India is a signatory to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for achieving Sustainable Development through 17 identified Goals. In order to achieve these goals the Government of India is making strategic efforts towards inclusive development through “Whole of Government and Whole of Society” approach. As part of this approach, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, while emphasising on the role of villages and panchayats in bringing about progressive changes at the grassroots has divided the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into various themes.
Of these, Theme 3 focuses on the creation of Child Friendly Villages which aims at the accomplishment of 8 SDGs as depicted below:
With the objective of contributing to the national commitment towards creation of Child Friendly Villages, NLUO recently adopted three villages in the district of Cuttack. The names of these villages are Brajabeharipur, Balmikinagar (Mundasahi) and Babatilakanagar. The objective is to make necessary interventions in these villages to accomplish the relevant SDGs. After making these villages child-friendly, NLUO plans to expand its reach to other villages in Odisha.
Plan of Action:
NLUO plans to support and strengthen existing institutions for children and in doing so, plug existing gaps between the community and the government. The project will depend on building active collaborations with various departments of the government. Teams of students and teachers from NLUO will gather data related to survival, development, protection and participation of children from the villages and furnish them to relevant government offices for necessary action. Apart from that, NLUO’s teams will conduct various programmes in collaboration with state agencies for generating awareness and encouraging children’s participation in their development. Progressively, through these methods, NLUO plans to bring together various government and non-government organisations and connect them to the adopted village communities in order to make them Child-friendly.
Areas of Intervention:
Addressing decline in child sex ratio, infant mortality, maternal health care
Nutritional needs of Children, with a special focus on nutrition and health of young girls, keeping in mind high rates of iron deficiency
Children’s access to education and academic support by making arrangements for bridge courses, sponsorships and scholarships to meritorious students belonging to EWS groups
Legal Representation to Children in Conflict with Law
Emotional and Psychological support to children in difficult circumstances
Creation of Child Alliance Mechanisms, Bal Panchayats, Child-Rights- centric Youth Groups to encourage participation of children
Supporting and Strengthening Anganwadis wherever necessary
Journey so far:
- Convergence Meeting with various Stakeholders: On 5.01.2023, the Vice-Chancellor and Registrar of NLUO along with a team of faculty members and officers met the ADM (G), Cuttack and his team comprising of the DWO, DSWO, CDMO, DEO, DCPO and DSSO. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the idea of Project Kutumb to the office-bearers and seek their support and cooperation in implementing it. The office of the ADM (G) was informed about the objective and plan of the project, following which they provided us with a road-map to access data for baseline studies in the villages, in the areas mentioned before.
- Earlier, in the months of September and October, 2022 NLUO organised health camps with the support of volunteers, doctors and nurses. Apart from that, a Mediation Awareness Programme was also conducted during that time in each of the adopted villages. Door-to-door mediation campaigns were a major highlight of the Mediation Awareness Programme.
- In the months of March and April, 2023, students and faculty members went to the adopted villages and organised FGDs, KIIs and Household surveys to identify problems faced by the people in these villages. Based on these findings, interventions will be planned by the team for the benefit of the community.
HEALTH CAMP ORGANISED BY NLUO FOR PREGNANT WOMEN AND CHILDREN
A health camp was organised by the National Law University, Odisha under the aegis of project Kutumb in collaboration with the SBI General Insurance on 29 th June, 2023 at the Brajabeharipur Upper Primary School, Cuttack from 10 am to 4 pm. The said health camp was organised for the pregnant women and children belonging to the age group of 0-18 years of the three villages adopted under project Kutumb namely, Brajabeharipur, Baba Tilakanagar and Valmiki Nagar (Munda Sahi). A medical team consisting of one Paediatrician, one Obstetrician, technicians and nurses from Hi-Tech Medical College and Hospital, Bhubaneswar were present during the health camp along with nurses from NLUO to conduct the necessary screening and medical examinations which included general health screening of children, screening of children for stunted growth and checking of their BMI.
A total of 103 women, children and few men were provided free medical check up during the camp. Even though the health camp was primarily organised for pregnant women and HEALTH CAMP ORGANISED BY NLUO FOR PREGNANT WOMEN AND CHILDREN children it witnessed participation of people from different age groups. 15 girls and 13 boys who attended the camp were in the age group of 0-5 years, 18 girls and 14 boys belonged to the age group of 6-14 years, 7 girls and 3 boys belonged to the age group of 15-18 years. A detailed chart with the distribution of the number of people belonging to different age and category who availed the free health service is provided in chart 1.
Out of the total number of children who were checked, the BMI of majority of them was found to be satisfactory however 3 children with ADHD and Downs GDD respectively were referred to the HI- Tech Medical College and Hospital for further treatment. Some children were found to have viral infections like conjunctivitis and subsequent fever while few others were found suffering from Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) and Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (UTRI). Some children were also diagnosed with Asthma and skin problems like Eczema and Scabies. Further, some adolescent girls were also found to be facing problems associated to puberty while one male child was found to have Gynacomasticia. Apart from that, some women above the age of 18 years suffered from different issues ranging from Acute Peptic Disorder (APD) and severe Gastroenteritis to issues like Arthritis, diabetes and Vertigo. A pregnant woman was also checked during the health camp and was found to be fit and healthy. A detailed statistics bearing names of the people along with their provisional diagnosis during the medical camp and other necessary information is provided in table below. Prescriptions with appropriate medication for people who participated in the camp were also written by the Doctors post check up.
Further, the medical camp was successfully conducted and managed by the special legal aid officer and the faculty members of NLUO under the guidance of the co-ordinator of project Kutumb and in the presence of the Registrar, NLUO.