child poverty in India
Bal Raksha Bharat is committed to working on the underlying causes of poor developmental outcomes for children and adolescents, be it nutrition, education, protection or health. Poverty is one of the root causes for children and their families falling off the safety nets.
The Child Poverty theme comprises of three priorities area-
a) Livelihood for most marginalised and vulnerable families of children at-risk.
b) Youth Skill Building and Employability for children at-risk.
c) Child Sensitive Social Protection..
The Livelihood and Youth Skill Building aims to improve the economic and social capabilities such as life-skills, financial literacy and inclusion and larger behavioural change of the most marginalized and at-risk adolescents, youth and families, with a special focus on adolescent girls and women, leading to the greater well-being of themselves and their children.
The livelihood programme seeks to increase in income of marginalized families and at-risk families (whose children may be out of school, are vulnerable to child marriage, getting engaged in economic exploitation, or live on streets) by enhancing their capabilities through skill development (vocational, life, digital and financial) and linking them with government livelihood programmes and social protection schemes. Partnership and collaboration with CSR foundations, State Rural Livelihood Missions and National Skills Development Corporation will be central to strategy.
The Adolescent and Youth Skilling Programme aims to improve the capabilities of marginalized and at-risk adolescents and youth leading to employment by improving their employability by providing market based vocational training, social and emotional skills such as 21st century skills, life skill, financial literacy and creating an enabling environment in the family and community level for the adolescents and youth to pursue their aspiration. Our mentorship and handholding intervention supports adolescents and youth to navigate through initial challenges they may face in their jobs.
Our gender transformative approaches addresses unique needs, challenges, and opportunities of girls and women’s leading to their greater social mobility and participation in workforce.
We work with business houses and confederations to promote gender inclusive workplace. Also, to adopt Child Rights Business Principles. We strive to provide holistic interventions and include prevention of Gender Based Violence, Adolescent Health and Nutrition, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, adopt technology such as Virtual Reality, and mitigate climate change through green jobs/ entrepreneurship.
Eventually, the aim is to create a movement where adolescents and youth, particularly girls have the capabilities and the ability to “Create and Lead” the livelihood and skill building programme bringing in ling-term sustainability.
Through Child Sensitive Social Protection, the organisation aims to improve access and utilization of identified key social protection schemes by strengthening “Child Sensitivity Element” in the design of the scheme, its implementation and utilization cycle. Based on the knowledge and experience of working on the Child Sensitive Social Protection or Cash Plus Approach, the focus in to embed the same within all the themes such as Child Protection, Education, Health and Nutrition, Urban and Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation.
Some of our key programme include:
- The New Horizon project in West Bengal the past 14 years has been meticulously working with adolescents with little or no formal education and building their skills. Also it provide them with soft to technical skills, supports them across the full spectrum of vocational training. Till date the project has reached out to 3500 youth. The New Horizons project received ’Phoenix’ awards in 2014 at Berlin, Germany and acknowledged as ‘Project of the Year for 2018’ in Project Management Institute National Award.
- The Yuva Shasktikaran project in Bihar aims to empower youth collectives, predominantly women and girls to promote livelihood while at the same time striving to address cultural, gender, social and other barriers which prevent their upward mobility. The project is working with 17,000 adolescent and youths in Gaya, Patna and Sitamarhi in Bihar
- The empowering adolescent and youth in need of care and protection in Delhi contributes towards empowering around a 1000 adolescents and youth through enhanced capacity and skills leading to their employment.
- Beyond Cash: Making social protection deliver more for children, Dungarpur, South Rajasthan project contribute to mitigating the multiple vulnerabilities that children and their parents and caregivers face as a consequence of poor economic conditions, shock or stress through Child Sensitive Social Protection approach. The project has supported more than 10,000 children, girls and boys, and their families through various innovative approach.
- The Pathways to opportunity—Enabling youth to pursue higher education project supports most deserving and marginalised youth, particularly girls, through scholarships to complete their higher education.
Mihir (name changed), a youth from an ultra-poor family from Kolkata slum. His father is a rickshaw puller who struggles to earn Rs 100/- a day, the only source of income for the family. They have small piece of land in Sundarbans where they do cultivation, however, during the Amphan cyclone the family experienced major crop loss. This further pushed the family into deeper economic crisis. As a result, Mihir unable to depend upon his family for his study, engaged as a daily labourer and with the income supported his study.
Mihir was identified as a beneficiary in the New Horizon project. Through series of meetings and brainstorm visioning exercises Mihir developed his career goal to become an Air Conditioner service provider. Mihir underwent 3 months certified technical course and he also attended regular meetings and trainings organized by the New Horizon project which enabled him to strengthen his life skills such as communications, decision making, leadership, inter-personal relations and personality development. On completion of the course, the project provided Mihir linkages for job-placement. Presently, Mihir works in the Friastech AC Company and earns INR 12, 000/- per month and living a dignified life. With the experience gained, Mihir aspires to set up his own entrepreneurship which would create more employment opportunities for the youths like him.