and materials and blossom in such an atmosphere that on reaching age, he is found to be a man with a mission, a man who matters so far as the society is concerned.”

    Obviously, when we are talking about ‘Child Rights’ we need a more precise and legal definition of the child and the child rights, which are acceptable universally. Child Rights in India actually remained undefined under the law until the enactment of the Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005. CPCR Act clearly brought all the basic needs and rights of the children of all types enshrined as such within the 54 Articles of the United Nations Convention on Rights the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) broadly categorized as Rights to Survival, Protection, Development and Participation within the ambit of law.

    Since, I had the opportunity to join, set up and develop the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), amongst the earliest Child Rights Commissions, as its Chairman (2008-11)with my background of dealing with the children in needs and the juveniles through Prayas and police for nearly 20 years, my understanding of the child rights got honed and embellished through thousands of cases that we handled. Prayas JAC (est.1988), which had brought me to chair the DCPCR, had been evolving as one of the major organisations for children and youth-a community-police experiment, later a collaborative partnership of Delhi Police, Delhi School of Social Work (Delhi University) and ShramikVidyapeeth (Scheme of Ministry of HRD/Skill Development &Entrepreneurship, now Jan ShikshanSansthan or JSS), becoming one the largest national level NGOs directly dealing with the CNCP (Children in Need of Care & Protection), CCil (Children or Juvenile in Conflict with Law), Child Labour, Homeless destitute and Out-of-school children.

    This was the period (1986-2008) when major changes took place with regard to the Children in difficult circumstances, in disasters and crisis including different forms of Child abuses-physical, emotional, sexual, economic-besides majority of the CNCP children being in utter ‘neglect’ and the oppressive and exploitative conditions of the girl child. In 1986 onwards for a shortwhile, when the young and restless Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister, lot of less-noticed developments were taking place in the social sector. This was not only the period when the 93rd and 94th Constitutional amendments took place to establish the grassroots non-political democratic bodies- Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) were set up, but major policy documents and legislations were done for the children, youth and women. During the same period, through Prayas and other organizations in the voluntary sector and through my hardcore police assignments in Delhi and other parts of the country I had ample opportunities to participate in the evolutionary changes and implementation of the legislations concerning the CNCP and CCiL.

    It was an opportunity for us as a voluntary organisation to assist the formulation and implementation of the Children Act 1960-turned into Juvenile Justice Act 1986, later re-enacted as the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act 2000 by Maneka Gandhi as the Social Justice Minister who took me in the drafting committee.  Similarly, under the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act enacted in 1986 we got passionately involved in the implementation alongwith my Crime Branch-Delhi Police team and the newly created national level body-Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) led by the first DG (Director General) BV Kumar from Indian Revenue Service- supported by whom I had the occasion to lead the operations while also getting into prosecutions and rehabilitation programs of the affected children and youth.

    During this period, most of the Social Sector national level policies were being re-cast and the legislations being initiated or re-formulated. In the Planning Commission, led by the Member Sayeeda Hamid alongside the Voluntary Action Cell several committees and working groups were getting deeper into the issues relating the children in which we had ample opportunities to participate during deliberations, policies and legislative formulations. Uninterrupted by the changes in political leadership this process kept the pace and we participated in the National  ChildLabour Policy (1987)   followed by the so-called National Study on Child Abuse (2005-2007) and finally the National Policy for Children (2013). During this period, there was practically no policy or legal changes besides the major schemes and programs of the concerned Union Ministries of Social Justice, HRD, WCD, Labour& Employment and the national level bodies in which we didn’t have the opportunities to participate and contribute.

    The historic National Study on Child Abuse, albeit the largest chapter of the UN’s Global Study of Violence against Children was entrusted to Prayas (conducted by Prayas Institute of Juvenile Justice) and I had the privilege to act as the Team leader alongwith Ms. LoveleenKacker IAS Jt. Secretary Ministry of Women and Child Development. Conducted in 13 States/UTs with nearly 18000 respondents the most startling findings of the Study, among many other follow-up actions, resulted into the much-awaited legislation i.e., Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012.

    Prior to DCPCR, through intense and hardcore experience of Police as Deputy and Joint Commissioner of Police in the NCT Delhi districts and ranges, DIG in Mizoram, DGP in Goa & Arunachal, in the Ministry of Home Affairs and the CBI, conducting major projects on Drugs in Delhi with 5834 addicts and peddlers-mostly youth and children, on Study Leave ( supported by Action-Aid) working on the 140,000 homeless of Delhi, in other cities in India and the US-at least 25% being the CNCP Children, I had the official assignments to not only implement the basic laws, but to also help them evolve and get deeper into their socio-economic ramifications.

    Definition of ‘Child’in Various Legislations

    Article 1 of the Convention on the United Nations Convention of on Child Rights (UNCRC)1989, says “child means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.” Although, this most universally signed UN Instrument adopted on 20th November 1989 which was further adopted and ratified by India on 11th December 1992, accepts this definition of the Child, for reasons not so well explained, different ages are being assigned to childhood under different laws and for different purposes.

    In full endorsement of the UNCRC fulfilling India’s commitment towards this Instrument the ‘Child’, according to section 2(12) of The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000/2015-the basic law for the children in India, has been defined as a “person who has not completed eighteen years of age”. In the post-Nirbhaya amended (sections 15/19/21) of the JJ Act 2015 a rider has been added according to which, if a child above 16 years commits a ‘heinous offence’ and it is found in the ‘Preliminary assessment’ carried out by the JJB (Juvenile Justice Board) having mental and physical capacity besides ability to understand the consequences of offence and the circumstances in which he allegedly committed the offence, the child may be tried by a Children’s Court ( or Sessions Court) as an adult as per the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).

    Under section 21 of the JJ Act, however, such a ‘Child in Conflict with Law’ shall not be sentenced to death or life Imprisonment without the possibility of release under IPC (Indian Penal Code) or any other law in force. This change in law after marathon debates before the Verma Commission, Parliamentary Standing Committee, besides the historic Salil Bali and SubramaniumSwamyJudgments in the Supreme Court in which the author had the opportunity to repeatedly appear and argue as an Intervenor, required to be clarified since, under the Law- as wrongly believed, the age of child has not been reduced to 16 and it remains 18.

    Among other legal definitions of the child upto 18 years of age gets further sub-divided in other basic laws, like the Indian Penal Code (IPC) itself. (Section 82) “Nothing is an offence which is done by a child under seven years of age.” (Section 83) Nothing is an offence done by a child above seven years of age and under twelve, who has not attained sufficient maturity of understanding to judge the nature and consequences of his conduct on that occasion”.

    For obvious reasons, the legal definitions of a child become crucial when applied differently under the JJ Act and the IPC. The two categories of Children being dealt with under the JJ Act i.e. ‘Children in Need of Care and Protection’ (CNCP) and ‘Children in Conflict with Law’ (CCiL), are dealt with differently with the children below seven years and between seven to twelve being completely or partly outside the purview of culpability. Generally, a “child” means a person who has not attained the age of 18 years and is not mature enough to understand what is right and wrong. In the modern era, the penal laws of most countries have adopted the principle of ‘doli incapex’, which means of knowing that act they are committing is a crime.

    Recently, under the amended Child Labour Law a new dimension has been added by dividing the Childhood, carving the adolescent out of it giving the new definition in the light of the Children’s Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009. Section 2(ii) of The Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 (amended 2016)provides under Section 2 (2&1)“child means a person who has not completed his fourteenth year of age or such age as may be specified in the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009-which-ever is more” “Adolescent means a person who has completed fourteenth year of age but has not completed eighteenth year”. Until this definition of the ‘adolescent’ within the Child Labour Law, the adolescent was supposed to be upto 19 years within the programs of the Department/ Ministry of Youth Affairs. As mentioned earlier, under the various laws of India for different purposes, the child has been given varying definitions and ages, which need to be discussed.

    Section 2(c) of ‘The Plantations Labour Act, 1951’ reads, “Child means a person who has not completed his fifteenth year.” This Act had been formed for the welfare of persons who were engaged in plantation. Section 24 of the Act further categorized young children and states that “no child who has not completed his twelfth year shall be required or allowed to work in any plantation.” Section 25 prohibits the engagement of ‘child’ in the plantation work except between the hours of 6 A.M. and 7 P.M.

    Then we have the ‘The Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961’ that defines child as “a person who has not completed his fifteenth year.” Section 21 of the same Act prohibits the employment of a ‘child’ in motor transport undertaking. A regular driving license for four wheelers, however, can be obtained after 18 years of age under the Motor Vehicles Act.

    The Child Marriage ( Prohibition) Act, 2006 reads, “child means a person who, if a male, has not completed twenty-one years of age, and if a female, has not completed eighteen years of age.” Section 3 of the Act makes the child marriage ‘avoidable’ at the option of a person who was a child at the time of marriage.

    Section 2(d) of The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 states that, “child means any person below the age of eighteen years.” Given this definition of a child aligned with the JJ Act and Child Marriage (Prohibition) Act, Section 375 (D-Exceptions Sixthly) IPC which defines the heinous offence of rape makes the sexual intercourse an offence “with or without her consent, when she is under sixteen years of age”; further exception “Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.” Thus, in respect of a child irrespective of the age marital rape is permitted within the larger exception that runs contrary to the POCSO.

    So the question,‘Who is a Child?’ gets differently answered in India alongside the child rights being concomitant with the definition of childhood,which are often contradictory- at times posing legal issues which remain unresolved. As a practitioner-in my capacities as a senior police officer leading two State police forces, operating in the CBI(the apex federal investigating agency of India ‘Central Bureau of Investigation’), as the Chairman of Child Rights Commission and in myriad times working with Children while working with or without the law enforcement agencies, I have faced endless situations that had no fixed legal answers.

    Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act 2016, as above,Prohibits the engagement of children in all occupations and processes; prohibits the engagement of adolescents in ‘hazardousoccupations andprocesses’-earlier 68 and 18 of them within the Schedule of the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act 1986. Now since ‘adolescent’ means a person who has completed his fourteenth year of age but has not completed his eighteenth year despite clear acceptance of 18 years as the age of childhood through ratification and acceptance of UNCRC age, an attempt has been made under this amended law to create a division depriving the child above 14 years several rights, including the right to free and compulsory education.

    For the Right to Free and Compulsory Education ‘a “Child” means a person who is above six years of age and has not completed his fourteenth year of age or such age as may be specified in the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, whichever is more.’ This definition deprives not only the children above 14 years of age but also those who are less than 6 years of age.

    To compensate this gap within the law the children between 6 and 14 years are being covered under the programs of ECCE (Early Childhood Care & Education) primarily through Anganwadis in the rural areas. The National Education Policy (NEP 2020) in which we attempted to present our case for these age-wise deprived children and CNCP children, has made some provisions for the ECCE and the SEDGs (Socio-Economically Deprived Groups) whose numbers as out-of-school-children have been accepted as 32 million.

    Under Immoral Trafficking (Prohibition) Act 1956 is the Child under 16 years and Minor – under 18 years. The Child Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2006 defines a Male Child as being under 21 years and a Female Child as being under 18.

    We need to go back into the history, the Juvenile delinquency or the Juvenile Justice System (JJ System within the JJ Act 2000/2020) in India, which is now the omnibus enactment for the children of all types who require the protection of their rights within the law. It can be traced back to a differential legal process, which go back to the Reformatory School Act 1876, wherein the deviant youth or child could be reformed or brought to book. Like most of the modern justice systems in India, which originate from the Anglo- Saxon or western legal traditions, the JJ system is also a borrowed legal system-somewhat alien and still misunderstood.

    Under this system and age-old traditions in the western juvenile justice system as well, the Child stood in adversarial relationship with the legal authorities, mostly being treated as an offender or someone doing something wrong. The legally defined concept of a ‘neglected child’ or a ‘child in need of care and protection’ alongside a ‘delinquent’ or a ‘child in conflict with law’ was developed much later, both in the western/British and Indian laws relating to children.

    PRAYAS, POLICE & THE EVOLUTION OF JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM

    Prayas Juvenile Aid Centre which was set upby us in June 1988 after a devastating fire in Jahangirpuri in New Delhi left hundreds of Jhuggis (hutments) devastated and children orphaned while I was serving as the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crimes & Railways) in Delhi Police during 1985-90. I was taken to this slum cluster through a morning call by the super-active Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Retd. Air Marshal HL Kapoor, who could feel my heart at the sight of the fire-ravaged rag-pickers settlement and agreed to allot one LIG (Low Income Group) 25-yard flat which became the first Centre of Prayas.

