Kalanjiyam Trust

Our Vision "Kalanjiyam envisions an energized and empowered community, that can take part in its own development, is able to mobilize and organize itself and take actions to ensure quality education, improved health and overall well-being of all its members." The mission of Kalanjiyam is to bring about impact in a core set of areas: Ensuring that children have access education quality education Bringing health and well being resulting in a RICH community, Making sure that communities are aware / have knowledge and have correct information for making decisions and choices in their lives Facilitating and broadening the skills and capacity of communities Providing for ways to ...
Sep 13, 2016

A new year

The new school year started in June 2016 and the project activities were continued in ongoing manner.  Since this is a new year, planning for the coming school year was also done including assessment of students and areas for improvements. 

  • Comprehensive School Assessments were conducted in each of the project school through an in-depth interview with the teachers and Head Mistress, and through observations in order to know more about the school and school environment, identify gaps and needs, and prepare a comprehensive plan of action.
  • Various needs identified through the school assessment have been fulfilled by the Project in each of the schools over the course of the project year. 
  • Activity-based, interactive after-school tuitions and special classes are being held for slow learners.
  • Computer classes have been initiated conducted by para-teachers in association with class teachers

A meetings of parents was organized in some of the schools. The main focus of the meeting was to address some of the issues related to children. The meeting served as a platform to engage with the parents on issues such as school regularity, punctuality, and child nutrition, personal hygiene of children, and child health not only physical but emotional and mental health and child abuse. Parents were encouraged to view the world from the child’s perspective and provide greater attention to the child’s needs. The resource person stressed more on the importance of paying attention and listening to children as most of the parents never do it in their day-to-day life due to work pressure.

Awareness/ counselling session was conducted for students of IVth and Vth class. The session was divided into three parts- a general discussion with the boys and girls separately and a one-on-one interactive session. The topics addressed for the girls included self-awareness, self-worth and sexual abuse. The topics for boys included behaviour, discipline and self-awareness. Many students used the opportunity for one-on-one interactions with the Counsellor and discussed their deepest concerns.  Based on the activity conducted during group counselling session, few children were identified with serious problems at home, including neglect, low self-esteem, aggression issues etc. One-on-one counselling with the counsellor helped the children to share and expressed their anxiety and feelings.

Aug 5, 2016

Empowering children on hygiene and sanitation

Dear Friends,

Thanks for your support of our efforts to improve hygiene and Sanitation in our project schools in Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu.

As the new school began in June, we started to do some assessment of needs on hygiene and sanitation in all the supported schools - 17 primary, middle, high and higher secondary schools. Some of the issues identified were poor maintenance of the school grounds, problems with water source, repairs of motor/ water tanks, and availability of cleaning supplies.  In addition, we also found the need to renew the children's awareness levels and ability to take actions on poor hygiene issues. A program has been developed for improving the situation in each school, which will be implanted in the course of the school year.

In the month of June, we started conducting the awareness session in each school, talking to children about their views on hygiene and what challenges they have to maintain good personal hygiene.  It was identified, that educating parents on these issues is also very important.  But since the issue is considered to basic and not a serious issue at the community level, there is significant level of apathy.  To get through to them, we have started to conduct some competitions, storytelling, plays/ skits, where parents can be invited as well.  These activities are only now being initiated and we hope to assess the extent of change among the parents and community over the next few months.

In addition, the project is also now trying to select some families to provide support on building individual toilets for homes; to develop a model for improving functional use of latrines among rural communities.  One of the main challenges in this faced is the attitude towards maintenance of toilets at the household level.  We are hoping that the above intervention will also help to address this issue. Based on the success we hope to scale up these activities.  We will update the status of both these initiatives in the next report.

Thanks to all of you who continue to support our efforts.

Jun 20, 2016

Support to rain affected

Flood Relief and Rehabilitation Work by Kalanjiyam

The torrential rains from late October 2015 onwards, of a scale not seen in nearly 100 years, and the ensuing flooding of various lakes and reservoirs wreaked havoc in Chennai, Kanchipuram, Thiruvallur, and Cuddalore districts of Tamil Nadu in November and December 2015. There was a loss of life and property coupled with mass displacement of hundreds of families.

In the 100+ remote villages of Kanchipuram district where Kalanjiyam works, families reside in thatched roof/mud houses. Through the initial assessments post-floods, it was found that over a 100 families had fully or partially lost their houses. The torrential rains washed away all/few of the mud walls; in some homes the roof was partially left behind, whereas in other cases this had also fallen apart. The livestock and poultry were severely affected; many became diseased and died owing to the rains. In some of the areas, the crops rotted away.

The displaced families were housed at schools and houses of their neighbours or those willing and able to accommodate them. Some of the displaced families were shifted to their relatives’ homes or moved to cities away from the village. As an immediate relief measure, Kalanjiyam provided food supplies/ rations, clothing, blankets, toiletries, mosquito repellents, etc. Our medical van visited the villages on a daily basis in order to attend to the immediate illnesses and health concerns of those affected. But these measures addressed only immediate needs of the affected families.

The most important need that had to be addressed was that of rehabilitation of the displaced families to help them come out of the calamity. For rehabilitation, houses needed to be rebuilt, and all their household items and necessities had to be provided. Since many had lost their means of the livelihood in the form of livestock and poultry, they also needed help in restoring livelihood or finding alternate means of livelihood.

Kalanjiyam embarked upon accomplishing this difficult yet indispensable task of rehabilitation. Families who neither had the means nor had anyone to go to for help were provided financial assistance to rebuild their houses.

The Process

As a first step, the affected families were asked to submit an application form along with a photograph of the affected house, and copies of their ration card, voter’s id, Aadhar card and other necessary documents to the Kalanjiyam team. The families were also asked to get their application form attested by an elected representative from their village.

A village committee comprising of 3-4 members chosen from different villages was constituted. The village committee scrutinised the applications, and verified the condition of the house and the family through field visits. Through the field visit, the committee assessed the degree of damage to the house. For each applicant, the committee, then, gave a report and made a recommendation of the amount to the provided to the family for rebuilding their homes. Accordingly, the most deserving families were identified.

A total of 81 families were supported. They were divided into three categories and accordingly provided with support. The first category comprised families whose houses were completely washed away during the floods. They were supported with an amount of Rs.50000 towards material costs of reconstructing their house while they had to shell in the labour costs. The second category comprised families whose houses were partially damaged with one or more walls and/or roof collapsing during the floods. They were supported with the amount required for reconstructing the damaged portions of the house. Here again, we supported the material costs for reconstruction while the beneficiaries paid for the labour costs. The third category comprised senior citizens who had fully or partially lost their houses during the floods. For them, we supported the entire amount including labour costs required for rebuilding their house or the damaged walls/ roof.

From March 2016 onwards, the support amount was disbursed to the beneficiaries to start the process of reconstruction. This was done in five batches. The beneficiaries were required to sign an agreement stating that they would use the support amount only for the purpose of reconstructing their house and not for any other purpose. This was done in the presence of the local elected representatives from the respective villages.

The Kalanjiyam team has started monitoring and following up with the beneficiaries to keep a tab on the process of reconstruction of the house.

We thank Global Giving and all well wishers for your support!

 
   

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