On February 23, the Chairman of the Odisha Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, Mr Subash Singh and the District Labor Officer Mr Ambika Mishra, distributed 521 labor cards to construction labor in Khurda, at an awareness camp organized by the CFAR team in Bhubaneswar with support from the Odisha Nirman Sramik Sangh. The workers had applied for the cards through the Prayas Single Window and within a month of the public hearing (held on January 31, 2018), the Labor Department had sanctioned the labor cards.
While distributing the cards, the Chairman congratulated CFAR on its effort to organize and create awareness among construction workers and also expressed his gratitude to CFAR for supporting the department in identifying actual beneficiaries who were engaged in building and other construction work. He added that this had helped in excluding other unorganized workers for whom there are separate provisions, under a board for unorganized workers. In this context he suggested that CFAR should work also for the inclusion of workers in urban settlements in the board for unorganized sector so that they could avail of various entitlements.
At the event, Mr. Ramkrishna Panda, Member OB&OCWW Board informed the workers on the latest provision that had been included in the Board of spouse pension and explained that prior to this only the construction worker was eligible for pension after 60 years, but now after his/her death the spouse can also avail of the pension. Moreover, the girl child of workers were eligible for receiving promotional benefits under the Board, like exclusive scholarships, from class 5 and onwards. The DLO also declared that enrolment camps would be conducted by the Labor Department in CFAR’s settlements through the Praysh Single Window.
The Department of Labor put up a display of IEC material on the welfare measures available to construction workers under their Board and also distributed leaflets to the workers.
Early last week CFAR’s Pune team received the Swachh Award for 2018 for the outstanding work it has been doing through Community Management Committees to strengthen public and community toilets services, ensure clean drinking water and clean settlements. The award has been constituted by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to create public awareness on the various innovative initiatives that are being undertaken by stakeholders- private/public/NGOs/corporates – to improve the hygiene and sanitation status of the city.
The award, comprising of a trophy and cash prizes, was presented to Community Messengers by the Mayor of Pune, Hon. Mukta Tilak, the Dy. Commissioner Mr. Suresh Jagtap, and Actor Mr. Sachin Gavali.
Aim of the Award
This prestigious award aims at not only triggering a positive and competitive spirit among stakeholders, across all the wards of the city to perform better and achieve `Swachh’ status, but also to encourage them to showcase best practices that have had an impact and are scalable and replicable. More importantly, such initiatives could be used to create knowledge sharing platforms for all stakeholders and build awareness among the citizens on various hygiene and sanitation practices.
The awards were given on the basis of nomination/ self-nominations, received by the Department of Solid Waste Management (SWM) under various categories such as; efforts led by Individual Household, Housing Society, School / College, NGO, Public and Private Sectors. The parameters followed by the jury, comprising of sanitation sector experts, academicians, NGO representatives etc., focused on whether creative solutions – either technical or social, were used to address issues of solid waste or sanitation, the number of people positively impacted by the intervention and the number of IEC activities that were held.
CFAR’s award winning entry
In its application under the NGO category, the CFAR team provided details of its efforts and achievements in various settlements. For example, details were given of how:
Community led initiatives in water, sanitation and hygiene (WSH) were on display at the CFAR stalls in the recently concluded two-day Kishori Mela at Shilpgram in Jaipur, Rajasthan. CFAR was among the 30 NGOs that participated in the Mela. More than 1500 adolescent girls from different schools of Jaipur were part of the crowds that came to the Mela which was a part of the One Billion Rising Campaign.
Held on 9-10 February, the Mela was aimed at creating and spreading awareness around menstrual hygiene, livelihood and educational opportunities and health issues among adolescent girls and boys. Although the Mela addressed serious issues, street plays, singing and dancing made for a festive mood at the venue. Lessons on self-defense and health camps formed part of the Mela.
Visitors to the two CFAR stalls were given information on its many community-led initiatives such as the twin-pit toilet technique, conversion of insanitary toilet to sanitary toilets, solid waste management and waste segregation at source. Samples of eco-friendly, reusable cloth sanitary napkins as well as compost from waste were on display. These were in much demand among the visitors.