    This was the period when as the DCP In-charge of the Missing Persons Squad (MPS) of the Delhi Police, we faced a peculiar problem of finding numerous missing and family-separated children without any place to keep, the government juvenile and children’s homes being unsuitable for their temporary custodial care. One night, surprisingly, on my night rounds I found a dozen kids packed in the Police Lock-up of the New Delhi Railway Station. It was an illegal custody since these children had committed no offence, and even if they had committed any offence the law (JJ Act) prohibited the children to be kept in a lock-up or hand-cuffed.

    About this time, in order to understand how best the police and the Social Welfare Department could deal with such children, I visited Bombay Police, which operated a unit called Juvenile Aid Police Unit (JAPU) and the Children’s Aid Society-run Umarkhari government Juvenile/children homes. The projects appeared to be useful and in accordance with the law, but we thought of going beyond these institutions and decided to create a registered Society in 1989 headed by the humane Police Commissioner Raja Vijay Karan, myself being the founder Secretary with some other interested and compassionate junior police officers and men as ‘Founding Members’ under the Societies Registration Act 1860.  In a way, Prayas was a by-product of our appropriately perceived legal duties to take the juvenile or the child in need into our protective care within a comprehensive view alongwith other stakeholders of the JJ System to help in fulfilling his/her basic needs and rights broadly covered within the UNCRC as rights of survival, protection, development and participation.

    Beginning with a small centre in the sprawling slum-resettlement of Jahangirpuri in 1988 as a Juvenile aid centre project of Delhi Police, soon joined by the prestigious Delhi School of Social Work (Delhi University) and ShramikVidyapeeth (Ministry of Social Justice), right from the beginning we had our concepts clear about the child rights and the evolving juvenile justice system within its enlarged meaning.  As weweredeeply concerned about the fate of thesechildren in crisis ravaged by the fire and joining thousands of other orphaned, street and workingchildren of the big city, we decided to protect them and take them within our wings.

    Since its very inception, in Prayas we believed that the ‘needs and of children are synonymous’ and there was no distinction between the two. Our vision of a child rights and child protection of a voluntary organisation to be run alongwith Delhi police and other stakeholders was very much strengthened and amplified by the UNCRC and the recently enacted Juvenile Justice Act 1986- in both of which we had ample opportunity to participate as practitioners and in policy formulations.

    It is this basic premise that set the agenda for Prayas way back in 1988/89 now functioning in various roles of service providers, educators, researchers, as a Resource Centre and the apex body of the Organization through the Prayas Institute of Juvenile Justice (PIJJ) at Tughlakabad Institutional Area in Delhi. It is this think tank that sets the rules and policies for its various branches spread across 10 States/UTs in India, which includes, NCT Delhi, Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Kashmir and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

    We, at Prayas, have always felt that the term Juvenile Justice is a misnomer because it is meant more to punish the Juvenile,which until recently included all types of children, than to protect him. In fact, the very expression ‘juvenile’ which means a child offender is alien to this country or to the Indian languages which still translates this word as a young boy and girl, in Hindi and other Indian languages.We would rather be more comfortable with words like ‘Kishor’ or ‘Kishori’, ‘Balak’ or ‘Balika’ that carry an inherent sense of innocence of the child,much like Wordsworth would have liked.Perhaps, it is in fitness of this Indian tradition that the highly progressive law in India, ‘the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2000’ covers two categories of children i.e. ‘children in need of care & protection’ and ‘juveniles (now called Children) in conflict with law’.

    For some unexplained inherent guilt complex even the more liberal and educated among us tend to react more to news of a single child offender than those where he is subjected to abuse by employers, dhaba (an eatery) owners and even parents. It is a given fact that today children are being trafficked more by their parents than agents.

    Maybe the Western definition of juvenile is a result of the white man’s burden that is born with a guilt complex because his ancestor Adam committed the original sin by biting into an Apple.Or it could be a reflection of the Great Depression of the nineteenth century when Charles Darwin proved that he had descended from the monkeys.But why should Indians be afflicted by that legacy when we have been celebrating the childhood of our mythological heroes Lord Krishna and Ram through such beautiful poetry written on them.We still tend to debate one act of aberration of a child in the country endlessly in our drawing rooms and market places as if our own child would do the same given a chance.

    This is not only endangering our value system but painting all children (40 per cent in all) as criminals even though all data available shows that while constituting nearly 40% of the population the children involved in criminal offences are hardly 2 per cent of the total crimes committed in the country. About 40 to 45000 juvenile offenders annually on NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) do not pose such a threat to over 1.3 billion population in India, as the juvenile offenders of USA to their country, who commit 400 times more crimes in the country which 1/4th of India’s population.

    This has resulted in even the literate and highly educated amongst them equating the JJ system with the Criminal Justice System (CJS) to deal with juvenile delinquents who are viewed as a threat for the society. It is being completely forgotten that between the child and the law there can be multiple relationships.

    For a civilized society and considering the provisions of India’s constitution, child-friendly laws, policies and traditions and also our international commitments towards the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the first requirement of the law should be to protect and reform the child and not to punish.A child, in any case, interfaces with the law more as a victim of crime, of abuse and exploitation, than under adversarial circumstances or as an offender. A child victim has to be given a special treatment like the one already provided under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2009 which also constitutes the Children’s Courts.

    We have found that such attitudinal changes and appreciation about the actual treatment of child under the laws comes slowly. My own legal exercise of setting up country’s first-ever Children’s Courts in the judicial districts of NCT Delhi through Delhi High Court in my capacity as the Chairman of DCPCR was an experience by itself. Today, the Children’s Court which was for the first time introduced within the CPCR Act is being brought into several enactments concerning the victims of crimes and also those in needs and juveniles or children in conflict with law.

    Under the JJ Act, 2000, all categories of ‘Children in Need of Care & Protection’ should be looked after by broadly fulfilling their basic needs and rights for survival, protection, development and participation. Such children, who are estimated to be 30-35 million in the country, could be found without home, family and settled life, street and working children, endangered for variety of reasons, mentally or physically challenged, abused, trafficked, in drugs, crimes and conflict situations etc.Most appropriately, the Indian law-makers appreciated such needs and made the provisions, primarily under the JJ system.

    Perhaps, the civil society of India, even today, is not averse to giving all support, love and affection, even legal protection to the children in need, as mentioned above. However, the current crisis of faith in the law originates from the treatment being given to the juvenile delinquent or the ‘juvenile in conflict with law [sec. 2(l) of JJ Act, 2000]’, which describes such a child ‘who is alleged to have committed an offence and has not completed 18 year of age as on the date of commission of such an offence’.

    There was an intense debate on this issue in the aftermath of the December-16, 2012 Delhi gang-rape case when the entire media, started describingthe juvenile – one of the six accused in the crime as the most ‘brutal’ amongst them and there were mobs roaming the streets who would have literally lynched anyone who said anything to the contrary. This hate movement led to a nationwide demand for reducing the age of juveniles from 18 to 16. The sagacity of the Justice J. S. Verma Commissionthat brought about major changes to the laws for sexual offences through the Criminal Law Amendment Act 2013 must be lauded as it did not favour lowering of the age of juveniles even during the most surcharged post-Nirbhaya atmosphere.

    In this background, it is required that the common man understands the legal processes which are prevalent today, broadly described as the Juvenile Justice System as provided under the changing provisions of the JJ Act. As mentioned, the JJ System/Act had evolved for nearly 150 years in India to culminate into the national level Children’s Act 1960, which was subjected to major changes under the Juvenile Justice Act 1986 and finally re-enacted to become the JJ (Care & Protection of Children) Act 2000 with substantial amendments in 2006/15/20. This comprehensive Act creates a complete system of law and justice, which practically substitutes the Criminal Justice System and the apparatus to cater to different categories of children and to serve their best interest.

    There are basically two types of Competent Authorities, namely Juvenile Justice Board and Child Welfare Committee, under the JJ Act meant for the two types of Children, namely, Juvenile or Child in Conflict with Law (CCiL) and Child in Need of Care and Protection (CNCP) dealt with under this separate system of law and justice. The Juvenile Justice Board, equal to a Criminal Courts and served by a Judge or Principal Magistrate and two social workers, undertakes the Inquiry and proceedings to pass one of the seven orders, called ‘dispositions’ – the last one (Sec. 15(g) & 16 of JJ Act) providing for detention of three years to juvenile, which may go upto 21 years of age.

    The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) or a bench of 6 professionals and social workers having magisterial powers that enables them to summon persons and documents and conduct wide-ranging inquiries almost on any issues concerning the CNCPs; and pass appropriate orders and give directions for their care, protection, welfare, development, rehabilitation and social re-integration. The CWC (and JJBs) are fully responsible and empowered to look after, facilitate and give orders about the CNCP (&CCiL) within the Institutional Care i.e. maintained under the Child Care Institutions (CCIs).Alongwith other stakeholders, beyond the Institutional care the CWCs and JJBs have very important roles to play in the process of social reintegration provided through the non-institutional care systems under the JJ Act and Rules for Adoptions, Foster Care, Sponsorships and After care programs. The law provides for other sub-systems and stakeholders like, Special Juvenile Police Unit (SJPU), Juvenile/Child Welfare Police Officer, District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), ChildHelpline (1098), Juvenile’s & Children’s Homes&Shelters and Places of Safety etc.

    In recent memory no other individual received so much media hype as the juvenile involved in the Nirbhaya case (the name also givenby a media channel to the paramedic who was gang raped and killed) which later was accepted by the government and a fund instituted in her name. Among other major impact created by this case including some basic changes in the law regarding the sexual crimes against women and giving the much-awaited legal definition and penal provisions for ‘Human Trafficking’, there was an upheaval in the juvenile justice law on account of the involvement of a juvenile in this crime.

    From our personal knowledge of this case, since the juvenile offender was being proceeded against by the JJB within the premises of the Prayas-run Observation Home for Boys at FerozshahKotla, we are aware that the minor involved in the case came from a very impoverished background and his nature of involvement in the crime was not such as portrayed by the media. As a child, he had to leave his home at the age of 10 and he kept drifting as a street and working child struggling and earning for survival until the fateful evening when the real ‘brutal’ gang-leader Ram Singh, the driver of the bus who owed him Rs.8000, involved him in the ghastly crime which converted him into one of country’s most hated villains.

    Even though the law reducing the age was changed later on, he managed to escape a jail term after completing his three year term in a reform home because law cannot be applied with retrospective effect. On the day he was going to be released almost the entire all-knowing media was baying for his blood and some loud mouth channel editors even asking the President of India not to let him go free!The media also joined the common men on the street in making fun of the legal provision of giving him a token sum of money by the government for him to settle down to peaceful existence.

    In a major drift in his case we would also like to point out that the anger against the offender was given a communal angle when a national newspaper carried a report that the much reformed boy and was reading the Namaz five times a day in the reform home. And yet neither the Editor of the paper, nor the Courts nor the Juvenile Justice Board took any action against the newspaper, which had violated all norms of reporting by disclosing the religion of the minor.The police had a tough time escorting him out of jail to a safe place. Prayas which has always taken a stand to protect the rights of children intervened in the matter with myself personally intervening in the Salil Bali vs Government of India (and Subramanium Swami vs. Government of India) case(s) in the Supreme Court and the highest court of the land ruled that there was no need to reduce the age of children.

    Some relevant part of the judgement says, and we quote:

    “There is little doubt that the incident, which occurred on the night of 16th December, 2012, was not only gruesome, but almost maniacal in its content, wherein one juvenile, whose role is yet to be established, was involved, but such an incident, in comparison to the vast number of crimes occurring in India, makes it an aberration rather than the Rule. If what has come out from the reports of the Crimes Record Bureau is true, then the number of crimes committed by juveniles comes to about 2% of the country’s crime rate.

    The learned ASG (Sr. Adv. SiddharthLuthra) along with Mr. Asthana (Haq) and Mr. Kanth (Prayas) took us through the history of the enactment of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, and the Rules subsequently framed thereunder in 2007. There is a definite thought process, which went into the enactment of the aforesaid Act. In order to appreciate the submissions made on behalf of the respective parties in regard to the enactment of the aforesaid Act and the Rules, it may be appropriate to explore the background of the laws relating to child protection in India and in the rest of the world.

