Role of NGOs
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are instrumental in the advocacy and promotion of basic child rights all over India. NGOs’ work is viewed as instrumental in ensuring that every child has their rights, including education, healthcare, and protection from exploitation, among others.
The area where NGOs impact significantly is in the field of education. NGOs ensure that the last-mile hurdles preventing these children from accessing quality education are taken care of. NGOs play a part in bridging this gap by setting up schools, donating educational materials and awarding scholarships to poor children.
Improving the health and well-being of children throughout India is yet another important side to child rights in India, in which NGOs play a significant role. Various health initiatives by NGOs strive to ensure that children can access basic healthcare services. They establish medical camps, immunisation campaigns and awareness programs to deal with health problems like malnutrition and diseases that can be avoided. By dealing with these health problems, NGOs help create a more active and sustainable generation.
These organisations save children from exploitative work environments and offer them alternatives such as vocational training and rehabilitation. By going to the causes of child labour and providing viable solutions NGOs help children in loosening the chains that tie them up with dangerous work.
Advocacy has proven to be an influential tool in the campaign for basic child rights, and more often than not NGOs, act as frontline warriors by sensitising people and helping evolve policies towards inclusive and beneficial outcomes. As a part of their efforts, NGOs use campaigns, workshops, and media coverage to highlight issues affecting children and advocate for changes in legislation that will safeguard child rights in India. NGOs become the voice of those who cannot speak, working for better legal frameworks and adequate enforcement mechanisms to protect children from exploitation and abuse.
By supporting access to equal opportunities for girls in terms of education and other areas, NGOs help in dismantling gender-based discrimination. NGO Initiatives that speak against societal standards and stereotypes are enabling girls to have greater agency and fulfil their dreams.
Community engagement is a pillar of NGO engagement. These NGOs work closely with communities to develop awareness, gain trust and provide mechanisms of support which all go into creating a better environment where children can thrive. Empowering local communities means making initiatives culturally sensitive and sustainable, leading to the feeling of ownership and responsibility for children’s well-being.
Such NGOs take part in providing immediate assistance to children affected by crises such as natural disasters or conflicts. Their rapid response teams make sure that children’s immediate needs are taken care of through shelter, food and medical aid. Some NGOs get involved in long-term rehabilitation to assist children and communities in recovering from the trauma and disruption brought about by such happenings.
Collaboration with government agencies
More focus should be on collaboration with government agencies to achieve the maximum benefit from NGO interventions. NGOs often collaborate with government offices on the development and scaling up of programmes that foster access to child rights. Through alignment with government initiatives, NGOs ensure that they help take a more holistic and coordinated approach to ensuring the welfare of children.
Bal Raksha Bharat, also known as Save the Children India, is actively engaged in catalysing meaningful and enduring change for children across 15 states and 3 Union Territories in India. The organisation collaborates with various government bodies, civil society organisations, and communities, focusing on five core themes: Health & Nutrition, Education, Child Protection, Humanitarian Response, as well as Disaster Risk Reduction and Child Poverty.
Since its inception in 2008, Bal Raksha Bharat has directly impacted over 10 million children, with more than 50 per cent being girls. The organisation’s dedicated efforts extend to addressing critical issues such as education, health, nutrition, WASH, child protection, child poverty, humanitarian response, as well as climate change and disaster risk reduction. The organisation’s theory of change revolves around achieving results at scale, establishing the credibility of our models through evidence-based, integrated, and sustainable programming, building strategic partnerships, and being a convenor of voices for children.
Operating on the ground every day and particularly during crises, Bal Raksha Bharat’s pioneering programmes cater to the unique needs of children, offering them a healthy start, opportunities to learn, and protection from harm.