The twin-pit toilet technology and making manure from waste impressed many. Ms Kavita Mahavar, a resident of Jawahar Nagar basti felt that many people would want to adopt the twin-pit toilet technology as it was economical and doable. This was echoed by Mr Pradeep Joshi who said the technique would prove to be very useful in slum areas of Rajasthan.
Social activist, Dr. Meeta Singh and Ms Ginny Srivastava were of the opinion that making manure as a part of sanitation project was a good initiative and required to be scaled up. Besides, it was an easy process and any woman could make it at her own house.
Mr. D. K. Bose, Trustee, CFAR found the Mela a good platform for showcasing the community initiatives of CFAR and the organisation could take part in it every year. He said it was encouraging to see the response to the products such as manure from household waste and cloth sanitary napkins. However, it was important to impress upon people the benefits of the cloth reusable sanitary pads against other menstrual absorbents available in the market.[/vc_column_text]
Strengthening communities in inclusive governance through Prayas
To mainstream marginalized communities, women and unorganized workers, ‘Prayas’ a Single Window structure, set up in Bhubaneshwar by CFAR in 2015 with support from Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives, has facilitated 6,021 community members to access entitlements such as the public distribution system, voter card, Aadhar registration, widow and old age pension, subsidy for constructing toilets andschemes for skill development.
To showcase the effort, CFAR organised a press meet,at Bhubaneshwar,with community leaders from 15 settlements where Prayas is being implemented. The meeting sought to highlight the successful establishment and functioning of the single window system in strengthening the community-government partnership. Media persons from leading news agencies of Odisha were apprised ofthe monitoring role played by community leaders in ensuring effective delivery of government schemes and programmes.
Ms. PujafulaPattanayak, State Project Manager, CFAR spoke on how Prayas had been able to ensure that the pro-poor package of government schemes and services reached the intended beneficiaries. Official directives, orders, circulars and letters of the municipal corporation and the various state departments were evidence of how many more people now had access to safe drinking water, clean toilets, lived in cleaner neighbourhoods and had access to health services.
Community members who were the main instruments in bringing about the change recalled their fight against corrupt practices in ration shops, anganwadi centres and pension offices.
“The ration shop owner would force us to buy potato or incense packets in return for subsidized rations,” said Ms Mamta Ojha of KelaSahi. The community members, empowered through Prayas, complained against the dealer in the Department of Food and Civil Supplies, following which the dealer’s licence was cancelled. In another instance, the community advocates got together to fight for those who were denied rations for lack of Aadhar card.
Ms. Pinki Nayak, a resident of Rickshaw Colony said social audit of anganwadi centres, such as in ward no. 52,had led to an increased awareness in the community regarding the quality and quantity of food that an anganwadi centre must provide to children and pregnant and lactating mothers. Anganwadi workers too benefitted from the social audit as they were made aware of the important role they played in the effective delivery of the ICDS, said Ms Kabita Nayak, member, lunch committee of an AWC, showing a booklet, compiled and printed by CFAR that would help anganwadi workers and the community to monitor the quality of service provided by an anganwadi centre.
Recounting the community’s experience in accessing benefits under the Madhubabu Pension Yojna,Ms. BimalaSethy of JharanaSahi pointed to the gaps in the system. She said that a number of people had been unable to go for aadhar enrolment and thus, were refused pensions. Of the 108 people who had applied for pension, only 40 were sanctioned. The community leaders had approached the relevant departments and had persuaded officials to release pension for the very old. The community was now fighting for pension for single women who had been left out of the scheme.
Similarly, through its advocacy work, Prayashad helped rejuvenate the School Management Committees (SMC). According to Ms Ranjulata Nayak of HarijanSahi, the SMC members now seem to have woken up to their role in ensuring better environment in schools and quality education for children. Agreeing with her, Mr Sujoy Kumar Mishra, Chairman, SMC, Capital Government Primary School, Unit 6, said SMC members had been able to take up matters related to the school with the education department, thanks to the helping hand extended by CFAR. The members were pushing further to install a complaint box and a toll-free number that the children could use, to register complaints.