    It cannot be questioned that children are amongst the most vulnerable sections in any(Page45) society. They represent almost one-third of the world’s population, and unless they are provided with proper opportunities, the opportunity of making them grow into responsible citizens of tomorrow will slip out of the hands of the present generation. International community has been alive to the problem for a long time. As the aftermath of the First World War, the League of Nations issued the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1924. Following the gross abuse and violence of human rights during the Second World War, which caused the death of millions of people, including children, the United Nations had been formed in 1945 and on 10th December, 1948 adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

    Prayas has been quoting the NCRB data that reveals that the Indian children are among the least criminal and aggressive when compared to their counterparts globally. The much talked-about American children committed 129456 crimes in 2011 as against 33887 crimes committed by the Indian children, which is less than 2% of the overall crimes while the children account for 42% of India’s extremely deprived and poor population afflicted by endless conflicts and crises.

    A serving Hon’ble Chief Justice of India was reported had also said that ‘public sentiments akin to “baying for blood” of the Juvenile accused in the Delhi Gang-rape case before the conclusion of trial was unfortunate’. Describing the incident as ‘ghastly’, the Chief Justice found the knee-jerk public reaction as wrong. Subsequently, giving its verdict with comprehensive reasons on the seven writ petitions challenging the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2000 and demanding the removal of protection to the children (upto 18 years) under the law, the apex Court refused to interfere with the Statute.

    Under the Indian law, a juvenile or a child is the weakest and most vulnerable section of society as does not have the rights like, voting, driving, marrying, employment & owning property or taking legal action (etc.) which obviously creates a major infirmity in a legal forum. In this case, under the JJ Act, he should be defined as a ‘child in need of care & protection’ who had turned a ‘juvenile in conflict with law’.

    The next year there was another case called Dr. Subramanian Swamy and Others. VsRaju, and A(28th March 2014) where after the intervention of Prayas the Supreme Court again ruled against lowering the age of juveniles.

    However, in 2015, the amended JuvenileJustice (Care and Protection of Children) Act of 2015 came into force allowing for lower culpable age of a juvenile and such accused can now be tried as adults for heinous crimes. The act – lowering culpable age from 18 years to 16 years – was passed in the winter session by the RajyaSabha and received presidential assent on 31 December 2015. It repealed the Juvenile Justice Act 2000 despite our serious oppositions and the reasoned appreciation by the Justice Verma Committee and the Parliamentary Standing Committee and the two historic judgements of the Supreme Court in which our contentions were fully accepted.

    • Under Section 15 of the new law, special provisions have been made to tackle child offenders in the age group of 16-18 years who commit heinous crimes.
    • ​The Juvenile Justice Board is given the option to transfer cases of heinous offences by such children to a children’s court (court of sessions) after conducting ‘preliminary assessment’.
    • ​The act provides for placing such offender children in a ‘place of safety’ both during and after the trial till they attain the age of 21, after which his/her evaluation shall be conducted by the children’s court.
    • ​After the evaluation, the child is either released on probation and if not reformed, he/she will be sent to a jail for the remaining term.
    • ​Some other key provisions include new definitions such as orphaned, abandoned and surrendered children; petty, serious and heinous offences committed by children; clarity in powers, function and responsibilities of the Juvenile Justice Board and Child Welfare Committee.
    • For streamlined and more effective adoption procedures for orphaned, abandoned and surrendered children, the existing Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) has been given statutory body status.
    • Several rehabilitation and social reintegration measures have been provided for children in conflict with law.

    Role of Prayas in the re-enactment of Juvenile Justice Act 2015

    Prayas was invited by the Parliament Standing Committee on Human Resource Development (RajyaSabha Secretariat) which was examining the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill 2014 to hear its views on the Bill on 2nd January, 2015 in the Committee Room “A”, Ground Floor, Parliament House Annexe, New Delhi. Prayas represented by us, we spoke out strongly in favour of retaining the age to 18 and almost all the MPs from different political parties agreed that we had made point convincingly.

    Armed with documents and figures he expressed strong reservations on the proposal to reduce the age of Juveniles from 18 to 16 years before the Standing Committee Members, chaired by Dr. SatyanarainJatiya. Prayas strongly put forwards its case that some of the proposals of the Bill were entirely based on misdirected and ill-informed public opinion about Juveniles Crimes in the country. We also apprised the committee of the contribution of Prayas in drafting of the Juvenile Justice Act 2000/2006.He also told the Hon’ble members that the Child Rights and Juvenile Justice Practitioners and Stakeholders were unanimously against any major changes in law, particularly in respect of reducing the age of juveniles in India.

    However ignoring the unanimous recommendations of the Standing Committee the Union cabinet passed a Bill to reduce the age of juveniles giving a specious argument that there was an impression that there was a popular opinion that the public wanted the age of juveniles to be reduced from 18 to 16.The fact remains that Juvenile crimes cannot be stopped only through the law. It is vital to inform the public that all Juveniles involved in crimes are not criminals, in fact, most are victims of society.

    Parents and teachers play a significant role in nurturing the mind of a child. Instead of labeling them as “criminals‟ or “délinquants‟- steps need to be taken to give them a scope of rectification and it would be better if the errors in their lives (involving social and psychological) are brought to their notices. The problem of child crime like many other social evils is linkedwith the imperfections and maladjustment of our society. The idea is gradually gaining wider acceptance that juvenile delinquent needs the sympathy and understanding of our society and not the heavy hand of the law.

    Yet another major contribution of Prayas in law making was its study on Child Abuse in 2007 on behalf of UNICEF.

    National Study on Child Abuse

    The National Study on Child Abuse was taken up in 2007 primarily to assess the situation of child abuse, in the light of the National Charter for Children and the National and State Commission(s) on the Rights of Child, which was then going to be enacted by the Parliament. The study was undertaken by Prayas Institute of Juvenile Justice, in collaboration with the Department of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Women & Child Development and supported by UNICEF & Save the Children Fund (UK)

    The Study was conducted in 13 states of India in the respective zones arranged in descending order of literacy and one State was selected from the upper quartile and one from the lower quartile from each zone. Literacy was taken as an indicator, as it was expected that higher the level of literacy, lesser would be the chances of child abuse.

    The study was formally launched on 1st September 2005. A series of meetings took place to finalize the information schedule for the three categories of respondents, in which experts from various disciplines were made to participate. The children and the young adults’ schedule was pre tested on a small sample in Delhi, which was conducted in October 2005. The items in the schedule were modified after the pilot survey. A two-day Training of Trainers Programme was conducted to familiarize the project staff with the concept of child abuse, the methodology of the study and the field instruments, on 28-29 October, 2005. The Project Director of the National Study participated in the South Asia Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, organized by the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect on Nov 16-18,2005 at Singapore.

    The Conference provided an opportunity to interact with experts from the region working on different aspects of child abuse and neglect. Before the data collection begins, Zonal level Training of Investigators workshops will be conducted in each zone between December 2005 and January 2006, under the supervision of the Zonal Advisors, identified from each of the six identified zones. The survey took place between January and April 2006. Data entry, tabulation and analysis were done between May and July, 2006. Thereafter the findings of the study were shared and discussed with experts in a one-day workshop held in the month of August. The final report was prepared thereafter.

    Major Findings of the Study:

    It clearly emerged that across different kinds of abuse, it is young children, in the 5-12-year group, who are most at risk of abuse and exploitation.

    Physical Abuse

     Two out of every three children were physically abused.

    1. Out of 69% children physically abused in 13 sample states, 54.68% were boys.
    2. Over 50% children in all the 13 sample states were being subjected to one or the other form of physical abuse.
    3. Out of those children physically abused in family situations, 88.6% were physically abused by parents.
    4. 65% of school going children reported facing corporal punishment i.e. two out of three children were victims of corporal punishment.
    5. 62% of the corporal punishment was in government and municipal schools.
    6. The State of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Delhi have almost consistently reported higher rates of abuse in all forms as compared to other states.
    7. Most children did not report the matter to anyone.
    8. 2% children worked seven days a week.

    Sexual Abuse

    1. 22% children reported having faced one or more forms of sexual abuse.
    2. Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Delhi reported the highest percentage of sexual abuse among both boys and girls.
    3. 90% child respondents reported facing severe forms of sexual abuse and 50.76% other forms of sexual abuse.
    4. Out of the child respondents, 69% reported being sexually assaulted.
    5. Children in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi reported the highest incidence of sexual assault.
    6. Children on street, children at work and children in institutional care reported the highest incidence of sexual assault.
    7. 50% abuses are persons known to the child or in a position of trust and responsibility.
    8. Most children did not report the matter to anyone.

    Emotional Abuse and Girl Child Neglect 

    1. Every second child reported facing emotional abuse.
    2. Equal percentage of both girls and boys reported facing emotional abuse.
    3. In 83% of the cases parents were the abusers.
    4. 4% of girls wished they were boys.

    The study stated that the gravity of the situation demanded that the issue of child abuse be placed on the national agenda. The Ministry on its part had taken measures such as the enabling legislation to establish the National and State Commissions for Protection of Rights of the Child, the Integrated Child Protection Scheme, the draft Offences against Children Bill etc. These were a few important steps to ensure protection of children of the country. But clearly, this would not be enough, the government, civil society and communities need to complement each other and work towards creating a protective environment for children. The momentum gained was needed to enhance further discussion on the issue amongst all stakeholders and be translated into a movement to ensure protection of children of this country.

    It was this study that directly led to the enactment of “Protection of Children against Sexual Offences Act” (POCSO) 2012. The cascading effect of this Study and enactment was such that when we presented our views before Justice Verma Commission most of the provisions safeguarding the women against sexual violence crimes were actually taken from the POCSO. The POCSO 2012 and the post-Nirbhaya Criminal Law Amendment Act 2013 changed the complete profile of the legal treatment of the sexual crimes in India. If the law-makers had also accepted the suggestions made by us to keep even the sexual crimes against the adults gender-neutral-the way it was under the POCSO, part of the aberration regarding the later reading down of the Section 377 IPC on the ‘unnatural sex’ could be taken care of.

    Childline-Prayas Project

    Following marathon discussions within the Ministry of Social Justice (Ministry of Women and Child Development was yet to be created), NHRC and other national level bodies, the first Childline (1098)was started as a collaborative Project on 2nd October 1998, and it was inaugurated at Prayas Children’s Home by the then Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Ms. Maneka Gandhi, the preparatory activities having started long back. Among series of meetingsheldby the Ministry, the crucial one was conducted by the Joint Secretary Mr. Anand Bordia to orient the Delhi NGO’s about the Childline (1098) Project. We organized and led the meetings of theChildren’s NGOs and finally the five organizations, Prayas, Don BoscoAshalayam, Delhi Brotherhood Society, Salaam Baalak Trust and Butterflies, were selected to run this powerful project in Delhi. In times to come, like the CWCs, the Childlines which find mention in the JJ Act 2000-now being run in almost districts of the country, became the gateway for majority of programs to protect the CNCPs.

    Like Delhi, PrayasChildlinewas set up the then Minister for Social Justice Ms. Meira Kumar in my presence in Andaman & Nicobar Islands with a missionary zeal on Jan 5, 2005 when it was practically wiped out by the Tsunami. It focused on two major areas, to start with, Car Nicobar and Campbell Bay. The Andaman & Nicobar Island are a territory of India located in the India Ocean along the south eastern portion of the Bay of Bengal, near the epicenter of the original 9.0 earthquake. The earthquake and resulting Tsunami in the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004 had a devastating effect on India. It was estimated that round 3, 80,000 Indians had been displaced by the disaster-children and women suffering the most, and the reconstruction was expected to cost more than 1.2 billion dollars.

    The areas hardest hit by the Tsunami were the southeastern coast and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.In Andaman’s, PrayasChildline is working as an urban model and entrusted with the responsibility of running both the Collaborative and Support Organization in the Childline Structure. The collaborative organization covered the district of South Andaman having the municipal area of Port Blair and 2 Tehsils namely Ferarganj and South Andaman and 66 Gram Panchayat Areas. We went around the badly hit islands and brought to Port Blair a large of children who were orphaned during the Tsunami and created massive camp for them where I worked alongwith the government departments and social workers, including a senior journalist, an officer of the Air India and a Prayas co-worker who had accompanied me to the Andmans soon after the Tsunami.

    The crucial role of the Childlines was appreciated by all concerned in the care, protection and rehabilitation of the disaster-affected children. In subsequent years, Prayas was entrusted four other Childlines in the far-flung districts of Bihar and at the Delhi Railway Station.  Childlines aim at reaching out to the most marginalized children between the age group of 0-18 years, and provide interventions of shelter, medical, repatriations, rescue, death related, abandoned children, runaway children, Children in need of urgent medical assistance sponsorships and emotional support and guidance the list goes on.

