INTRODUCTION - Prayas is a national level NGO having strong presence in Delhi, Gujarat and Bihar at grassroots level. Apart of its direct intervention in these states, Prayas has been able to create a strong network of organizations at national and international level as well. Since its inception, it has tried to restore childhood to all those children who are on the brink of starvation and deprivation. From a modest start with 25 children, today Prayas caters to the needs of 50,000 neglected, street and working children in different parts of country, every year. Prayas runs twelve different projects and three shelter homes. The children that Prayas works for are those fighting their daily battle for survival as rag pickers, shoeshine boys, street vendor, domestic helpers, or even beggars. They are the children living on and off the streets at the mercy of the elements of nature, criminals and drug addicts. Many of these children are subjected to violence, abuse and exploitation, which initially result in disorientation and delinquency ending up in a life of crime and resulting in social disintegration.
The achievements of Prayas are consequence of good partnership between Prayas and donor agencies. Prayas has a long and result oriented partnership with donor agencies like NORAD, CIDA, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNIFEM, UNAIDS, Aus-Aid, CRS, UNDP, Children’s Hope (USA), Action Aid, CARE, etc. This partnership is not limited to international agencies, but as a strategy Prayas has successfully developed a good partnership with national and state governments in India. Prayas has been able to get supports from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India.
GENESIS OF SNEH-PRAYAS (PRAYAS-DELHI SNEH-SAMUDAY) - Following the massive earthquake (7.9 in Richter scale) in Gujarat on January 26th, 2001 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 children in the worst affected areas of the state in the name of Gujarat Prayas Project.
Prayas has been making constant efforts to create enabling supportive systems for the most vulnerable survivors, particularly, children and women of the earthquake so that they can regain their normal life. Prayas’ interventions cover nine worst hit villages from the Bhachau taluka of Kutch area.
Initially Prayas started intervention in earthquake relief and rehabilitation in Kutch with no resources. Afterwards, Actionaid-India supported Prayas, which gave birth to “Prayas-Delhi Sneh Samudaya”. Gradually, Prayas-Delhi Sneh Samudaya developed partnership with Prime Minister Relief fund, CARE- India, United Way of Baroda and other Govt. and No-govt. agencies involved in the field of relief and rehabilitation of earthquake victims in Kutch. Nearly, 23 months ago, Prayas intervened in one village of Bhachau taluka, which has multiplied upto 36 villages today. Because of it’s community oriented and participatory approach, Prayas Sneh Samudaya has gained a popular identity. In the process of evolution, Prayas has evolved as an independent unit in Gujarat, which has a team of self-sufficient volunteers, professionals and leadership. Now, Prayas-Delhi Sneh Samudaya has emerged as “Sneh-Prayas”, which is only connected to Prayas-Delhi being independent on all matters, even finances.
VISION & MISSION
Despite of adversities, Sneh-Prayas could succeed to gain strong support of local people of Kutch region. In fact, Sneh-Prayas could achieve it because of a strategy for sustainable intervention. Sneh-Prayas’ prime objective was to address people’s prime needs first so that people should get attached with program. This strategy facilitated people’s active support to Sneh-Prayas. Without encouraging participation, Sneh-Prayas probably would not have been able to extend its intervention from one village to 36 villages of Bhachau taluka of Kutch district in Gujarat. Following its vision and mission, Prayas felt the need to address people’s immediate need, in earthquake affected area of Kutch. This resulted as “Prayas Sneh Samudaya Project” with support of ActionAid, which ultimately got its recognition as “Sneh-Prayas”. The target groups of this program are vulnerable children, widows, handicaps and uncared old age people.
RATIONALE FOR INTERVENTION - Sneh-Prayas in partnership with Actionaid (Sneh Samudaya Intervention) have responded to the needs of relief and rehabilitation in 9 villages of Bhachau taluka. Focusing on most vulnerable survivors it has successfully done their community based rehabilitation (CBO). The whole process was based on right-based approach. Right based campaign initiated by Sneh Samudaya undertook entitlement and compensation issues related to housing, implementation of social security measures such as widow pension, old age pension and bringing in perspectives and views of marginalised people at policy level. Simultaneously, livelihood interventions and housing interventions helped marginalised people to rebuild their lives and hopes as well. As per objective of Sneh Samudaya, Sneh–Prayas has initiated a process to prepare communities enabling them for mainstreaming in the process of development. Pertaining to this objective village level committees (Known as Sneh Committee) and community based committees like Ekal Nari Sangathans, Mahila Mandals, Bal Sabhas and Vikalang Mandals have been formed in all villages under Sneh-Prayas intervention. The adoption of participatory approach was the key element of successful intervention Sneh Samudaya by Sneh-Prayas.
So far, Sneh-Prayas Sneh Samudaya has been able to address the needs of most vulnerable and has meaningfully played its role in rehabilitation of marginalised people. However, there is need to upscale and broaden interventions. Sneh Samudaya has build up lives of marginalised survivors as well as has revived their hopes. Now their is need of streamlining people’s hopes and spirit, which becomes apparent by their active participation in programs and meetings. Capacity building, access to information and strengthening of community based institutions will make outcomes of interventions strong and long lasting. Since beginning, we are moving ahead to achieve the goal to make survivors self dependent and to bring them in the mainstream of development process. This objective can be achieved by addressing issues, which are directly related to confidence building of communities. To facilitate support system to marginalised people is prerequisite of confidence building exercise, which Sneh Samudaya has been able to do to a great extent in first and second phase. Therefore, in third phase we should concentrate on issues related with confidence and capacity building of communities. We should remember here that we should also be prepared for supporting people for their livelihood, who are still left in the process of rehabilitation.SNEH PRAYAS-Historical background Self Assessment Report- April 2002-Gujarat Earthquake