"Nayantara" a Girl Child Sponsorship Programme

by Sabuj Sangha
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"Nayantara" a Girl Child Sponsorship Programme
"Nayantara" a Girl Child Sponsorship Programme
"Nayantara" a Girl Child Sponsorship Programme
"Nayantara" a Girl Child Sponsorship Programme
"Nayantara" a Girl Child Sponsorship Programme
"Nayantara" a Girl Child Sponsorship Programme
"Nayantara" a Girl Child Sponsorship Programme
"Nayantara" a Girl Child Sponsorship Programme
"Nayantara" a Girl Child Sponsorship Programme
"Nayantara" a Girl Child Sponsorship Programme
"Nayantara" a Girl Child Sponsorship Programme
"Nayantara" a Girl Child Sponsorship Programme
"Nayantara" a Girl Child Sponsorship Programme
"Nayantara" a Girl Child Sponsorship Programme
"Nayantara" a Girl Child Sponsorship Programme
"Nayantara" a Girl Child Sponsorship Programme
"Nayantara" a Girl Child Sponsorship Programme
"Nayantara" a Girl Child Sponsorship Programme
"Nayantara" a Girl Child Sponsorship Programme
Mrinmoyee with her family
Mrinmoyee with her family

Mrinmoyee*- a girl from an economically backward family of Nandakumarpur village and a member of ‘Nayantara’ Programme passes Higher Secondary (12th Standard Completion) Examination with good marks. This has created a niche itself and instance for other girls in the area.

Her family consists of 7 members- Two younger brothers, one younger sister, Parents and Grandmother. Mrinmoyee’s Father Mr. Nitai Mondal cultivates a little tract of land and also works as a daily wager. Her mother Mrs. Jamuna Mandal looks after the household chore and also works as domestic help in the vicinity. Earlier they used to earn a little more from coloring clay lamps. But it has been halted since last few months. Thus they could earn only around Rs. 3000.00.

About one and half years back their main residence was badly burnt in sudden fire. Though they have received a little Govt. Support it is not yet made built to many unavoidable reasons. Now they live in a small mud house with tiled roof.

Grown up seeing the struggle of elders in her family Mrinmoyee was determined to complete her studies since the very beginning. Though the grave financial steepness initially deeply affecting her studies. Mrinmoyee’s parents were unable to support her by affording Extra Tuition or provide study materials properly.

In such situation Mrinmoyee got involved with ‘Nayantara’ programme in 2017. Since then she had received all required support to complete her studies from the programme– extra Tuition Classes, Mentoring, Encouragements and all required Study Materials. This has contributed substantially to Minu’s achievements.

Mrinmoyee remained busy in Learning Computers during the period between Higher Secondary Examination and Result declaration. She is deeply determined personality to become successful in life. She has plans to get trained as an Auxiliary Nurse.

Mrinmoyee is looking forward to complete her Graduation with Honors either in Bengali or in Sanskrit. She has scored quite well in both the subjects. But Mrinmoyee’s Parents are afraid that they couldn’t afford her any more for studies due to financial limitations. They urged ‘Sabuj Sangha’ to support their daughter in her studies.

We are deeply thankful to all for supporting the noble initiative of ‘Nayantara’ which is thus creating significant impacts on the lives of girls in deep remote Sunderbans.  

*Names changed to protect the privacy and identity of the individuals

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Nayantara Girls Cheers at their victory
Nayantara Girls Cheers at their victory

Ashar Alo (Ray of Hope), the Watch & Awareness Team comprising of girls from the Nayantara programme consistently advocating for Rights of Girl Child and have vigilant eyes on any form of child exploitation and ignorance in the villages of deep Sunderbans. They are mentored and closely monitored by the team from Sabuj Sangha.

Recently, it has created a significant instance by preventing a child marriage incident at Nandakumarpur village of Sunderbans (South 24 Parganas district, West Bengal, India). A girl named Pratima*, a student of 10th standard, was being forced by her family members to get married at the age of around sixteen years.

Pratima’s father passed away many years back. Pratima’s mother, elder brother and other family members had organized to get her married on 21st May 2019. Her family also forced her stopped from visiting school since a few days before the incident.

On knowing the incident, the team members of ‘Ashar Alo’ took the matter as a challenge to reach their objective of every girl child being educated and independent. They visited Pratima’s school immediately, talked to the teachers and classmates to find out more about the matter. They visited Pratima’s house on the day before the marriage was going to take place. On seeing the Pandals and other arrangements of marriage they confirmed the authenticity of the news.