    The objective of the Childline is to reach out to every child in need of care & protection by responding to emergencies on 1098 and to ensure access of technology to the most marginalized in urban as well as rural areas & connectivity of 1098 through government telephone exchanges as well as private exchanges. The project also works together with the allied system to create child friendly systems. The project not only provides a platform of networking amongst organizations but also provide linkages to support systems, which facilitate the rehabilitation of children in need of care & protection. Over the years, the Childlines have become the nodal points for a large number of children’s programs within the JJ Act and other laws like, POCSO and the Child & Adolescent (Prohibition & Regulation) Act 1986/2016- in which majority of child labour rescue operations are now being carried out by the stakeholders, particularly the District Level Task Forces led by the SDM (Sub-Divisional Magistrate) and joined by the Police, Labour department, CWC, NOs and others.

    In the context of sexual abuse and crimes against children (and women-which followed legislation on the same lines), yet another major milestone for Delhi Police, Delhi Commission for Women, the Central Social Welfare Board (an autonomous body of the Ministry of Social Justice) and Prayas was the setting up of the first Rape Crisis Intervention Centre (CIC) in India in 2000. Ms.Maneka Gandhi, then minister for Social Welfare launched this Centre in South Delhi while I was the Joint Commissioner of Police. The CICs was soon replicated in the nine districts of Delhi, and it has been functioning ever-since as a joint program to provide medical, legal and psychological support to minor victims of sexual assaults.

    It was the first time when it became mandatory for police to have counselors from the NGOs whenever a victim of sexual assault came to lodge a complaint. Developed as a national program under the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) and funded under the ‘Nirbhaya Fund’, today similar are functioning in more than 300 districts as ‘One Stop Centres’to provide relief and support to the victims of sexual assault.Besides providing relief to thousands of sexual assault victims studies conducted by the Prayas Institute of Juvenile Justice on the basis of case studies collected by Prayas has helped the Ministry of Women and Child Development formulate its policies on issues of women and this was acknowledged by the Minister in 2017 when she released a study prepared by Prayas in New Delhi. Starting from the POCSO to deal with all forms sexual abuse and crimes against children being extended to the woman including the girl child within the evolving laws relating to sexual crimes, there is a sea-change in laws and processes.

    Laws are continuously evolving and being formulated and amended by law-makers, legal luminaries, practitioners, policy makers and the activists through persistent demands and felt needs , agitations, debates and discussions; but, it is being increasingly felt that the implementation of social legislation is the biggest challenge. In the realm of children and women, perhaps, we have witnessed and participated more legislations than any other domain of social sector. Under the law, the child and her/his rights appear to be well-protected, but the ground situation far from satisfactory. There is absolutely no death of legislative framework or willingness to provide protective cover to the estimated 35 million CNCP/CCil children, 20 million orphans or children without parental or family support and the 32 million out-of-school SEDGs, what is lacking on the ground are the implementation of laws, appropriate schemes/programs with funds, and, most importantly, the stakeholders’ and civil society participation.

    Amod K Kanth

    General Secretary, Prayas JAC Society, Jt. Coordinator, NITI Aayog-CSO Standing Committee, Former DGP & Chairperson-DCPCR & DWSSC

    Email: kanth_amod@rediffmail.com

    Child Trafficking Child Trafficking
    Child Trafficking Prayas has undertaken an initiative to work in the field of trafficking of women and children. For this purpose, it has established linkages with active organizations working in this area and the Government of India. Special attention is on the girl child, street and working children, child labor and domestic child labor (including forced child labor). In this regard, Prayas has developed links with Anti-Trafficking Network, Delhi, ATSEC and South Asia Forum against Human Trafficking (SAFAHT), etc and organized a number of national and regional level consultations sponsored by Governmental agencies, UNIFEM and the UNDP. Prayas also lobbies with key leaders and policymakers about the need to tackle this problem on a war footing. A major outcome of these events was a heightened interest and response from the government in tackling this issue. Equally important was the generation of heightened awareness about this issue among the marginalized communities particularly those prone to be affected by trafficking.   Human trafficking is one of the gravest violations of human dignity and human rights. Trafficking can be classified under three heads: (a) for commercial sexual exploitation (b) for exploitative labour and (c) for other forms of exploitation, like organ sale, camel jockeying, etc. Prayas is running a Global trafficking-in person project funded by U.S. Department of States. Working  with organizations (Anti Trafficking Network, ATSEC, SAFAHT established linkages provides Livelihood options for the survivors of trafficking based on core business principles & entrepreneurship ‘Sanchay’ Prayas outlets with Prayas and Amul products. Beneficiary training in marketing, financial management & communication skills. Credit facility for Entrepreneurship.   The Survivors’ Plan of Action to Combat Human Trafficking:
    • Traffickers, Procurers, Financers & Abusers be prosecuted & given severe punishment.
    • Identified locations & chor- rastas used by smugglers and traffickers to be intercepted, monitored & plugged.
    • Awareness Campaign in source villages about the dangers of trafficking to alert children/parents.
    • Raids/Action on transit & destination points e.g. Model Project evolving jointly amongst Indian Railway, Delhi Commission, NGOs & Police.
    • Plan of Action drawn up through Delhi High Court Order, stakeholders’ roles defined with Senior police officers to be present during the raids.
    • Best Interest of the survivors paramount in planning Rescue – Rehabilitation. Self-confidence and self-esteem of the trafficked persons to be safeguarded
    • Training provided for economic rehabilitation should be productive to enable them independent and dignified life
    Prayas has been addressing the issue of Trafficking and Commercial Sexual exploitation of Children and Women through its various projects and the Anti Trafficking Unit in the rescue and rehabilitation of the children. The Crisis Intervention Centre established on 9 January 2000 is one such program that primarily caters to cases of rape of minor girls in the South District of Delhi. Such cases frequently need psychological support, shelter and rehabilitation. This pilot project is being run in collaboration with the Delhi Commission for Women, the Government of Delhi, the Central Social Welfare Board and the Delhi Police. Starting from the criminal investigations of the act to the rehabilitation and counselling of the victim, CIC’s work has been a source of in-depth learning for the sponsors of the programs. Besides helping the cases registered under rape, CIC also assists in dealing with the cases of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation referred to it by the Delhi Police. The CIC package of service includes counselling, coping with trauma, medicare and rehabilitation Prayas’ Suggestions and Views on The Amendment in Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act, 1956  
    Child Labour Child Labour
    Child Labour Prayas has been constantly engaging with the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE), statutory bodies like NCPCR (National Commission for Protection of Child Rights) and NHRC (National Human Rights Commission) for advocating and formulation of legislation, policies, SOPs, Rules, Manuals and Action Plans, towards the elimination of child labour. These include amendment to the Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 and its Rules, SOP for Combating Trafficking of Persons in India, SOP for Effective Implementation of Child Labour Act, Amendments in Central Sector Scheme for Rehabilitation of Bonded Labourer, National Child Labour Project etc. As a member of the Central Advisory Board, Prayas constantly assists MoLE in framing better policies. As a major partner in the Indus Child Labour Project, Prayas implemented a model for the rehabilitation of child labour through Transitional Educational Centres, Vocational/Skill Centres for victims of child labourers and Income Generation Program for families of child labourers.   A study conducted by Prayas in Jaipur, Rajasthan revealed that during 2014 – 2016, 1,582 children were rescued from child labour, and out of these, 1,200 (75%) were traced back to Bihar. Since 2014, Prayas has been constantly involved in rescuing and restoration of children trafficked from Bihar into Rajasthan, particularly Jaipur, repatriating over 2500 children back to their home state. It is estimated that there are 50000 child labourers in Jaipur alone. Prayas’ constant engagement with the States of Bihar and Rajasthan has ensured the development of an Inter-State working Arrangement between the two States, from the point of mapping and identification and rescue to rehabilitation, including follow up in courts and for compensation. Prayas has also drafted an Inter-State SOP with NCPCR to identify functions of various departments of the concerned States, especially in cases of child labour and child trafficking. It has the following important components:   Prayas filed a petition in NHRC regarding the non- practicability of the new Bonded Labour Rehabilitation Scheme i.e., The Central Sector Scheme for Rehabilitation of Bonded Labour 2016. It was submitted in the petition that due to linkage of the release of rehabilitation package with the conviction of the accused persons being tried under the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, it becomes extremely difficult and also time-consuming for the released bonded labour to get the monetary benefits under the Central Sector Scheme ( compensation of 1,2,3 lakhs respectively). The resultant delay in non-payment of rehabilitation package leads to re-victimization of the victims and they have no option but to fall back to bondage. NHRC has accepted the issues raised in the complaint and opined that there is a need to immediately revise the Central Sector Scheme for Rehabilitation of Bonded Labour, 2016.   The Special Training Centres (STCs), envisaged by the Labour Resources Department and Prayas, are aimed at socially rehabilitating and reintegrating survivors of child/adolescent labour. The children in these Residential Centres have access to non-formal education, soft skills, life skills, vocational training, etc. The program focuses on the holistic development of children through innovative pedagogy and planned extracurricular engagements.  Prayas is currently running 3 such STCs in Bihar (Gaya, Patna, Jamui)   After its inception, the organization realized that a large number of children in Delhi were engaged in the hazardous occupation of rag-picking to eke a living for themselves and their families. To wean these children from rag picking, Prayas started need-based programs comprising of alternative education, nutrition, health, counselling, recreation and shelter. To strengthen the services further it started a vocational skill training program to provide earning opportunities to the marginalized children and youth. The Child Protection programs of Prayas are based on the belief that the needs and rights of children are synonymous. Prayas has adopted a unique yet significant strategy for combating the problem of Child Labour by linking it with Education and Juvenile Justice and wishes to create replicable models to address this problem.   Though Prayas conforms to the total elimination of Child Labour yet it believes that this aim can be achieved only in a phased manner. It claims that legislation alone cannot be effective but would have to be supplemented by providing proper educational and occupational alternatives to working children. The target children generally constitute school children (child labour or potential child labour), street and working children and children especially girls who are engaged in household chores or work outside their homes and are left with a fair amount of free time left to attend school. The holistic development programs with an integrated approach are suited to address the child labour needs of care, protection, development and participation, thereby enabling them to overcome their own limitations and come out of the difficult situation to develop their full potential. The salient features of the program are:  
    • Alternative Education, Formal Schooling and National Open School (NOS) provide multiple opportunities suited to every child’s individual needs of education. This is strengthened by the Sponsorship program for children.
    • Vocational Training opportunities.
    • Placement/ Self Employment.
    • Community mobilization through setting up of local institutions for withdrawing children from work and sending them to school.
    • Prayas is one of the major partners in the Indus Child Project being implemented in Delhi. This is a technical collaboration program of ILO, US Labour Department and Department of Labour Govt. of India.
    • Based on its experience it has been assigned the responsibility of implementing a replicable model for the rehabilitation of child labour in Jahangirpuri and North-East Delhi. The components of the program comprise:
    • Transitional Education Centers (TECs) for 650 child labour in the age group of 9-13 years
     
    Child Abuse Child Abuse

    National Child Abuse Study: Priority of Child Protection lost amidst Promises of Inclusive Growth’

    Mr. Amod K. Kanth

    Why: The National Study on Child Abuse has been taken up primarily to assess the situation of child abuse, in the light of the National Charter for Children and the National and State Commission(s) on the Rights of Child, likely to be enacted by the Parliament soon. So far no authentic data or report on child abuse is available to formulate a national level legislation and a national policy.

    Prayas: This study, being undertaken by Prayas Institute of Juvenile Justice, in collaboration with the Department of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India (Now Ministry of Women & Child Development) with supported by UNICEF & Save the Children Fund (UK). Contents

    • Introduction
    • International Perspective
    • National Perspective
    • Prayas’ Intervention on Juvenile Justice
    • Need for a Study on Child Abuse
    • Objectives of the Study
    • Coverage of the Study
    • Expected Outcome of the Study
    • Process Involved in Developing the Protocol
    • Present Status of the Study and Future Course of Action

    Introduction: Forms and dynamics of child abuse have undergone major changes in recent decades, adding multifaceted dimensions, complexities and challenges. The problem of child abuse and the web of its human rights violation embrace some of the most critical aspects of the worst forms of child exploitation and abuse on the international human rights agenda.The UN Convention on the Rights of Child, 1989 is the most important instrument in the history of child rights at the international level. The Convention has been ratified by most of the developed as well as developing countries, including India, which ratified the Convention in 1992. The four major Articles pertaining to child abuse and neglect in the Convention are: Article 3: Protect the best interests of children; Article 19: Protect children from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, mal-treatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse while in the care of parents, legal guardians or any other person in whose care they are ; Article 34: Undertake to protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse; Article 35: Take all appropriate national, bilateral and multi-lateral measures to prevent the abduction of, sale of or traffic in children for any purpose or in any form.

