Center for Women's Development and Research

To create a gender and just society and To facilitate a women's movement to achive human rights for all women
Jan 6, 2017

Final Report- Chennai floods rebuild the lives of 3000 children

Health Camps in Slums
Health Camps in Slums

Centre for Women’s Development and Research

Chennai Floods- Help rebuild the lives of 3000 children.

GlobalGiving- Final Report January 2017

More than a year had gone after the Chennai floods December 2015.  While we are writing this report already Cyclone Vardha arrived on 12th December 2016 even as the people of Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts were attempting to erase the dark memories of December deluge of  2015.   Thousands of families become homeless and thousands of trees were uprooted, services like, electricity and telephone services were disrupted for more than 2 weeks.  We have just completed our relief and rehabilitation activities of Chennai Floods December 2015, focussing on rebuilding lives of 3000 children.  Even though we could able to achieve our objectives and help more than 3000 children and their families, Cyclone Vardha also had tested our confidence and happiness of achievements. But the major achievement was because of our work people particularly women were prepared for the disaster during 2016, so they were mentally prepared to face the situation.  We also realized because of Climate change disasters are going to continue and we must look for long term solutions.  Another achievement is the involvement of CBOs-Community Based Organizations ‘Manushi’ domestic worker’s association, ‘Maithri’ Single women’s Association and ‘Snehidhi’ adolescent girls association initiated by us in the slums. They have played an active role in our relief and rehabilitation activities. We could also able to mobilize more material and volunteers locally to do our relief activities.

Immediately after the December 2015 floods we have distributed relief materials like dresses, food materials, utensils, learning materials for children to 3000 families in our working area.  All most all the people living in the slums are affected during this floods and it is a huge task to help all the people.  So did our relief and rehabilitation activities among our CBOs member that is women domestic worker, single women and adolescent girls. Skill upgradation and entrepreneurship skill trainings were organized and 160 women benefitted from these activities.  Out of which 23 women particularly single women (widows, destitute women) were also given financial help to start business.  3 medical camps were organized in collaboration with Art of Living organization and nearly 1500 families benefitted from this.

Our major focus was on children particularly girl children.  As part of providing counselling for children activities like drawing, paintings, storytelling, drama, songs, dance, yoga and games were organized during evenings and weekends at the slum level.  More than 3000 girls from 50 slums benefitted from these activities.   Since the flood affected during December that is just 3 months before their school final examinations, in collaboration with local schools and teachers we have organized tuition classes for 10th and 12th standard students because they had to prepare for the final board examinations. Nearly 900 girls benefitted from this.   We have distributed motivational Scholarships of Rs.1000 to 250 girls who have completed their 10th and 12th standard classes to motivate them continue their education.

Even though Cyclone Vardha damaged our sense of achievements, the way people raised particularly women and girls rebuild their lives after the disasters gave us lot of hope and confidence to face any disaster and carry on our work.  Involving in disaster relief and rehabilitation work is new and we were unprepared for that.  Still with our staff team and local level women and girl leaders we could able to achieve a lot and learned a lot. This helped us to carry on relief activities immediately after the cyclone Vardha. Now we are in the process of building long term solutions to face the disasters and climate change.

Please visit our new Project to help us in our Cyclone Vardha relief and rehabilitation activities:

https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/cyclone-vardha-chennai-relief-and-rehabilitation/

Girls with their drawings on floods
Girls with their drawings on floods
School bags distributed to girls
School bags distributed to girls
Girls with relief materials
Girls with relief materials
Dec 27, 2016

December 2016 Update

Street Play on Eliminating Violence Against Women
Street Play on Eliminating Violence Against Women

Centre for Women’s Development and Research
Life Skill and Sexuality Education for 1000 girls-India (14480)
Update- December  2016

 

Last three months is an important period for us, for Tamilnadu and in fact for the whole of India.  On 8th November 2016, Our Prime Minister Mr.Narendra Modi announced government of India’s policy on demonetization, ceasing the usage of all Rs.500 and Rs.1000 as legal tender in India from 9th November 2016.  The government claimed demonetization was an effort to stop counterfeiting the current banknotes allegedly used for funding terrorism, as well as a crackdown on black money and to reduce corruption.  Nearly 86% of currency used was withdrawn.  On 5th December Tamilnadu’s Chief Minister  Ms.J.Jayalalitha, fondly known as Amma died, made Tamilnadu come standstill for few days.  On 12th December Cyclone Vardha made landfall in Chennai with winds as fast as 140 kilometers, rendered thousands homeless and more than 15,000 trees were lost. For more than a week  no electricity, no telephone, no internet connections.  After Chennai floods of December  2015 people are attempting to erase the dark memories of December deluge of last year and have started fresh but after cyclone vardha families are back to square one amid black future.  People have lost their homes, jobs, all these will affect the girl children.  In economic hardships it is usually the expenses on girls will be reduced or stopped.  They may be taken out of schools, no money will be spent on their need, sometimes they may be asked to go for work. Last year after the floods our struggle was to help and motivate families to keep sending girl children to schools.  We succeed in that no girl children dropped out of schools in our working area, of course their academic achievement were reduced to low creating difficulties for them to get college admissions or scholarships.

