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
Sep 26, 2016

Chennai floods Rebuilding lives Update Sep 2016

Jayanthi Single women given support
Jayanthi Single women given support

Centre for Women’s Development and Research

Chennai Floods- Help rebuild the lives of 3000 children.

GlobalGiving Update September 2016

 

Last 3 months that is from July 2016 onwards our focus was more on girl children’s education and long term strategies to handle disaster situations.  Our relief activities have almost completed and stopped because of the funding crunch, that is with limited resources we could only reach out all the people in our working slums.  Mostly our focus was on adolescent girls and women who are part of our CBOs-Community Based Organizations.  Since the monsoons are nearing people are living with fear because nothing much to mitigate the floods were done by the government, waterways were not cleaned and deepened, rain water drainage system work is not completed and not reached to places vulnerable to floods. 1000 families severely affected by the floods are shifted to new rehabilitation housing centre at Ezhil nagar.  No additional support for their livelihood are not given by the government. In Ezhil Nagar the slum clearance board had allotted a place for us, even though it is small place we are running our recreational learning centre for adolescent girls here.  We can also organize small group of 10-15 women’s meeting.  This allotment is also recognition for our work in Ezhil Nagar.   As usual women are playing major roles in these situations like make sure children get food, goes to schools, medical help if family members are sick.  Most of their household’s things lost, work is lost but women make sure the family is running they find work, they collect ration and relief materials in short provide health, education and social security to their family members. 

We have organized regular meetings of our CBOs-Community Based Organizations, Manushi- the domestic worker’s association, Maithri-Single women’s association and Snehidhi-Adolescent girl’s association. Nearly 900 women participated in these slum level meetings from 32 slums. Mostly getting rehabilitation support, government schemes, children’s education and improving income were discussed in these meetings.  Another important issue discussed the coming monsoon and their expectations.   In Ezhil nagar a Kannagi nagar  Velacherry, Sholinganallur slums we have organized workshops of Entrepreneurship skill training for women and 62 women participated in these workshops.  Out of these 20 women were given financial support to start their own business like snacks selling, flower garland making, fruits and vegetable selling.  For other women we are exploring ways of getting finance support like loans to start some small business.

Ms.Jayanthi is a single mother actually deserted by her husband, she is just 27 years but has 3 daughters 9 years, 7 years and 4 years old.  She has no brothers and no support from her family.  She lives in Kannagi nagar slums. Her house is also affected by the floods.  In the morning she works as a domestic worker and earns Rs.1500per month, it is very hard for her to manage the family. During floods she also lost one month’s work because during that time she did not go for work. She is a member of our ‘Maithri’ single women’s association and active in helping other women.  So to improve her income we have provided her some help to buy a push cart with that she runs an evening snack shop.  With that now she earns additional Rs.3000 and somehow manages the family.  Apart from the financial support Maithri also provides psychosocial counseling for single women.

During this period, we have initiated 3 recreational learning centres. Nearly 180 girls benefit from these centres. There adolescent girls learn computer skill training, supplementary education support and life skill and sexuality education.  In addition to that they also play games, learn folk dance songs, do drawing painting, all these activities also serve as counselling for these children. Even after 8 months of floods, even today if we ask them to draw most of them draw about their flood experience.

In the Velachery centre girls learn folk dance Thappattam, and in Mylapore centre they learn street play. 48 girls participate in these workshops.  They are developing plays and songs to use it in the coming Campaign to eliminate violence against women.  Since it is college admission period we have also organized career guidance workshops for girls completed their 10th and 12th standards.  90 girls participated in these workshops.  3 girls were given full scholarships to join college degree courses one for B. Com course, one for BCA and another for B.Sc.(Bio-Chemistry) courses.  In addition to that 10 girls who scored above 90% were given Rs.3000 each as motivation support to continue their college education.

Since November month is nearing that is monsoon is nearing women already started worrying about the floods it is expressed in all the slum level meetings so we are planning to organize disaster management workshops for women. 

Adolescent girls painting workshop
Adolescent girls painting workshop
Slum women
Slum women's meeting
Thappattam by Velachery girls
Thappattam by Velachery girls
Street play workshop
Street play workshop
Jun 22, 2016

Lifeskill, sexuality education for girls-Update

Maheswari now doing her B.Sc Computer science
Maheswari now doing her B.Sc Computer science

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

 Last 5 months is an important period for us, our working areas were affected by the disastrous rain and floods during November –December 2015, so we could not continue our usual activities and mostly involved in flood relief and rehabilitation activities.  Comparing to our target slums the villages are not affected much. Still schools were closed for more than a month during November-December, our staff members could not travel to the working areas. All these affected our Life skill and Sexuality Education programme.  We were busy addressing the needs of adolescent girls affected by the floods and provided learning materials liked notebooks, pen and pencil and also dresses and sanitary napkins to both rural and urban area girls.  Snehihi-Adolescent girl association members also played an active role in in relief and rehabilitation activities.  They conducted village and slum level surveys to find out the needs of affected people and also organized the distribution of relief materials. After the floods school final examination started and schools were functioning overtime including Saturdays to complete the syllabus.  It is only after the State Elections during May people are back to normal and we also could able to implement the programmes as usual.