    Introduction: International Perspective: The World Health Organisation estimates that 40 million children below the age of 15 suffer from abuse and neglect, and require health and social care.

    • A survey in Egypt showed 37 % of children reporting being beaten by their parents, and 26 % reporting injuries.
    • 36 % of Indian mothers told interviewers in a survey that they had hit their children with an object within the last six months.
    • A 1995 survey in the US showed that 5 % of parents admitted disciplining their children through hitting the child with an object, kicking the child, beating the child, and threatening the child with a knife or gun.
    • Recent South African Police statistics show 21,000 cases of child rape or assault reported against children as young as nine months old. The UN Secretary General’s Study on Violence Against Children is an outcome of the gross violation of children’s rights. It is a joint initiative, directly supported by the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, UNICEF and WHO. The study is likely to provide an in-depth global picture of violence against children. National Perspective
    • The situation of children in India is deplorable. Almost 100 million children in India are out of school, despite the proactive stand by the government and the successful implementation of the Education for All programme. Nearly 35 million children are homeless, according to an estimate, although there are homes for just about 36,000 children.
    • Studies across India show child abuse to be prevalent in a rampant form. More than four lakh children in India are reported to be victims of commercial sexual exploitation. In Delhi alone, nearly four to five lakh children live on the streets, 53 % of young children suffer from malnutrition and 33 % of the 6-14 age group are deprived of schooling.
    • An average of 44,476 children are reported missing in India every year (NHRC-UNIFEM, 2003), out of which 11,008 children continue to remain untraced. Most of these children end up in brothels or being abused by tourists.
    • The extent of abuse inflicted on children gets reflected from the crime records data. The total crime against children showed a rising trend from 1999 to 2001, as 4,957 cases were registered in 1999 as against 6,087 cases in 2001. However, in the year 2002, such cases went down to 5,972. The total figure for crime against children for the year 2003 (2,084) is not comparable with the figures of the previous year as the figures of child rape are not included for the year 2003. Data on child rape are not collected on a monthly basis.
    • Cases of infanticide (134) have increased by 16.5% in 2003 compared to 115 in 2002. Maharashtra reported the highest cases of infanticide (30), which accounted for 22.4% of the total infanticide cases in 2003.
    • Cases of female foeticide have decreased by 38.1% during 2003 (52) compared to 84 in 2002. Rajasthan reported the highest number of cases of foeticide (11), which alone accounted for 21.2% of the total cases of foeticide in 2003.
    • Incidence of kidnapping and abduction of children was around 700 in 1999 and 2000, which suddenly rose to 2,845 & 2,322 in 2001 and 2002 respectively and again went down to 765 in 2003. The highest number of cases of kidnapping and abduction of children was reported from Maharashtra and Gujarat.
    • Cases of procuration of minor girls increased by 37.9% in 2003 (171) compared to 124 in 2002. The highest number of cases was reported from Bihar (47)
    • Although incidence of child rape, one of the worst form of sexual abuse, has declined between the periods 1999 and 2002, from 3153 cases to 2532, the unofficial number may have been higher since many cases may have not been reported. So is the case with kidnapping and abduction. Prayas’ Intervention on Juvenile Justice

    Need for a Study on Child Abuse: The National Study on Child Abuse has been taken up primarily to assess the situation of child abuse, in the light of the National Charter for Children and the National and State Commission(s) on the Rights of Child, likely to be enacted by the Parliament soon. So far no authentic data or report on child abuse is available to formulate a national level legislation and a national policy. Child abuse cases, in the given sense, are generally not reported due to the fact that such an offence does not figure under any law (except the Goa Children’s Act), or due to the absence or inadequacy of legal provisions. It may also be on account of several cultural, socio-economic and psychological reasons. It becomes imperative to undertake a national level study on child abuse, since very few studieshave been conducted in this extremely critical area. Child abuse, unfortunately, has not been viewed as a separate offence or group of offences, or state of body and mind, causing physical and emotional damage to the child. It is, at best, viewed in the context of child labour, child prostitution and child trafficking, for which legal provisions have been made.

    Since child abuse as a concept and its various dimensions have not been properly established because of lack of authentic and comprehensive data, it is all the more essential to undertake a scientific national level study, to formalize a definition and concept of child abuse in the Indian context. The study will focus upon the extent, forms and nature of child abuse. The extent and application of the existing legal and constitutional provisions do not appear adequate to address the issue of child abuse. The study will give more concrete grounds for a separate legislation on child abuse, along with appropriate strategies to tackle the same at the micro as well as macro levels. Finally, the study will prove to be helpful in evolving guidelines for the prevention and control of child abuse.

    Objectives of the Study – Overall Goal of the Study: To develop a comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon of child abuse, with a view to formulating appropriate policies and programmes in order to effectively curb and control the problem of child abuse in India.

    Specific Objectives: The specific objectives of the study are as follows: (1)To assess the magnitude and forms of child abuse in India. (2)To study the profile of the abused children and the social and economic circumstances leading to their abuse. (3)To critically analyse the existing legal framework to deal with the problem of child abuse in the country.(4)Recommend strategies and measures for further streamlining child development policies and programmes. Coverage of the Study

    Sampling Design: The study will be located in India. A multi stage sampling design has been used for the study. State, district, block and respondents constitute the four stages of sampling.

    Selection of States: All States in the respective zones will be arranged in descending order of literacy and one State will be selected from the upper quartile and one from the lower quartile from each zone. Literacy has been taken as an indicator, as it is expected that higher the level of literacy, lesser will be the chances of child abuse.

    The States thus selected are as follows:

    • North Zone : Delhi & Rajasthan
    • Central Zone : Madhya Pradesh & Uttar Pradesh
    • Eastern Zone : West Bengal & Bihar
    • Western Zone : Maharashtra, Goa & Gujarat
    • Southern Zone : Kerala & Andhra Pradesh
    • North Eastern Zone : Mizoram & Assam

    Selection of Respondents: For the purpose of this study, a child has been defined as a person not exceeding 18 years of age.

    The following categories of respondents have been identified for the study:

    • Street children
    • Working children
    • Children in schools
    • Children in institutional care
    • Children in family groups not attending school
    • Process Involved in Developing the Protocol

    Attempt will be made to have a representation of girls, particularly in (a), (b) & (d). Besides, we also need to accommodate the views of those individuals who are studying or are working – are in business (self-employment), are in offices, in factories, or working in agricultural farms. Given this, a substantial number of young adults (age 18 – 21 years) will be included in the sample. (g) Yet another category of respondents will be stakeholders, which will include school teachers, police officers (sub inspectors and above), municipal committee members, Panchayat members, welfare officers, etc. From each category from (a) to (g), 50 respondents will be selected. Thus, from each block, there will be 7×50 = 350 respondents. This will give us a targeted sample of 350 respondents x 48 blocks = 16,800 informants, which will be, hopefully, a dependable representation of the ‘study universe’ and which will provide us with dependable insight into the phenomenon of child abuse.

    Expected Outcome of the Study: The study is expected to lead to the following outcome:

    • Defining child abuse in the context of the prevalent situation reflecting from the study.
    • Emergence of a national scenario on child abuse. Likely coping strategies on child abuse based on adults and children’s perspectives.
    • Need and justification for legal measures to tackle the problem at the national level
    • Training of various stakeholders on issues related to child rights and abuse
    • Formulation of a national level plan of action to address child abuse
    • Developing schemes, strategies and programmes based on targeted interventions at the state level.
    • Developing IEC materials on child abuse to be used in schools and other institutions

    Process Involved in Developing the Protocol: A series of meetings of the Core Research Team were held at the Department of Women and Child Development and Prayas Head Office to discuss about the objectives, outcome and duration of the Study. It was decided that a two-day National Consultative Workshop would be held in Delhi to orient the partners on the objectives and purpose of the Study. The Two-day National Consultative Workshop, sponsored by the Dept. of Women and Child Development, was held on 20th & 21st April, 2005 at Vigyan Bhawan Annexe, to discuss about the concept, nature and forms of child abuse and the broad methodology for conducting the National level Study.

    Present Status of the Study and Future Course of Action: The study was formally launched on 1st September 2005. A series of meetings took place to finalise the information schedule for the three categories of respondents, in which experts from various disciplines were made to participate. The children and the young adults’ schedule was pre-tested on a small sample in Delhi, which was conducted in October 2005. The items in the schedule were modified after the pilot survey. A two-day Training of Trainers Programme was conducted to familiarize the project staff with the concept of child abuse, the methodology of the study and the field instruments, on 28-29 October, 2005. The Project Director of the National Study participated in the South Asia Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, organized by the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect on Nov 16-18,2005 at Singapore. The Conference provided an opportunity to interact with experts from the region working on different aspects of child abuse and neglect. Before the data collection begins, Zonal level Training of Investigators workshops will be conducted in each zone between December 2005 and January 2006, under the supervision of the Zonal Advisors, identified from each of the six identified zones. The first of these workshops has been completed. The survey would take place between January and April 2006. Data entry, tabulation and analysis will take place between May and July, 2006. The findings of the study would be shared and discussed with experts in a one-day workshop to be held in the month of August. The final report would be prepared thereafter.

    Juvenile Justice Juvenile Justice

    Our projects in Rajasthan, Bihar and Delhi focus towards supporting children whilst they interact with the Law enforcement, Judiciary and the Government.

    Our intervention on field has helped children receive benefit of legal aid schemes, government compensation schemes the protection they need.

    This has also created a base for advocacy and policy making work. Our work on field with vulnerable children, the problems that our team face whilst presenting the case of these children in front of government agencies and the problem they face whilst working on sensitive issues pertaining to the righs of child, gives Prayas JAC a comprehensive view of the ground reality. Our teamis actively involved in combating, rescuing, rehabilitating and providing assistance to chidlren who are victims of trafficking, child labour, bonded labour, abuse, amongst other cases. Our endeavour is to provice assistance to every child who is in need.

    The aim of all the organizational interventions is to promote social re-integration and rehabilitation of needy children through non-institutional approaches. However, the organization provides institutional facilities for comprehensive care, protection and rehabilitation of the homeless and destitute children with the ultimate goal of mainstreaming them into life.Even during their temporary stay in the shelter homes the children are enrolled in educational programmes and encouraged to undertake vocational skills training courses for placing them into suitable jobs.Recreational and educational trips form part of the program for ensuring healthy growth of these children.

     

    The child friendly environment of the homes gives them the opportunity to celebrate all National and Cultural festivals irrespective of their community. Rehabilitation of the children high on priority takes place through restoration, placement, sponsorship, etc.

    (Link: Shelter Home for girls, PCH, Railway Children, etc).

    Prayas Institute of Economic Empowerment (PIEE) Prayas Institute of Economic Empowerment (PIEE)

    Prayas Institute of Economic Empowerment (PIEE), a unit of Prayas, was established in June 2005 to design, develop & conduct training programs aimed at building livelihood opportunities for youth and women of the rural and slum based communities in Delhi and outside through life-skills cultivation and technical trainings in contemporary market driven trades that prepare the marginalized beneficiaries for jobs and, or, small business enterprises. PIEE major role is to provide training to empower youth & women with entrepreneurship and related practical skills from marginalized communities. Under PIEE All Courses are conducted according to the Qualification Pack of NSDC under NSQF. Major courses offered have been in the Sectors of IT/ITeS, Beauty & Wellness, Telecom, Apparel, Construction, Agriculture, Retail &Hospitality and RPL. Job Roles have been decided according to the interest and aptitude of candidates seeking skill in a particular sector.

    This Institute also covers members of Self Help Groups in Delhi and outside as its target group for its empowerment through training oriented economic activities which involve production and marketing functions as means to economic end. As such, components like vocational training, life-skill up-gradation, production, marketing, micro-credit, micro-financing, job opportunities and micro-business enterprises form the fiber of this institute.

