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CFAR SUPPORTS FAMILIES LIVING IN URBAN POVERTY DURING COVID-19

The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India disproportionately impacted families living in urban poverty, making it harder for them to access food, healthcare facilities, and the vaccine. As a result, many families were pushed further below the poverty line. To support marginalized communities, the Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) is working with partners to organize vaccination drives and provide ration kits.

Thanks to a wide network of volunteers and collaborators from the state governments of Delhi and West Bengal, CFAR is helping adults and children get the resources they need to stay as healthy and stable as possible in dire circumstances. Read More

Australian Consul-General in Kolkata visits pioneering Water for Women WASH project

Akhila Sivadas, CFAR Executive Director, and Dr Madhumita Ray, CFAR Gender & Social Inclusion Lead, report on the visit of Ms. Rowan Ainsworth, Australian Consul-General in Kolkata, to Bhubaneswar where CFAR is leading an innovative Water for Women WASH project.

On 30 August, Water for Women partner the Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) hosted the visit of Ms. Rowan Ainsworth, Australian Consul-General in Kolkata, to Bhubaneswar in Odisha where a groundbreaking Water for Women project is ensuring equitable water, hygiene, and sanitation (WASH) facilities for the poorest and most marginalised people living in the city’s urban slums. 

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Transgender Day, April 15, 2021, Bhubaneswar

Some milestones achieved but far to go, say leaders on National Transgender Day

Transgender persons came together to celebrate the National Transgender Day on April 15 and voiced their concerns.  April 15, 2021 marked the seventh anniversary of the historic judgment by the Supreme Court of India in which the transgender were recognized as the “third gender.” The celebration was carried out at Kalinga Studio, Kinnar Basti, Bhubaneswar, while communities, members of civil society and supporters connected virtually from Jaipur, Delhi and Pune.

On April 15, 2014, the Supreme Court delivered an important verdict, recognizing transgender as the “third gender”, going beyond the two genders male and female. The Court also ruled that transgender will be included in the list of backward communities and asked the central and state governments to ensure that they access all the basic rights that were guaranteed under the Constitution. Since then, April 15 has been celebrated as the National Transgender Day.

On April 15, SAKHA, a leading community-based organisation working for the rights and entitlements of transgender, and the Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR), working on inclusive WASH and bettering access of marginalised groups to all social entitlements, joined hands to mark the day for advancing the rights of transgender, generating awareness and understanding on gender equality, social inclusion and facilitate participation and dialogue among all key stakeholders.

This year, the Transgender Day 2021 came during the pandemic which is affecting the community disproportionately and making everyday life a big struggle. Commenting on their employment opportunities, participants said transgender continued to be out of the mainstream and even when employed performed lowly jobs such as collecting waste, which gave them Rs 300-400.

This event provided an opportunity for reflection and exchange to build a more nuanced understanding of the different gender realities especially in the context of WASH, livelihood and work participation of women, workers, trans-persons.  Representatives of three Self-help Groups representing men, women and transgender shared their experiences of pursuing sanitation linked livelihood and the opportunities and challenges they are facing due to the pandemic.

Transgender leader Meghna Sahoo said the TG self-help group, Sweekruti, formed by CFAR in 2018, was the first transgender SHG of Odisha, and had become successful and was a model in the state.

Entitlements

Transgender are also entitled to pensions, but many of them do not have the requisite documents to get the pensions. The District Social Security Officer for Khordha, Mr Prasanna Kumar Mallick said “The department will organize Aadhaar camps especially for the transgender so that more of them can be connected to social security schemes.” He also discussed inclusion of some transgender SHG in livelihoods in Khordha district. Under Sweekruti project, CFAR and Chetana Foundation will provide help to the department in mainstreaming transgender.

Laying stress on the importance of education, Ms. Sushree Sujata Behera , PMU Cell, Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Department (SSPED), said, “Education is a must for all communities and equally so for transgender. The department provides scholarships for transgender to support parents in educating them. I appeal to all transgender to complete their education.”

She added that 40 years ago, women were in a similar situation and were deprived of education. “Once the transgender get education, they can participate in all activities including livelihoods, and the government will give them all support.”

Akhila Sivadas, CFAR’s Executive Director, said, “The Day is best celebrated by acknowledging the contribution that leaders like Meghana Sahoo, Meera Parida, Sadhana Mishra, Rani Kinner, and many others have made in advancing the rights of transgender persons” She added that “they need to be consulted by government while shaping the integration of transgender in various social development welfare schemes and programmes.”

Water for Women: Mobilizing, Facilitating and Replicating Socially Inclusive WASH Initiatives in India’s Urban Slums, implemented by CFAR, Bhubaneswar supported by Water for Women Fund, Government of Australia

World Health Day, April 7, 2021 Jaipur

# Building a fairer, healthier World # WHD-2021
World Health Day, April 7, 2021

Jaipur

Collectively ensuring that everyone, everywhere, can realize the right to good health.

World Health Day is celebrated annually on April 7 and each year draws attention to a specific health topic of concern to people all over the world. The theme for 2021 is “Building a fairer, healthier world”.

Healthy lifestyle not only has financial benefits. It also helps human beings to effectively contribute to the economic wellbeing of society and growth of the Nation. However, COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many lives and livelihood of people. Migrant workers, daily wage earners, small scale and medium scale industry owners as well moderate income HHs suffered a lot during this pandemic with loss of jobs and livelihoods.