We could not able to organize tuition classes before the final examinations that is January to March.  Usually we organized this in collaboration with the school teachers and the tuition classes were conducted in the school premises. So our staff members organized tuition classes for 10th and 12th standard classes in the villages. 42 girls benefitted from this programme. We have  also organised 2 training programme for girls those who attend the public exam about pre preparation of mind, reduce fear and how to get more marks, manage the time, yoga and meditation.  58 girls participated in this programme.  In the rural area 30 girls appeared for the 10th standard examinations and 25 girls passed and Ms.Ravinadevi scored 451/500, and 33 girls appeared for 12th standard examinations 30 girls passed. In the urban area’ out of the 86 girls who appeared for the 10th standard board examinations; 80 were passed and continuing their education.  In the 12th standard board examinations 65 girls appeared and 60 girls passed.

But the floods and school holidays for over a month during that time reflected in their marks, most of them just passed scoring 40-50%, so it is very difficult for them to get college admissions, particularly in government colleges where the fees is low.  We are looking for ways to help these girls continue their education up to graduate level.

We have organized weekend life-skill and sexuality education for adolescent girls, 145 girls from rural area 380 girls from urban slums benefitted from this programme. We have organized sexuality education training for boys, we have organized 4 weekend trainings and 148 adolescent boys participated in these trainings. They learned about gender, sex, sexuality and violence against women and men.   In addition to that we have also organized 3 days life skill and sexuality education programme during school holidays, 67 girls participated in these programmes.  We have also conducted life skill and sexuality education in the schools, nearly 400 girls and 200 boys benefitted from this programme.  During schools holidays we have also organized two street play and folk arts trainings, one in rural area and one in urban area.  48 girls participated in these programme.  They performed street plays and folk dance in the villages and slums educating public about the importance of girl children’s rights particularly girl children’s education and requested parents to enrol children in schools.

Employability skill training for adolescent girls: We have organized two five weekends training on employability skills. More than 100 girls those who are studying 10th -12th and college going girls were benefited from this programme. They learned communication and leadership skills and improved their confidence. As part of the programme we have also provided career guidance to the girls.    

Maheswari (18) is a very active leader in Snehidhi adolescent girls group. Her mother is a single women. She has one elder sister and a younger sister. She is living in Kadapakkam village , In higher secondary , she scored 848 marks and was  good and intested in mathamatics. In her community girls are not allowed for higher education. After finishing 10th, her mother  planned to stop her education because of their poverty and being a single women she is more concerned about her daughters marriage Our staff members and Snehidhi leaders approached Maheswari’s mother motivated her mother to allow Maheswari continue her educaiton. We have also provided Rs.1000 per year as support and motivation to continue her education. Now she has joined for B.Sc computer science in Govindasamy Governemnt College in Tindivanam.  That is quiet far, she travel 3 hours up and down by bus.   We are providing a monthly stipend of Rs.500 per month as a motivation for her to continue her education. 

 

Maheswari

Life skill & Sexuality Education in Government School

Gender training for boys

Sexuality Education in Government school
Sexuality Education in Government school
Gender training for boys
Gender training for boys
Flood relief materials distributed for rural girls
Flood relief materials distributed for rural girls
Jun 21, 2016

Help rebuild the lives of 3000 children-June 2016

Flood relief materials distributed
Flood relief materials distributed

Centre for Women’s Development and Research

Chennai Floods- Help rebuild the lives of 3000 children.

GlobalGiving Update June 2016

Immediately after the disastrous rain and flood during December 2015, the state assembly elections were held during May 16, 2016. Because of this all most all the political parties were involved in flood relief activities and their leaders visited the affected areas. Opposition parties were blaming the government for the mismanagement of the flood situation.  Due to this the government had implemented most of the rehabilitation activities, affected families were given Rupees 5000 and nearly 1000 families who were living on the river canals were shifted to Ezhil Nagar and given houses there.  So we have also started our work in Ezhil Nagar.  During December rains and floods people did not go for work, schools were closed.  It is the women who manged the families during this time and proved their ability to handle the critical situation and solve the issues.  But children are the most affected during this period, they have lost one months of school education, their playing areas were affected, and they were also shocked and psychologically affected.  All these were reflected in the board examinations, even though90% of  the girls appeared for the 10th and 12th standard board examinations were passed, their marks are very low between 40-60%, so it is very difficult for them to get college admissions, we are now trying to find college admission for the girls who have passed the 12th standard examinations.