    Functions of PIEE
    • Conducting market survey to identify locations and trades prior to setting-up a training centre
    • Providing Vocational Education/Training to create opportunities for productive livelihoods and jobs
    • Launching trades for training, based on market survey
    • Cultivating and up-grading vocational skills
    • Developing Technical skills
    • Forming Self-Help Groups that derive their income from micro-enterprises, supported by micro-credit
    • Producing market driven goods/services
    • Creating marketing avenues for profit from sales
    • Ensuring opportune placements (job/small-business set-up) for the beneficiaries
    • Making the centers self-sustainable through revenue generation
    • Creating new training centers
    • Up-scaling existing centers and their programs as per contemporary market trends.

    Objectives of PIEE To improve the occupational skills and technical knowledge of trainees and to raise their efficiency and increase productive ability by providing training in the field of Computer, Typing, Stenography, Dress Designing, Cutting Tailoring and Embroidery, Beauty Culture, Auto-mobile repairing, Screen Printing and Book Binding, Candle Making, House Wiring etc.

    To organize training and orientation course for key resource persons, master trainers on designing, development and implementation of skill development programmes

    To widen the range of knowledge and understanding of social, economic and political systems in order to create critical awareness about the environment

    Promote national goals such as secularism, national integration population control, community development, women’s equality, productivity, water conservation and environment.

    Operational Areas

    Prayas Institute of Economic Empowerment (PIEE), presently covers the slum clusters and re- settlement colonies like Jahangirpuri, Tughlakabad, Vasant Vihar, Batti Mines, Dakshin puri, Vivek Vihar, Pandav Nagar, Bhagwanpur, Narela, Hari Nagar, Kirti Nagar, Zakheera etc. for Vocational Training and Community mobilization. Instructors working with Prayas Institute of Economic Empowerment are trained from NVTI/ITI or having other higher qualifications with relevant experience.

    Micro Finance – Introduction

    “Microfinance is the provision of financial services to low-income clients or solidarity lending groups including consumers and the self-employed, who traditionally lack access to banking and related services.??? Microfinance is not just about giving micro credit to the poor rather it is an economic development tool whose objective is to assist poor to work their way out of poverty. It covers a wide range of services like credit, savings, insurance, remittance and also non-financial services like training, counseling etc.

    Salient features of Microfinance:
    • Borrowers are from the low income group
    • Loans are of small amount – micro loans
    • Short duration loans
    • Loans are offered without collaterals
    • High frequency of repayment
    • Loans are generally taken for income generation purpose
    Prayas ventured into Micro Credit business in January, 2007. So far, Prayas has disbursed Rs. 4.66 crore among 2814 beneficiaries. Prayas fulfill the credit need of community through SHG’s and JLG’s . Prayas is having micro finance operation in Delhi and Bihar. Apart from micrJo credit work, Prayas also involve in micro saving and working as business correspondent model of ICICI Bank and YES Bank. In August, 2009, RBI recognized Prayas as one of the best Business Correspondent model working in Delhi. Micro Finance – Current Status and Growing Concerns in India

    Microfinance sector has grown rapidly over the past few decades. Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus is credited with laying the foundation of the modern MFIs with establishment of Grameen Bank, Bangladesh in 1976. Today it has evolved into a vibrant industry exhibiting a variety of business models. Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in India exist as NGOs (registered as societies or trusts), Section 25 companies and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs). Commercial Banks, Regional Rural Banks (RRBs), cooperative societies and other large lenders have played an important role in providing refinance facility to MFIs. Banks have also leveraged the Self-Help Group (SHGs) channel to provide direct credit to group borrowers. With financial inclusion emerging as a major policy objective in the country, Microfinance has occupied centre stage as a promising conduit for extending financial services to unbanked sections of population. At the same time, practices followed by certain lenders have subjected the sector to greater scrutiny and need for stricter regulation. Although the microfinance sector is having a healthy growth rate, there have been a number of concerns related to the sector, like grey areas in regulation, transparent pricing, low financial literacy etc. In addition to these concerns there are a few emerging concerns like cluster formation, insufficient funds, multiple lending and over-indebtedness which are arising because of the increasing competition among the MFIs. On a national level there has been a spate of actions taken to strengthen the regulation of MF sector including, enactment of microfinance regulation bill by the Government of Andhra Pradesh, implementation of sector-specific regulation by Reserve Bank of India and most recently, release of Draft Microfinance Institutions (development and regulation) Bill, 2011 for comments.

    Women Empowerment Women Empowerment

    The mission of Prayas JAC is to empower women who are the most essential pillars of social transformation. The aspirations of our organisation to empower women is reflected in the following activities:

    • Skill development and vocational training
    • Weekly Clinics & Monthly Health Camps
    • Formation and strengthening of SHGs
    • Non-Formal Education (for women & children)
    • Nutrition Demonstration programmes
    • Samajik Suvidha Kendra (Information-cum-facilitation Desk)
    • Legal Counselling

    Several training programmes have been conducted for the strengthening of the SHG beneficiaries and they have also been taken to the exposure trips to give them an insight of the income-generating activities. The beneficiaries have also been supported through the exhibitions and displays being organised by Prayas or other organisations.

    Economic Empowerment through Vocational Skills Education, Self-Help Group, Micro-Credit and Income-Generation Programme (IGP)

    The beneficiaries and the target population under the programmes mainly constitute the deprived children, youth and women of the society. Since, economic empowerment forms the prerequisite to attain social justice and development Prayas embarked on creating avenues of self- sustaining opportunities for the adolescent children, unemployed youths and the economically deprived women of the community. Prayas a member of working group on social Deviants and Caring the Other Disadvantaged To achieve the objective of economic up gradation though creation of livelihood opportunities Prayas has joined hands with Jan Shikshan Sansthan, a programme of Ministry of HRD and providing vocational skills opportunities for marginalized youth. Joining in this endeavor is Prayas Institute of Economic Empowerment (PIEE) a subsidiary of prays. These two bodies are promoting adoption of income generation of activities by the marginalized women of the community through creation of Self- Help Groups.

    (1) Institute for Economic Empowerment (PIEE)

    (2) Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS)

    Besides the above the organization is collaborating with number of other agencies for the economic sustainability young girl as survivors of trafficking and child labour. The Economic Rehabilitation of Trafficking Victims (ERTV) is one such programme where Sanchay Prayas, outlets for diary products and items prepared by the Self – Help Group are sold. These outlets being independently managed by the trafficked survivors rescued by Prayas has become a model for business entrepreneurship wherein the profit is shared equally amongst them (Link: ERTV programme).

    Health & Hygiene Health & Hygiene
    Prayas Health Services: Primary Care Services and Continuity of Care

    Funded by: Kamla Devi Jain Charitable Trust

    Prayas Health Services since 1994 addressing the primary health care need of the urban slum population in communities of Delhi, Bihar and Arunachal Pradesh with special focus on poor populations living in listed and unlisted slums, other vulnerable populations such as homeless, rag pickers, street children, rickshaw pullers, construction workers, sex workers, and temporary migrants. An important focus area of ‘Prayas Health Services’ is to achieve convergence among the wider determinants of health by focusing in providing by strengthening the better secondary prevention  as an integral part of Urban Health Needs.

    Improved health seeking behavior, influenced through capacity building of the community based organizations & establishments of an appropriate referral mechanism are also an important component of Health Services.

    Services provided:

    • Free OPD Services: 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon/evening (5 days a week)
    • Free antenatal check-ups and referrals to nearby hospitals like Janki Das, Acharya Bhikshu and Deendyal hospital.
    • Regular camps with Max Hospital and Mahavir international with free distribution of supplements for children and mothers to be.
    • 40 percent cases are children below 12 years of age for diarrhea, skin infections, vaccination, jaundice, urinary tract infection and regular seasonal viral with cough, cold, ear infection.
    • 20 percent cases are gynecological referral and antenatal checkups
    • 10 percent cases are geriatrics with pain in knee, spine, orthopedic referrals, diabetes, cataract, difficulty in breathing, bronchitis.
    • 10 percent cases are emergency cases.
    • 10 percent cases are of tuberculosis out of which more than half are relapse cases.
    • Counseling of community is done on family planning, importance of clean drinking water and sanitation, taking balanced diet, identification of high risk pregnancies, promotion of institutional deliveries.
    • Free Beauty parlour courses and tailoring courses for the community children
    • Staff- 2 doctors, 1 nurse, 1 mobiliser,1 community health worker,1 ambulance driver,1 beautician course teacher,1 tailoring teacher.
    • Medical Health Van (Ambulance) used for referral services from community to nearby hospitals

    Major Medical support from INOX CSR FOUNDATION

    1. 24 hours Emergency Services: Stabilisation of the condition of patient before referral to Hospital, Dog Bite/Snake Bite, Scorpion Bite and other Emergency cases
    2. Early registration of all pregnancies ideally in the first trimester (before 12th week of pregnancy)
    3. Minimum 3 antenatal checkups and provision of complete package of services. First visit as soon as pregnancy is suspected/between 4th and 6th month (before 26 weeks), second visit at 8th month (around 32 weeks) and third visit at 9th month (around 36 weeks).
    4. Associated services like providing iron and folic acid tablets, injection Tetanus. Toxoid etc (as per the “guidelines for ante-natal care and skilled attendance at birth by ANMs and LHVs)
    5. Laboratory investigations like hemoglobin, urine albumin, and sugar, RPR test for syphilis
    6. Nutrition & Health Counselling/Identification of High Risk Pregnancies/ Appropriate Management/ Promotion of institutional deliveries

    Prayas Janhit Swasthya Kendra-Primary Health Centre-(PHC), Wakro, Arunachal Pradesh – Prayas Health Centre (named as Prayas Janahit Swasthya Seva Kendra) provides services to the entire neglected community in the Lohit District of Arunachal Pradesh. The centre aims to create a model health care delivery system in an innovative way. It modernizes the deprived health care system with all the modern equipments so that we can render services to the entire community.

    The Bhore Committee in 1946 gave the concept of PHC as basic health care unit to provide integrated curative and preventive health care services to rural population. Prayas Janhit Swasthya Kendra is providing services to the rural population of more than 15,000 since 2006 in Wakro, which falls in Lohit District of Arunachal Pradesh. It is running its services on unique public private partnership under National Rural Health Mission and Government of Arunachal Pradesh. It is committed to provide comprehensive primary health care services to the community through its trained and qualified staff.

    It has upgraded its services to align with the set of standards being recommended for Primary Health Centre to be called as Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) for PHCs.

    The Hans Foundation Mobile Health Care Unit –  The Hans Foundation ‘Mobile Health Care Unit’ programme is being implemented with financial support from The Hans Foundation, New Delhi. Under the programme all residents of 17 villages of Wakro namely Parsuram kund, Tillai, Somba, Naukilo, Mainuling, Londvin, Tumba, Manthi & Tishu are being provided medical and health services.  The main target of the programme is on girls and women. Apart from service delivery, health workers are provided training, health camps are organised and awareness camps held. The programme has 27,516 beneficiaries. Under the programme, an ambulance visits each village twice in a month and provides services.

    Objectives:

    • To improve health status of villagers primarily women, men, adult, children and old
    • To provide health facilities in remote villages
    • To provide facilities easily and on time so time and money both are saved
    • To counsel beneficiaries on topics like sanitation, clean environment, nutritive diet, eye care, mental health counselling, substance abuse, etc.
    • To get women included in the family as an important part of the family apart from making them feel importance of health
    • To make health facilities accessible in villages
    • To motivate for ante and post natal care and promote safe deliver

    IMPACT Report:

    • 120 Health Camps been conducted during the year
    • 27,516 villagers in total been benefitted through Mobile Medical Unit, (MMU)
    • 2400 children been immunized

    Creating Impact at the Field: On January 12, 2017 there was an outbreak of diarrhea, in Parsuramkund during Mela. 37 numbers of pilgrim suffered due to that outbreak. When we got information then our MMU team rushed there and found  out the case of diarrhea. We had seen that people from that area were  having negligence for drinking water and sanitation .Our MMU team encouraged them and gave them  proper treatment .After three days all diarrhea cases were subsided .Now they have good riddance from their illness.

    Project Overview-(Wakro-Arunachal Pradesh) – The Availability and effective utilization of health services are necessary preconditions for improvement of the health status of the population. The long-term goal of the Indian government has been to provide health care to rural communities through PHCs. Even more important is a social reality: there just are not enough trained and qualified doctors to adequately serve the entire urban and rural populations of India even if we could provide financial incentives for them to work in rural areas. The need to rectify this problem has become critical especially given the fact that over 650 million people live in rural areas across the country with poor awareness of health issues.