After visiting Pratima’s house, they urgently informed in detail about the matter to their Nayantara Supervisor and subsequently to the Programme Coordinator. Childline 1098, the National 24X7 Child Helpline, was called immediately. Soon the Police Force from the local Police Station visited the house to intervene- thus resulted in prevention of the marriage.

This incident has created sensation in the area leaving some everlasting deep positive impact:

-     The local area people have become aware and alert strongly on the vigilance and proactive works of ‘Nayantara Girls’;

-     Strong message established to those who are still ignorant and rigid at their patriarchal customs of getting the girl children married at a very young age;

-     This would encourage other girls in the vicinity to get enroll in ‘Nayantara’ Programme;

-     The ‘Ashar Alo’ Team members formed by Nayantara Girls themselves have now become confident and stronger at their own abilities.

We are deeply thankful to all for supporting the noble initiative of ‘Nayantara’ which is thus creating significant impacts on the lives of girls in deep remote Sunderbans.  

*Name changed to protect identity

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Madhumita
Madhumita

Three girls from our ‘Nayantara’ programme succeeded in their first public examination as a first step of completing an educational milestone in their lives. Combating the trend of early marriage of girl children and unimportance towards their education, these girls are happy to have achieved this level, but not to stop here.

The three girls has created instance and boosted the morale of the families in the area about educating their daughters - become role model for other girls in the neighborhood.

About the Girls

Madhumita* is a 17 year old girl from Nandakumarpur village (South 24 Parganas, West Bengal, India) who completed her 10th standard examination from Nandakumarpur High School. She is associated with ‘Nayantara’ programme since 2017. Madhumita’s father is a farmer with a small landholding for sustaining the family. Her mother is a homemaker and manages the family expenses with the minimum average family income of INR 3000.00 per month. She also supports her husband in farming work. In such dire family situation Madhumita with her strong will and determination along with the consistent support and guidance from the teachers & mentors of Nayantara completed her 10th standard successfully. Though not a very good performance in the exam, Madhumita is determined to continue her studies further and aspires to become a successful person, able to earn for her family with a dignified profession. Madhumita’s parents are proud with her achievement and expressed their gratitude to Nayantara in guiding her. They aspire to see their daughter successful and will support her in all her future ventures.

Mitali* is a 16 year old girl from the same village as Madhumita and completed her tenth from the same school. She is associated with ‘Nayantara’ programme since 2017. Mitali lives with her parents and two siblings. They live in a kuchcha house in the village. Her father is a farmer and her mother a homemaker, with an average family income of Rs. 3500 a month. Initially a timid girl with poor understanding of studies she became a confident adolescent completing her 10th standard successfully. Mitali aspires to be a teacher.

Sumita* is a 17 year old girl from the same village. She lost her father many years back and her mother struggles to run the family with her meager income as a domestic help earning Rs. 3000 on average every month. Sumita has an artistic inclination and exhibited her talent in making handicrafts items, clay ornamentation, etc. with the guidance and trainings from Nayantara programme. She wishes to do a teachers' training course. She aspires to become a teacher and a trainer of fine arts. Sumita’s mother is proud of her daughter and wishes to see her daughter successful as an individual.

Name of persons changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

Mitali
Mitali
Sumita
Sumita
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Girls watching animation film on Child Abuse
Girls watching animation film on Child Abuse

A training programme on ‘Life Skill’ was organized for the adolescent girls by ‘Sabuj Sangha’ from 22.04.2019 – 25.04.2019 at the organisation premises in Nandakumarpur village of Mathurapur II administrative development block of South 24 Parganas District, West Bengal.  

The training was imparted into two groups of adolescent girls enrolled in ‘Nayantara’ programme from Nandakumarpur, Mahabatnagar & Naranpur villages. Also a few adolescent girls from the nearby located Jaykrishnapur village participated in the training programme. Each group was given a two-day long training. The first was on 22.04.2019- 23.04.2019 and the second batch on 24.04.2019-25.04.2019.

The training programme was facilitated by Social Expert Dr. Ashis Kumar Das. On behalf of ‘Sabuj Sangha’ Mr. Arup Kumar Bhunia, Assistant Coordinator, Health and Mrs. Barnali Giri, Supervisor of ‘Nayantara’ groups, supported the training sessions.

Overall objective of the training was to improve the understanding of the adolescent girls between the ages of 13 to 18 years on concept of child rights and child protection and also to sensitize, educate them on various pertinent core issues, to ensure their own protection against all odds of exploitations   and also to raise awareness on child protection among their peers.