During this period we continued our lifeskill and sexuality education activities and more importance was given of recreational activities like dance, songs, plays and games.  Nearly 600 girls from our working area of 85 slums benefitted from these activities. Even in this period of demonetization period we could able to give motivational scholarship support of Rs.1000 to 250 girls; In fact mobilized donations from the local people and friends.  Since we have been expecting the flood like situation like last year we have started distributing this scholarships during the first week of November so not much affected by the demonetization.  The 3 learning centres in Velacherry, Ezhilnagar and Sholinganallur continued providing computer skill training and organizing lifeskill and sexuality education workshops and nearly 180 girls benefitted from these workshops.  Ezhilnagar and Sholinganallur centres were affected by the Cyclone Vardha and stopped functioning, it may take few months to run it again.  During December in collaboration with MagicBus organization we have also initiated Employability skill programme for young people above 18 years, 21 girls and 4 boys are attending this programme. They will be given 3 months training and we will find placements for them.

As usual ‘Snehidhi’ adolescent girls association members were involved in the 16 days campaigns to eliminate violence against women.  The campaign started on 25th November 2016, International day to eliminate violence against women to 10th December 2016, International human rights day.  A team of 25 girls were trained in folk arts like Thappattam and street plays, during the campaign they went around slums and performed plays, dance and songs to educate the public about human rights and the importance of eliminating the violence against women. Even though several days’ programmes were cancelled because of the cyclone and rains, the girls performed in28 slums and nearly 10,000 people participated as audience and involved in the discussions after the performances.

We have also conducted regular parents meeting actually mothers meetings, to motivate them to support the girl children’s education. Even in this difficult situation many women pledged to send their girl children up to 12th standard.  We have also organized teachers meetings in our working area to discuss the ways of helping girl children during the coming board examinations.  Actually during the December itself they had half yearly examinations, even in this worst situation girl children helping their mothers and also studying gave us lot of hope to carry on work to educate and empower girl children. 

Folk Dance by girls
Folk Dance by girls
Campaign to eliminate violence against Women
Campaign to eliminate violence against Women
16 days activism training
16 days activism training
Skill training for young people, group discussion
Skill training for young people, group discussion
Sep 30, 2016

Update September 2016

Selfie of Spoken English Class by Volunteers
Selfie of Spoken English Class by Volunteers

Centre for Women’s Development and Research
Life Skill and Sexuality Education for 1000 Girls-India (14480)
Update- September 2016

 

During the last 3 months our focus was more on career guidance and college admissions. In our working area 105 girls passed 10th standard board examinations and are continuing their education. In 12th standard 90 girls passed their board examinations but only out of which only 18 girls could able to continue their college education.  Many of the girls could not go for college because of their low marks and poverty.  Because of low marks they could get only admission in private colleges, there the fees are very high Rs.30000-50000.   So in the coming years we are planning to focus on supplementary education support so that they can score high marks in their 12th standard examinations.  In fact, we were also educating about the different short term skill trainings that they can finish it and get employment easily, but since the training centres are slightly far away from their homes and most of them of first generation school goers somehow they want to become a university graduate.

Selfie of Spoken English Class by Loyola college students

We could able to provide full scholarship supports for 3 girls, one joined for B. Com, another B.Sc.(Bio-Chemistry) and another in B.C.A.  In addition to that we have given Rs.3000 as motivational scholarships for 10 girls who joined for degree courses. During this period, we have opened 3 recreational learning centres in city area.  In Ezhil nagar slum the slum clearance board had allotted a place for our training centre. This is a recognition for our work with flood affected people shifted to Ezhil nagar.  These 3 centres helped us to reach out to more girls.  We have been conducted weekend, life skill and sexuality education workshops for adolescent girls. In both rural and urban area 365 girls participated in these workshops.  Usually we conduct tuition classes for 10 and 12th standard girls from January to March that is 3 months before their board examination.  Since we have 3 new centres and 1 rural centre we have decided to conduct supplementary education classes on regular basis.  We have bought text books and books related to their syllabus and kept it in the centre.  Our field workers are also motivating them to use online resources to learn further. We are also continuing out school based sexuality education programme.  During this period, we have organized sexuality education programme in 2 schools nearly 300 girls and 150 boys benefited from these programmes.  In rural are we have also organized organic kitchen garden programmes for adolescent girls and motivated them to have kitchen gardens in their homes.  45 girls benefitted from this programme and created kitchen gardens in their homes.  In addition to this we have organized painting, drawing workshops, folk dance and street play workshops.  68 girls benefitted from these programmes.  We have organized spoken English classes in Mylopore centre with the help of 2 Loyola college MSW student 35 girls benefitted from this programme.

Girls meeting in Mylapore

We have also organized parent’s meetings in 32 slums and 15 villages mostly to discuss about the girl children’s education.  Most of the parents are disappointed that they could not able to send their daughters who had passed 12th standard to colleges.  Since most of these girls are 17-18 years of age, if they sit at home parents would immediately think about their marriage. In fact, the cost of the one-day wedding function would be more than that of the three-year degree course fees. So We are trying to educate parents about this and the importance marrying the girls at 21 years or after that. We have also provided information about the government schemes and scholarships provided by government and other organizations.  We are also exploring ways of creating a saving scheme or some finance scheme particularly support girl children’s higher education. 

Girls meeting in Mylapore
Girls meeting in Mylapore
Painting Workshop
Painting Workshop
Girls after the inauguration of Velacherry centre
Girls after the inauguration of Velacherry centre
 
   

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