    This ignorance, coupled with the increased mobility between rural and urban areas, has led to an explosive increase in the spread of diseases like HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B and C. We envisage PHCs functioning as the first level in a hierarchical system of health care facilities. At this primary level, PHCs will play two equally important roles: First, diagnosis of diseases based on symptoms and simple laboratory tests, and their treatment either at the centers or through referral. Second, health education leading to family planning, better hygiene and sanitation, and prevention of communicable diseases, especially sexually transmitted diseases. The government has shown keen interest in finding private partners to revitalize the PHCs. To this end Prayas Janhit Swasthya Seva Kendra in collaboration with the Government of Arunachal Pradesh and National Rural Health Mission which defies one’s perception of the primary health care centers (PHCs) dotting the rural landscape is running Primary Health Care Center at Wakro and two sub-centers at Medho and Tillai. The PHC has under its 21 villages in Lohit District and covers a population of more than 15,000. Prayas Janhit Swasthya Kendra acts as a cornerstone in providing health services since 2006. Through its 24×7 range of curative, promotive, and preventive health care services and with appropriate linkages, plays an important role in increasing institutional deliveries thereby help to reduce maternal mortality and infant mortality. It acts as a centre of activity for all centrally sponsored schemes of immunization, vaccination, pulse-polio and Janani Suraksha Yojana.

    Prayas JAC Society with support from HANS Foundation will initiate comprehensive range of health care services to under privileged communities in outreach, remote rural areas and at distant places where to provide consistent health services is a constant challenge through an equipped mobile medical van. The program will focus on providing wide range of promotive, preventive and curative health care of services. The program will based on innovative concept of “Community based Self Sustainable Health Delivery Model???.

    PHC MEDO – Arunachal Pradesh – The project came into existence in 2006 in collaboration with National Health Mission to run a Public Health Centre (PHC) to reach thousands of people in need of health care services. The project has successfully promoted equitable and high quality health care in rural areas with a special focus on woman and children. Wakro is a circle under Lohit district of Eastern part of Arunachal. Presently, Alok Prayas is running one Primary Health Centre located at Wakro, having population of 9000 approx. This is a public private partnership project with Govt. of Arunachal funded by Planning Commission of India. The NGO is given entire responsibility of functioning and management of Prayas Health Centre. The attendance ranges from 70-120 patients per day.

    Objectives :
    • To improve the overall health & hygiene status of marginalized groups with health care issues with the special focus on Reproductive, Maternal, New born, Child and Adolescent (RMNCH+A)
    • To demonstrate a PPP model to provide and facilitate the use of health service delivery, especially in geographically constrained regions with poor access to primary health care services
    • To enhance community capacity and participation in order to sustain health initiatives beyond the life of the Project.
    • To provide mobile health care services in Lohit District by covering 50 villages where the basic access to health service is lacking.
    • Increase access to health care in an underserved area: The primary objective of the mobile clinic is to bring health care into a community with limited access, specifically to those who are uninsured or underinsured.
    • To ensure curative health care: To prescribe and dispense medicines on the spot for the common ailments and referral to hospital for other cases.
    • To educate and build health awareness: To raise awareness about preventive health care issues including family planning, communicable and other diseases, audio visual equipment and a large screen will be fitted in the van. With the help of this facility educational films can be shown in villages.
    • The clinic also integrates patients into existing social services and health care systems through referrals.
    • To provides free episodic care at a time and place chosen to best serve our target population.
     Activities Covered :
    • Conduct a baseline survey in first month of the project to assess the health status of project area, grappling with health care issues with the special focus on Reproductive, Maternal, New born, Child and Adolescent (RMNCH+A). Special emphasis on preparing a detailed list of pregnant women as per their trimesters (1,2and 3) & services to be offered and the status of new born.
    • Prepare a monthly visit schedule for the MMU for medical check-up and ensure the operation resonates with the plan.
    • 2 no. of training programs would be conducted for health workers for enabling them to provide effective community based maternal, new born and child care their communities.
    • 1 no. of medical camps (ENT, Eye, and Dental) would be organized Quarterly selected villages.
    • Maintain daily/monthly records of beneficiaries, inventory, referral cases, medical camps etc.
    • Awareness programs for Village on different health issues in clusters for 30 villages
    Targeted beneficiaries:

    The underprivileged population living in the target areas is the beneficiaries under the program. The program specially focuses on women and children.

    Additional Primary Health Centre (APHC)-Supaul (Bihar)

    The APHC was inaugurated on Oct 12, 2009 by the Civil Surgeon of the then Supual. It runs 24 hour services OPD as well as Reproductive Child Health Services. The services which we provide are as follows:

    Nutritional Rehabilitation Centre: Area Covered:District of Supaul
    Objective:
  • To control severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and provide facility-based care to SAM children among 6-59 months children in the district.
  • To halve the percentage of SAM children in the state by 2015.
  • The NRC has been providing medical and nutritional care to severe acute malnourished (SAM) children 20 in number at one batch. They are kept in the NRC for three weeks. Along with medical care, special focus goes on timely, adequate and appropriate feeding to the children and special care has been taken to improve skills and understanding of their mothers with respect to Nutrition, Health and Hygiene issues. In addition to this their mothers are the preparation of low cost, nutritious diets from locally available food stuffs.

    The Goal of the Project is to improve the availability of and access to quality health care for people especially those residing in rural areas.
    • Delivery System
    • Essential New Born Care
    • Provision for Referral
    • Anti Natal
    • Immunization for children and pregnant women
    • Post Natal Care
    • Family Planning Services
    • Prevention and Management of RTI/STI
    • Essential Laboratory Services
    Research & Development Research & Development
    Action based research forms the core activity of the Organization. While implementing the projects and programs we gather innumerable experiences and findings that have been helpful in guiding our programs

    These findings besides being helpful in giving clarity to our own understanding of the concept have also benefited us in developing replicable models. One of the most noteworthy outcome of these action based researches has been the use of the findings for influencing child rights policy and programmes.

    (Link- Comparative Study on JJ System under CIDA, National Study on Child Abuse)
    Training & Capacity Building Training & Capacity Building

    The Institute of Juvenile Justice has been able to create a cadre of experts on thematic areas of child protection and juvenile justice, child labour, education for marginalized children, corporate social responsibility, economic empowerment and entrepreneurship development, programme management, monitoring and evaluation, child abuse, urban poverty and homelessness, etc. Different academic institute and universities, research bodies recognize Prayas Institute of Juvenile Justice as a resource centre and engage its programme faculty for educational dialogue and teachings on these themes as a guest faculty. ( Link: Training, volunteers and cultural exchange program)

    Prayas entered a new pattern of networking with other NGOs offering them its skills, expertise and good practices in the area of elementary education under the REACH India project Links: (Reach India project).

    Disaster & Crisis Management Disaster & Crisis Management

    Disaster Risk Management
    PRAYAS INTERVENTIONS

    Prayas has always considered itself a partner in the development of the nation and sees its role as a ‘prime mover’ along side the Government, local administration and the disaster management agencies to facilitate networking & cooperation in areas of emergency relief, short-term and long- term rehabilitation, restoring livelihood opportunities, reduction of vulnerabilities & disaster preparedness of children & women and to prevent them from further exploitation and gender disparities. Therefore, as an agency committed to child survival, protection & rehabilitation, whenever any natural catastrophe struck the country it could never choose to operate in isolation, oblivious of the pain of the affected families right from its inception. As a result after the massive earthquake that hit Gujarat on 26 the January 2001 and the Tsunami earthquake in Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 2004, the organization decided to reach out to the crisis needs of the large population that was awaiting relief services.

    Flood Disaster in Bihar: Supaul Prayas District:

    In the year 2007, the disastrous flood in Samastipur, a much bigger flood disaster, which has been declared as a National Disaster by the Prime Minister of India, has struck several districts in Bihar on the changed course of the turbulent river ‘Kosi’, traditionally known as the ‘Sorrow of Bihar’. The districts of Bihar most badly affected are: Supaul, Araria, Madhepura, Purnia, Bhagalpur and khagaria. It is reported that in the inundated districts, nearly 2.5 million people are marooned in 441 villages and nearly 04 million people very badly affected. Nearly 65,000 hectares of land was said to be under water and most of the rail and road links snapped.

    Having its vast experience of working in major disasters, such as, Gujarat Earthquake, Tsunami in Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Orissa cyclone, besides the latest Samastipur-Darbhanga flood 2007, the organization has activated its Bihar-based team to undertake the challenge, intervene the situation and join hands with the govt. and other organizations for rescue and rehabilitation in the worst-affected district – Supaul.

    A dedicated team of Prayas with local and visiting volunteers with hands-on experience of flood disaster has set-up its rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations at the district headquarters Supaul and at Kattaiya 3, Bandh of 22 RD Basantpur Block. This area is under water, rendering thousands hungry, homeless and completely ravaged due to the fast and furious currents of Kosi, very close to its entry point in Bihar. Considering the ferocity of the flood and magnitude of the devastation of life and property and the need for rescue, relief and rehabilitation, the team is camping at this far-flung location almost 40 k.m. away from Raghopura, and nearly 80 k.m. inside from Supaul Township. The rescue operation in this remote and inaccessible area is being managed by the National disaster forces and Prayas is deeply participating to serve the marooned and displaced children, men and women through our own relief and rehabilitation camp.

    Our team headed by Sri Amod K. Kanth, General Secretary Prayas, was camping at Supaul Apart from the rigorous follow up with the national, state and district level government functionaries, Police and disaster management authorities, Resident Commissioner in Delhi down to the key in officials of Supaul – District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police, the Prayas-Anubhooti team under the banner ‘Punarwaas’, is present round-the-clock on the site of the disaster. They are busy in relief operations, joining in rescue process and tackling the situation for short-term relief and long-term rehabilitation of the flood victims, who are extremely deprived and poor. We are also trying to generate resources for the relief camp for nearly 5,000 flood victims along with a mobile trauma health care centre, which we propose to set up in Supaul district in close association with the local government and communities. Prayas has been able to set up a mega camp ‘PUNARWAS’ along with the partner organization, Anubhooti at Supaul. We are expected to cater to the needs of 5000 people. Already 2000 people have started residing in the camp and many more are expected to join soon. At present need assessment survey has been done and specific needs of the lactating mothers, children between the age group of 0-5, and 6-14 years have been identified as our target group, where intervention is required for relief and rehabilitation.

    Following an intensive survey and need analysis by Prayas to understand the ground requirements and resource-need analysis, we have initiated multiple programs for children, women, elderly and disabled in distress for the support and rehabilitation. Some of the relief activities identified are as under-

  • Distribution of food and other necessary items, such as, sattu, chiwara, gur, biscuits, milk powder, salt, bread, drinking water, match box, torch.
  • Distribution of medicines like Chlorine tablets, Alum, Bleaching powder, Vaccine, Anti-snake vial, skin preventive medicine, medicated soap etc has been done for the flood affected people.
  • Distribution of clothes among the flood affected people through the local community support.
  • Other required materials- distribution of mosquitoes nets, match box, candle, plastic mug, bathing soap, and mosquito coil for the flood affected people.
  • Distribution of roof tent material among the house less flood affected people in the form of Bamboo, Ropes, Plastic shed, Tripal for self support or sheds which will be prepared by the plastic bags for the shelter purpose.
  • Establish one help desk for victimized children and women, the missing-and-found, and to save them from exploitative situations in close partnership with district officials and other organizations.
  • Liaison with Govt. institutions – The organization will closely operate with the administration and also the officials of the State Government engaged in relief and rehabilitation work.


  • Prayas Intervention

    In Bihar flood can be stated a curse for its people since the time immemorial during raining season as many districts of this state remain immersed with the spilling over water of the swollen rivers which have been flowing through these districts. The deluge that aggravated the natural calamity has broken the backbone of the developmental indicators leaving the people at large to face very difficult and struggling life. The devastating impacts of the disaster of the sullen rivers have either ended or changed the normalcy and routine life of people even many of them are not able to save their lives from the deadly affect of the rivers.

    This year Saharsa, Araria, Purnia and Supaul districts of Bihar have been badly affected by the flood waters of “the sorrow of North Bihar” Koshi River compelling them to be home less as by the time 29 lacs people have been badly affected and encircled by flood water. Thousands of marooned people have been stranded and trapped by flood water owing to the change of the course of Koshi river. The district administration machineries have been working continuously to provide relief work along with evacuation process for the people who have been badly impacted by flood water but that efforts by the government machineries seem to be a drop in the ocean as only one lac people have been rescued and taken to the safer places and more than 41000 displaced people have taken shelter in relief camps stalled by many agencies. The catastrophe has created very pitiable and heart rending situation there and the flood-hit people are left to continue their lives until the grace of God.