The project was also involved in creating open-defecation free wards, persuading people to use toilets, working with Swachh Bharat Abhiyan cell in the municipal corporation to not only release subsidy amounts for construction of toilets for individual households but also construction of shared toilets where the space was limited. Mr Sameer Ranjan Dash, Project Coordinator, CFAR said the process of making a ward ODF required much handholding as it involved not only constructing of toilets and applying for subsidies but also pushing for a behaviour change. In several places, members of the Community Management Committees were actively involved in advocacy for creating ODF settlements, persuading people to construct and use toilets.
The remarkable part of the Prayasproject, it was pointed out, was that a number of women had emerged as leadersand were taking an active part in the decision-making processes for the development of their communities. JagrutiParishad, a community-based organisation, for instance, had 100 members (all women) working across 15 urban settlements in Bhubaneshwar, towards rights and entitlements of marginalised communities.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Skill Building and Livelihood Training: Enzyme Preparation
December 26, 2017
CFAR held a day-long training workshop on enzyme preparation, with the aim to introduce this as a source of livelihood for economically vulnerable wom
en. The workshop was held in partnership with Miecoft Consultants and Services which aims to buy the product from the network of people who are trained in the process.
Enzymes are processed out of easily availablebio-degradable waste and are widely used in antiseptics, cleansing agents and in agriculture. It is also an eco-friendly solution to recycle waste which otherwise would end up in rivers and streams.
The workshop was held in Delhi with 27 members of Community Management Committees (CMCs) from Janta Jeevan Camp, Kaortiya Camp, IG Camp Ashram and New Sanjay Camp. Facilitated by Malini Rajendra from Miecoft, the workshop aimed at:
Building an understanding of a source of livelihood in enzyme preparation
Ms Malini Rajendra explained that if one household produced 500 gm of vegetable waste, a substantial quantity of waste would be available in a settlement of say, 1000 households. Producing enzymes from this waste could then become a source of livelihood. The good part was that this additional source of income required low investment.
Demonstration of Process of Enzyme Preparation
The process of enzyme preparation was demonstrated at the workshop. They were also informed of precautions they were required to take. Written instructions were also handed out to the participants.
The same process was repeated for different fruit and vegetable peels with other participants in the workshop. Doubts related to specific vegetables and fruits were cleared. Ms Rajendra explained that although enzymes from potato and onion peel and egg shells were in great demand across the world, the process required was different from the one demonstrated at the workshop.
Following a notification from the Government of Odisha to government schools to observe Children’s Day on November 14, 2017, Parents Teacher Associations (PTAs) across the State conducted a variety of activities in their respective schools.
The celebrations commenced with students assembling to pay homage to the nation’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. This was followed by a 15 minute telecast “Mana ra Katha” by the State’s Chief Minister, Shri. Navin Patnaik, in which he asked the children of the State to dream big, develop a scientific temperament, work hard to achieve goals and excel in various fields.
While doing so, the Chief Minister announced a number of measures for schools including a ‘My School’ campaign to connect children to their schools and childhood memories. In this context he mentioned that a corpus fund of Rs100 crore had been constituted and that the State would double the amount any alumnus gave as donation to his/her school.
Moreover, ten students from each block would be given language scholarships for scoring the highest marks in Odia, while the Chief Minister’s Merit Scholarship will be awarded every year to 40,000 meritorious students – 100 students from each block and Municipal Corporation, 50 from each municipality and 20 from each NAC. Cash awards of Rs 5000/- each will also be given to students who excel in Class X Board examinations and parents and teachers of high scoring Class X students will also be felicitated.
The CFAR Team with support from school teachers, School Management Committees (SMC) and Parents Teachers Associations (PTAs) conducted debates and poetry and essay writing competitions in nine Government Schools – Sikharchandi Primary School, Nilachakra Nagar Project Primary School, Maitree Vihar Primary School, Ekamara Vihar Primary School Khandagiribari Primary School, Kolathia Primary School, Raghunath Nagar Primary School, Satya Nagar Primary School and Gandamunda Primary School.