Topics discussed:

-        Child Rights;

-        Various forms of child abuses;

-        Issues pertaining to Child Trafficking and Exploitation;

-        Needs of Group formation for resisting the ailing practices pertaining to women and for girl child protection

Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) method was followed with an approach for learning and involving the participant adolescent girls with issues in discussion. The participants were encouraged to explore their creative minds and understand proper utilisation of the team spirit. Exercise was done through interactive sessions while boosting the spirit and confidence on taking deliberate decisions whenever required.

Outcomes:

-     Lessons on child rights and child protection in general learnt by participant Girls;

-     Awareness developed on National Child Helpline- ‘Child Line’-Call No. 1098;

-     Understanding developed on factual consequences of Child Exploitation, Child Marriage And Pertinent Laws;

-     Village & centre wise formation of peer groups for-

  • Selection of Group Leaders and confirmation of responsibilities by all team members;
  • Developing Group wise Rules and Regulations;
  • Creating Code of Conduct and Charter of Responsibilities;
  • Ensuring resolutions on regular meeting and must  Do-able activities;
  • Addressing Child Protection issues like Child Marriage & Trafficking. It was decided that a member from each group will track 15 neighbouring girls below 18 years age every day. Thus 300 girls will be tracked by 20 members of a group every day.
  • Developing Child Tracking System for vigilance by newly formed Groups;
  • Each individual member from a single group will track other members and if require identify the areas of vulnerability.
  • Developing mechanism to ensure calling Child Line- 1098 (the national helpline for Children in distress and need) immediately during requirement;

-     In order to create awareness among community each newly formed group will organise rally, street play on various pertinent issues like child marriage, social exploitation etc.  

In order to ensure percolation of messages and raising awareness on various forms of Child Exploitation including Child Marriage, Trafficking etc. stakeholdership needs to be developed among the community at large. For this a Village level Child Protection Committees (VLCPC) may be formed with local citizens who in turn will support the causes and initiatives of the newly formed peer groups by the adolescent girls.

Girls were divided to form into groups
Girls were divided to form into groups
Preparation of group wise resolutions
Preparation of group wise resolutions
Village wise Group Formation
Village wise Group Formation
Group Formation & resolutions declared
Group Formation & resolutions declared
Resolutions Declared
Resolutions Declared
Games for Interactive Learning
Games for Interactive Learning
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Sreela in her natural bright smile
Sreela in her natural bright smile

Shreela* is a young girl of 15 Years from Mirnagar* village in South 24 Parganas, West Bengal. She studies in 10th standard at nearby located higher secondary school- ‘Mahabatnagar Kailashpur Mission Siksha Sadan’. She is associated with ‘Nayantara’ programme since 2017.

Shreela’s* family consists of 7 members. She has two younger siblings– one brother & one sister, Grandparents, Parents and Shreela herself.  

Shreela’s* parents- Mr. Prabhash* & Mrs. Aparna* both are staying at Karnataka state in southern part of India. Prabhash* used to cultivate their own small tract of land and also in others field on daily wage basis in the vicinity of their own house. But most unfortunately he met with an accident while ploughing field with Tractor. He became unable to put on the physical labour essential for cultivation any more. Thus, they went Karnataka since around a year now to earn substantially for sustenance. Both of them work on monthly remuneration basis under a contractor. On an average they earn around INR 8000.00 per month. They maintain all expenses of their Karnataka stay & domicile with such meager amount.

Shreela* stays with all other members of her family in a mud house thatched with straw and bamboo sheets in Mirnagar* village. Being located a little interior from the main village road and without having any local transportation they face problems in times of need.

Shreela* has one younger brother Sibnath* of 10 years. He studies in the same school with her at Standard V.

Shreela* loves dancing and very ardent learner of clay based artisanry materials. She can now make small statuettes and ornaments with clay.

Being financially at a steep and away from parents Shreela* is deeply impacted with situations they are going through. Since joined ‘Nayantara’ programme gradually she is coming over her inhibitions and apprehensions. With various other alertness, awareness, grooming etc., which are inevitable part of ‘Nayantara’ programme, she has learnt the value of self esteem and essentiality of being educated. Thus with a bright smiling face and determined spirit to come over all odds she aspires to be successful professional in life.

*All names changed to protect identity of the individuals

Sreela with her Grandparents in front of house
Sreela with her Grandparents in front of house
Shreela with her brother
Shreela with her brother
On way to 'Nayantara' centre
On way to 'Nayantara' centre
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Sabuj Sangha

Location: Kolkata - India
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Twitter: @SabujSangha1
Project Leader:
Ansuman Das
Kolkata, West Bengal India
$11,314 raised of $188,571 goal
 
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