    First of all we will select such type of place which has been shown in the photograph given below. There we will provide our relief and rescue operation work for the affected people: –

    • The flood affected people are compelled to drink flood water which may cause epidemic in those areas so we will provide the very first need of the flood victims that is pure and safe drinking water for that we will distribute chlorine and water purifier tablets. • We will distribute milk powder for infants and babies as the food packets provided by all the agencies to the victimized people do not contain milk that is the food of the infant and babies as they depend to milk only so if milk powder is not distributed for the infants they may die of starvation as their parents are not in condition to give milk to their babies. • We will distribute packets which will contain matchbox, candle, tourch, live saving drugs for the diseases like dehydration, malaria, fever etc. Having been continuously for the last 12 days with watery environment the victims are likely to face skin diseases so we will distribute them the medicines for that. • We will provide food stuffs to the flood affected people and each packet will contain Chura, Sattu, Gur, Namak, bread etc. • Cloths and polythene sheets are essential as most of them are now homeless and they have been taking sun shelter for the past twelve days so by making available these items to the flood-hit people we will try to continue their sustainability in those areas and in their turbulent predicament with the ever worst circumstances.

    Prayas was setup two groups of people and the first group will discharge following activities:-

    • First group: To find and select a place in district head quarter from where we will operate all the relief and rescue operation for example liaison of the agency with administration, providing safety and communications, packaging of the above materials which will be distributed in particular selected area and providing moral and psychological support to face the adverse circumstances positively and boldly.

    • Second Group: The volunteers who have expertise over working in flood affected areas will be furnished with small shaded hut like structure which will serve as the point to provide various services to the victimized people and the volunteers will also establish coordination with the local influential people so that the most needy and flood afflicted people could be identified and will be handed over the materials. And day by day with providing the services in a speedy process we will convert that place in to a crisis intervention centre.

    Earthquake Disaster in Gujarat

    On January 26 2001, at 8.46am, a huge earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale shook the entire state of Gujarat, resulting in thousands of deaths admissive destruction of property, infrastructure and livestock. Prayas responded to the crisis immediately providing food, temporary shelter, trauma counselling,community centres and day care for orphaned children and women. Earthquake in the Kutch destroyed the houses leaving many families homeless. The health care facility was absent specially women and children were suffering from malnourishment- number of starvation death was on rise. Education infrastructure was nearly absent. There was no proper drinking water facility.

    The Gujarat part of Prayas has gained a distinct identity as “Sneh-Prayas”. Following the massive earthquake (7.9 in Richter scale) in Gujarat. Prayas understood the need for crisis intervention in the State regarding conducting relief operation and mid-term to long-term rehabilitation. Prayas made the necessary initial spadework by sending a team to the worst affected localities in Kutch district of Gujarat to assess the immediate and long term needs. The team had established the required network with different government agencies in Gujarat besides the local, national and international voluntary groups, community people and other stakeholders. Prayas conducted detailed studies to assess the situation and initiated rehabilitative work for the in the worst earthquake affected areas of the state in the name of “Sneh-Prayas”.

    Sneh-Prayas has been making constant efforts to create enabling supportive systems for the most vulnerable survivors of earthquake, particularly, children and women of the earthquake so that they can regain their normal life. Sneh-Prayas’ interventions cover 36 worst hit villages from the Bhachau taluka of Kutch area. (Please see Annexure-I). Sneh-Prayas started its intervention in earthquake relief and rehabilitation in Kutch with no resources. Afterwards, it developed partnership with several Govt. and Non-govt. agencies, involved in the field of relief and rehabilitation of earthquake victims in Kutch. In the process of evolution, Sneh-Prayas has evolved as an independent unit in Gujarat, which has a team of 36 self-sufficient volunteers and professionals as well as leadership.

    Objective
    Rehabilitation of the earthquake affected people in Kutch through self- help and focus on child survival, health of the women , community development and water issues.

    About the project in brief:
    The project covered the worst affected talukas of Kutch area serving fifty villages from the Bhachau taluka of the Kutch area and five slum communities in Ahmedabad. The project also focused on alternative education, vocational education, day care, mid- day meals and recreational services for children. Primary health care, counseling services, community mobilization and self- group activities for economic rehabilitation was taken up. Under this project shelters were also created for needy children and women with voluntary contribution of land by the villages. Besides, houses were constructed to help the disabled and most vulnerable section of the population affected by the earthquake. By way of promoting the rights of the disabled and providing legal support to the projects foster closer links between the earthquake victims and various government agencies meant to help the former. Additionally, a special livelihood support program was initiated to help the deserving whereby they were enabled to promote self-sustenance.

    Tsunami Disaster in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands

    The Andaman and Nicobar Islands were practically wiped out by the tsunami in 2005. Responding to these need-based areas, Prayas, with its missionary zeal, is helping getting their lives back to normal.

    DWEEP PRAYAS stands for the PRAYAS chapter of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It was established in January, 2005 soon after the Tsunami hit the islands on 26th December, 2004. In the initial years, it followed the policy of relief and support. During this phase, PRAYAS put all its effort to meet the needs and tackle the pressing concerns which arose because of the disaster. The strategy of PRAYAS during this period included immediate relief, trauma counseling for the victims, supplementary education to children who could not attend regular schools due to destruction caused by Tsunami and logistical support for continuing education. ‘Childline’ (1098) service which is a national 24 hour helpline for children was made operational for this purpose.

    After three years of providing relief services to the children of the islands, DWEEP PRAYAS changed its policy of relief to rehabilitation and support. During this phase, DWEEP PRAYAS got involved in activities like restoration of services and rebuilding of health and educational infrastructure broken down by Tsunami. It also involved in behavior change oriented activities which are essential for sustainability of the restorations and rehabilitation programmes it has initiated.

    It has also initiated implementation and smooth performance of National Flagship Programmes like NRHM, ICPS etc. Under NRHM, PRAYAS is the first agency to implement School Health Programme, formation of Village Health and Sanitation Committees and training thereof of making of Village Health Plans. PRAYAS is also a member of Child Welfare Committee formed under Juvenile JusticeAct,2000. It is also a member of two District level Committees on Monitoring of Children’s Homes and functioning of Anganwadi Centres and on Monitoring of Implementation of Mid Day meal Scheme in South Andaman District.

    Childline: (1098):
    Child line – 1098 – 24 Hours Helpline Number For Children In Distress. Child line is a toll free helpline Number (1098) for children in need of care and protection.

    Child line 1098 in Andaman and Nicobar was started post Tsunami as a project of Ministry of Women and Child Development. Childline 1098 at ANI has in 2008 alone intervened in more than 1000 cases and benefited around 400 children in need of care and protection. Child line 1098 services have been appreciated by various linked departments and its services like Library and counseling has been widely beneficial to more than 500 Children. Child line implements its activities through awareness and community works to increase the call statistics so that every child in distress reaches out for justice through Child line. The call centre is centrally located at Port Blair and its team members are scattered over Little Andaman, Campbell Bay and Port Blair and its adjoining areas.

    The project on Water and Sanitation Project at Baratang was started keeping in view the unsafe water, poor sanitation and unhygienic facilities in schools and in the community. The project is prepared and implemented in partnership with Terres Des Hommes, Lausanne. In the community / School the pipe water is not safe but consumed by most of the families and students without any treatment or purification. There is very limited understanding of hygiene practice. Through the HH Survey it is identified that nearly 90% of the families still don’t have their latrines at their homes. Hand washing after defecation remains very limited hand washing practice during critical time. The PHC verbal communication reveals that 25% of patient with illness are through feacal contamination. Through home visit both adult and children are identified very high skin infections and referred to PHC for the treatment. Awareness and knowledge on sanitation and hygiene issues is very low.

    WATSAN at Little Andaman:

    The project was built in the backdrop of the destruction of health infrastructures in the island of Little Andaman by devastating Tsunami. The project is combined with School Health Programme run under the umbrella of National Rural Health Mission and is implemented with Terres Des Hommes, Lausane. As part of the project, health infrastructures like toilets were built in 6 schools of the island while refurbishment has been done in all the existing toilets which were not maintained since Tsunami. Additionally, health check ups, recording data in Health Cards for every child ,referrals of sick children to the nearest Primary Health Centres and beyond followed by home visits are done once in every six months. The teachers of Government schools and Anganwadi Workers were trained on childhood illness and diseases.

    Adolescent Health at Little Andaman:

    This project aims at improving the health of adolescents in Little Andaman Island. It is in continuation of the previous project on child health. During implementation of the programme, it was identified that not much of work has been done for the adolescents there. They lack the motivation and interest to study owing to the limited career opportunities. They also lack life skills and skill based health education resulting in eloping, early marriage and early pregnancy with severe consequence of death. In this backdrop, the current activities have been planned and being implemented.

    As part of the project, health checkups are being done for school going children along with deworming medication. The children were also checked for their blood groups and Haemoglobin level and the findings are entered in the health cards and handed over to the children. Special health check up for in and out of school adolescents are also being done and the data is entered into a Adolescent Health Card. Sick children and adolescents are referred to the nearest Primary Health Centre and beyond for further treatment.

    PRAYAS has also initiated a process of advocacy and campaign against the issues like consumption of liquar, early marriage, early pregnancy, quality education etc which play a pivotal role in children being abused. For this it has taken help of role plays, street plays, freeze images, line drawings etc. It has also been able to gather the community at Little Andaman to stand against domestic violence and getting justice for the victim.

    PRAYAS JAN SHIKSHAN SANSTHAN

    Jan Shikshan Sansthan or Institute of People’s Education is a polyvalent Adult Education Programme aimed at improving the Vocational Skills and quality of the life of its beneficiaries. In the year 2000, the Ministry of HRD had sanctioned Jan Shikshan Sansthan formerly known as Shramik Vidya Peeth to various NGOs in the country.

    Main activities of JSS Prayas Since 2000, Jan Shikshan Sansthan Prayas has been working with the socio-economically marginalized and educationally backward population in various parts of Delhi, for their empowerment and economic rehabilitation. Its main activities and achievements are-

    Vocational Training: 

    Imparting vocational training and skill development based on market surveys is the main activity of JSSP. So far, it has conducted training in approximately 30 trades at around 17 centres in Delhi. Till date, around 10,000 students have availed the facilities of JSSP and are gainfully employed.

    Adult Literacy and Life Skills Training: 

    JSSP has been accredited by the NIOS for the Open Basic Education Programme. JSSP has collaborated with the CII to conduct non-formal classes in two clusters of Delhi, namely Bhagwanpur and Peeragarhi, under a project called Basti Shishka Yojna, to eradicate illiteracy from the communities, to motivate the children to continue their studies and to check the dropout rate. Furthermore, in order to ensure the holistic development of the youth JSSP has collaborated with GE Youth Reach for the Life Skills Programme.

    SHGs and Women’s Empowerment: 

    No country can progress without the empowerment of its women folk. It is estimated that women account for half of the world population and 2/3 of the world’s poorest people. Realising this, JSSP has promoted around 140 Self-Help Groups comprising around 2000 women in different parts of Delhi. The size of SHGs varies from 10 to 20.

    Placement: :

    With a mission to provide job opportunities to its beneficiaries and other residents of slums and resettlement colonies, JSSP established a placement cell in 2002. The placement unit has been in touch with various agencies and organizations and corporates to provide job opportunities to the beneficiaries. HSBC, HPCL, GE, Amul, Batra Hospital, Hotel Taj Mansingh, Hotel Ambassador Rotary blood bank , Vardhman Group, Trident Switchgears, P.R.Packaging P.Ltd, Texvisions are the main collaborators. Till date around 3500 beneficiaries have been placed.

    Advocacy and Awareness: 

    Awareness programmes on social issues, health and education, are among the most important activities of JSS Prayas. In this process, awareness camps and street plays were organized on related issues like HIV AIDS awareness, sanitation, environment management, drug de-ddiction, population, etc. in the target areas. Various government and non- government. agencies have collaborated for these programmes.

    Prayas ImpactReal Impact, Measurable Results

    270
    fundraising & donation campaign
    89
    of beneficiaries have increased coping skills
    93
    of beneficiaries saw an increased income or educational level
    83
    increased community needs

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