Quarterly Bulletin

Bal Raksha Bharat

May 2020 | ISSUE-IV


Updates from this quarter


District level task force in Tonk and Jodhpur to combat child marriages

Save the Children in collaboration with the district administration in Tonk, Rajasthan prepared a Child Protection Plan to combat child marriages. A district level task force has been put in place under the plan with representation from the district governance, local partners NGOs and UNICEF. Similar mechanism has also been replicated in Jodhpur district through a government notification in the month of March mandating the constitution of the task force at district level. This initiative has been taken under Marriage No Child’s Play-- the flagship project to reduce child marriage and improve the sexual and reproductive health status of girls and young women and advance their rights.

Save the Children has also been instrumental in formulating the State Strategy and Action Plan (SSAP) of ‘Sajha Abhiyaan- Bal Vivah Mukt Rajasthan'- a campaign that has been envisaged as a platform to bring together various projects, programmes, and initiatives run by the government, civil society, individuals and media for unified action against child marriage.

Save the Children Changemaker series calls for gender equality

Department of Education, Government of Delhi, Municipal Corporation and other civil society organisations guarantee focus on access to early childhood care and education for children in street situation in a consultation with Save the Children on 20 November in Delhi. The consultation was held to commemorate 30 tears of the United Nations Child Rights Convention (UNCRC) and culmination of the CRC week. This women’s day, Save the Children in collaboration with Amity University celebrated the Change Maker series- an inspiring platform instituted by the organisation that aims to bring together ‘changemakers’ - political leaders, media, public figures, experts and child champions to encourage ‘Positive Steps Towards Equality’.

The event organised in the Amity University campus in Lucknow included debates, discussions, and representations through drawings, collage, dance and skits on child protection, women empowerment, and gender equality. On the sidelines of the event, book reading sessions were being organized to share stories of young change makers featured in the book, “We are the Champions” written by Devendra Singh Tak, Head of Media and Communications, Save the Children and best-selling author Rashmi Bansal.

National conclave to bring together stakeholders for basic education to children of migrant workers

Save the Children proposed a national conclave to engage with multiple stakeholders for ensuring access to basic education facilities for children of migrant workers at the inter-state convergence meet organized on 3 March 2020 in West Bengal. The state convergence meet was attended by Priyank Kanungo, Chairperson, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) as Chief Guest, along with representatives from local organisations, and other key stakeholders from West Bengal & Jharkhand to discuss the issue towards ensuring Right to Education for the children on move.

This was facilitated in the background of the seasonal immigration of workers to West Bengal from the neighboring states of Jharkhand and Bihar. The migrants mostly take up work at brick kilns.

With the constant movement of the family, the children remain the most affected group. Children drop out of education system and are engaged as child labours for long hours in hazardous working conditions to support their families. The schools also face difficulty in accommodating these children due to the difference in curriculum and languages.

Present at the event were Arti Kujur, Ex- Chairperson, Jharrkhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (JSCPCR), AK Singh, Convener of Jharkhand Right to Education Forum. The NCPCR chairperson also mentioned of the study being undertaken by Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) across 10 states to map out unsafe migration. Ahead of the Inter-State Consultation for Children on-move, Chairperson, West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights (WBCPCR), Ananya Chakraborty visited Ankur, the multi-activity centre run by Save the Children in the North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal.

Along with various issues, challenges, and opportunities, the discussions also explored the opportunity of setting up the centres within the brick kiln premises with the involvement of the local Anganwadi Centres.

Responsible business key to uphold child rights, says Save the Children

In the backdrop of a study that shows a high incidence of child exploitation among children from 7 to 17 years in the tea-growing districts of Assam, Save the Children focuses on responsible business behaviour through partnerships and dialogues with key stakeholders to uphold the rights of the children. A multi-stakeholder discussion was held to this effect on 24 January 2020.

The study taken up by Save the Children in 2017 shows 37% of children between the ages of 7 and 17 years in seven tea-growing districts of Assam are engaged in forced labour in the tea gardens. Half out of these children work for more than 40 hours per week. The study also found that the working conditions are often hazardous.

As per the report, 72 percent of parents reported that girls faced harassment by the employers. Chittapriyo Sadhu, Deputy Director-Programme Management (East), Save the Children present at the event emphasised on the need for community-based child protection mechanisms through the participation of plantation workers and their children.

Save the Children is working for upholding the rights of children living and working in the tea gardens of Assam in collaboration with the state government, corporates and tea garden worker community. To scale up this initiative, a collaborative platform with the participation of government, civil society organizations and corporates is recommended. The meeting was also graced by P.K. Bhattacharjee, Secretary General, Tea Association of India and Dipanjal Deka, Secretary, Tea Association of India.