During this period our main focus was helping children particularly girl children continue their education, so we have organized meetings with mothers and school teachers.  We have also organized supplementary education classes in 3 slums for 10 and 12th standard girl children, but we did not get enough time for that because of the long school holidays due to rain and floods, schools were started functioning on Saturdays and additional classes were organized after the school timings. 90 girls of 10th and 12th standard benefitted from these tuition classes. Out of the 86 girls who appeared for the 10th standard board examinations 80 were passed and continuing their education.  In the 12th standard board examinations 65 girls appeared and 60 girls passed.  We wanted all the girls continue their education up to graduation but because of their low marks it is very difficult for them to get admission in government colleges. Ms. Poonguzhali from Nehru Nagar Velachery scored 1056 out of 1200 marks in the 12th standard board examinations. She scored 198 out of 200 marks in Accountancy.  She a member of ‘Snehidhi’ association for adolescent girls initiated by us and her mother is a domestic works and also member of ‘Manushi’ trade union for domestic workers initiated by us. Ms.Poonguzhali joined for B.Com course, she wanted to become a Chartered accountant.  We are exploring the ways to help them continue their education. During February month we have distributed a set of dress, notebooks, pen, pencil and supplementary nutrition to 1000 children of Velachery and Kannagi Nagar area, this also served as a motivation for the school children to continue their education after the floods.   We have also organized recreational activities in 10 slums and nearly 900 children participated and benefitted from this. We have also distributed Rs.1000 to most deserving girls who are daughters of single women as motivation to continue their education.   Recreational activities like games, songs, dance, drama, storytelling and drawing also served as counselling activity for the children.  We have also organised heath camps and nearly 10,000 families benefitted from these camps.  Again due to elections the slums were cleaned and regular drinking water was supplied for the Corporation.  We have also organized yoga camps in collaboration with Art of Living, 200 children and 300 women  participated in these camps.

As part of Million Women Raise campaign to eliminate violence against women and girl children, we have organized a street play and folk arts training for 20 girls from who were affected by floods and resettled in Ezhil nagar.  On 14th March we have organized the Million Women Raise event near Ezhil nagar and the girls performed and dance and plays to educate public about the importance of eliminating violence against women and children.  They have also organized a rally and human chain; more than 2000 people participated in these events. We are now more concentrating on Ezhil nagar where nearly 1000 flood affected families are resettled.  Of course they got permanent houses(one room flats), but they are shifted from their living places and work, the worst affected are the children, now they have to travel long distance(5-8 kilometres) to attend schools, of course the government had given free bus passes to them, but still it is difficult for them to travel every day. We are trying to get admission particularly for younger children in the local schools. We have also enrolled 10 girls who had some education and at home unemployed, in 3 months computer skill training.  They have learned DTP-Desk top Publishing and Tally- account software.  We are looking for placements for them. Since the fees for computer skill in the outside institutes are high we have decided ourselves to provide computer skill training for young women.  We are planning to initiate 2 supplementary education centres in the flood affected slums to help girl children and finalized the places for these centres. At least for the next one year they need support to catch up with their education.  There children will learn computer skills, maths, science and English and also involve in recreational learning activities like games, songs, drama, drawings.  We are also trying to increase the income of women particularly single women resettled in Ezhil nagar, we had organized 2 days housekeeping training for 30 women and we are in the process of finding placements for them.  We also have organized 5 weekends entrepreneurship skill training for 20 single women and out of that 10 women were given loans to strengthen their business activities like selling fruits and vegetables, snack stalls, flower vending.

During 17-18 the May 2016 Chennai had rains and people were revisiting the horrors of last years floods, in fact some of the areas like Velachery were flooded with water.  We realized the impact of December floods and peoples fear particularly of children.  We have to wait and see or actually get prepared to face the monsoon rains; children may need more counselling or activities to divert their attention from the flood experiences.

Last  months were very active period for us and the people because of the floods and the elections, for children it is very difficult to cope up with the difficulties, it was also the period of final examinations so it is become very difficult for the children particularly girl children to study, to help at home.  Still the women and girl children could able to resilient and continue their lives as normal.  This gave us lot of hope and confidence to carry on our work.

Ms.Kavitha Mathew, GlobalGiving India representative from Bangalore visited us on 11th June 2016, she interacted with our staff members, and women and girl children from our working area.   She also helped us to understand the full potential and use of GlobalGiving webpage.  Her visit was very useful and encouraging for us.

Yoga Introductory Meeting
Yoga Introductory Meeting
Young women in Computer training centre
Young women in Computer training centre
Street play & folk dance training
Street play & folk dance training
Poonguzhali in centre scored 1056/1200 in 12th Std
Poonguzhali in centre scored 1056/1200 in 12th Std
 
   

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