Ensure children’s right to survival, development, protection and participation and to set up mechanism for effective implementation of state plan and programs, a first ever initiative in Odisha, begun during December, 2015 in Khandapada.
The project has made considerable progress covering 40 gram panchayats and 1 NAC in Khandapada. More than 4204 children from 125 ‘child and adolescent collectives’ regularly participate to discuss and ensure their rights and entitlements. Children get opportunities to discuss with their elected representatives and community groups on various important child development programmes like ICDS, ICPS, SSA, NHM and SBM.
Through these children associations, children sensitised on various societal issues like child marriage, child trafficking, child labour, importance of girl child, school dropout, open defecation, problems related to children’s health like malnutrition and stunting are among others.
As a results child and adolescent collectives identified 74 irregular school children and they were to able to send 44 students back to school, identified 2 child labours, they got dysfunctional water sources (hand pumps) repaired in 5 gram panchayats and children are able to practice hand washing, use of dustbin and convey their parents to construct and use of household toilets.
On the other hand, baseline information and action plan for each gram panchayat have been prepared in the form of ‘Gram Panchayat Fact Sheet’ to ensure accountability of duty bearers towards protection of child rights. Pledge note has been prepared to cognizance parents, communities and the elected representatives to respect and protect the rights of the children. A bilingual (English and Odiya) quarterly newsletter ‘the Child Friendly Constituency’ has also been published to spread the happenings, facts and views of various stakeholders in Khandapada.
The change makers of this initiative, the 38 youth ‘Gram Panchayat Resource Persons’ (GPRPs) have been trained on rights of children, public programmes, social mobilisation, data collection and advocacy skills are acting as the main drivers of this imagination.
All this has been in progress to achieve the desired goal to make Khandpada a ‘child friendly constituency’ under the leadership of Khandapada MLA Sri. Anubhav Pattnaik. Youth for Social Development (YSD) a NGO working on issues of governance, youth and child development in partnership with Kalinga Kusum Foundation and its local partner AASHA have been working to make this happen in close cooperation with the district administration with overall technical and financial support from UNICEF, Odisha
In this dissemination workshop on ‘progress of child friendly constituency’ in collectorate Nayagarh more than 80 participants including Mr.Anubhav Pattnaik, Hon’ble MLA, Khandapada, Mr. Arindam Dakua, IAS, District Collector Nayagarh, Mr. Laxmi Narayan Nanda, Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF, Odisha, Mr. Dibya Chand Shulkla, MT, Kaling Kusum Foundation, Mr. Bibhu Prasad Sahu, Secretary, YSD, child leaders Ms. Bhagya Laxmi Parida and Siddhartha Pradhan of Golapokhari gram Panchayat, DCPO Preetikant Panda of Nayagarh public officials from Khandapada and Bhapur blocks, all line department officials from Nayaragrh collectorate, elected representatives of Khandapada constituency participated, shared their views and promised to extent all their support to make this happen.
About Child Friendly Constituency
Child Friendly Constituency is an ideation to create an enabling environment for people in a constituency to proactively participate and engage with their elected representative and service providers at various levels in their own development. In these process children as citizens will get maximum opportunity to participate in their decision making. In this process all elected representatives cutting across the political structures under the leadership of Member of Legislative Assembly collectively take the responsibility to discuss, design, guide and monitor the program implementation process with active involvement of multiple stakeholders including children in phase manner.