Strengthening Prevention for All

The most severely affected in the crisis are the urban poor living in informal settlements. A majority of them lack social protection and quality health care services. Many of them and their family members also live with co-morbidities. The recent surge in COVID cases across the country has further accentuated their vulnerability and put them the risk of communicable and life threatening diseases and ailments

Community Leads the Way

Last year after the unlockdown process was initiated in phases, Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) trained a cohort of 100 Master Trainers from the urban slums on COVID-19 protocols. The objective was to keep them informed about this new disease that had hit the world and build their capacities for fighting the virus by following the official protocols. This group, in turn, trained another cohort in their respective slums/habitats and residences so that authentic information was shared with the community and the areas could be kept COVID-19 free.  

The time has now come, once again, to strengthen the skills of these trainers so that they are able to protect themselves and the communities at large from the Coronavirus infection that has made a comeback after a showing a decline for a few months. While vaccination to protect against the infection is on, it is equally important that people take measures that are effective in protecting them, their families and their communities from Coronavirus.    

The purpose of the various events on this day is three fold-educate, build and enabling environment around prevention and protection and facilitate action with support of stakeholders

Partnerships

On the occasion of World Health Day, Single Window Forum and Community Management Committee members, Frontline Line Workers, Slum Development Committee and Master Communicators will come together. Stakeholders present will include, officials from National Health Mission, UPHC, PHC, Ward Officials, Zonal Officials and CSO Partners

The community representatives will reach out to elderly, pregnant, lactating, single women, persons living with disabilities, men and boys to reaffirm their collective resolve to Leave No One Behind and take steps to prevent and protect each other from the onslaught of the mutant Coronavirus.

Master communicators will demonstrate correct techniques of handwashing, wearing masks, maintaining norms of social distancing, avoiding crowded and public spaces.

Information on COVID 19 vaccine will be disseminated by officials of National Health Mission

Activities-April 7, 2021

  • Nukkad Natak in Parvat Colony, ward 84 and ICDS Shakti Colony, Ward 78
  • Awareness on COVID vaccine with ICDS though tradition folklore Katchi Ghodi
  • Health Camp on COVID Vaccine with Ward Officer, UPHC, PHC, NHM
  • Wall messaging in PHC on communicable disease prevention
  • Reinforcing COVID Appropriate Behaviour by NHM and Master Trainers

Organized by

April 7, 2021, World Health Day is being observed as a part of the project, Water for Women: Mobilizing, Facilitating and Replicating Socially Inclusive WASH Initiatives in India’s Urban Slums, supported by Water for Women Fund, Government of Australia, implemented by CFAR in Jaipur, India.

Nukkad Natak in Parvat Colony, Ward 84 and ICDS Shakti Colony, Ward 78

Awareness on COVID vaccine with ICDS though tradition folklore Katchi Ghodi

Health Camp on COVID Vaccine with Ward Councillor, UPHC, PHC, NHM

Wall messaging in PHC on communicable disease prevention

Reinforcing COVID Appropriate Behaviour by NHM and Master Trainers

World Health Day, April 7, 2021

# Building a fairer, healthier World # WHD-2021
World Health Day, April 7, 2021     

 

Bhubaneswar

Collectively ensuring that everyone, everywhere, can realize the right to good health.

World Health Day is celebrated annually on April 7 and each year draws attention to a specific health topic of concern to people all over the world. The theme for 2021 is “Building a fairer, healthier world”.

Healthy lifestyle not only has financial benefits. It also helps human beings to effectively contribute to the economic wellbeing of society and growth of the Nation. However, COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many lives and livelihood of people. Migrant workers, daily wage earners, small scale and medium scale industry owners as well moderate income HHs suffered a lot during this pandemic with loss of jobs and livelihoods.

Strengthening Prevention for All

The most severely affected in the crisis are the urban poor living in informal settlements. A majority of them lack social protection and quality health care services. Many of them and their family members also live with co-morbidities. The recent surge in COVID cases across the country has further accentuated their vulnerability and put them the risk of communicable and life threatening diseases and ailments

Community Leads the Way

Last year after the unlockdown process was initiated in phases, Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) trained a cohort of 100 Master Trainers from the urban slums on COVID-19 protocols. The objective was to keep them informed about this new disease that had hit the world and build their capacities for fighting the virus by following the official protocols. This group, in turn, trained another cohort in their respective slums/habitats and residences so that authentic information was shared with the community and the areas could be kept COVID-19 free.  

The time has now come, once again, to strengthen the skills of these trainers so that they are able to protect themselves and the communities at large from the Coronavirus infection that has made a comeback after a showing a decline for a few months. While vaccination to protect against the infection is on, it is equally important that people take measures that are effective in protecting them, their families and their communities from Coronavirus.

Partnerships

On the occasion of World Health Day, Single Window Forum and Community Management Committee members, Frontline Line Workers, Swacchha Sathi, COVID Sachetaks, Slum Development Committee and Master Communicators will come together. Stakeholders present will include, officials from Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, National Health Mission, Ward Officials, Zonal Officials and CSOs.

The community representatives will reach out to elderly, pregnant, lactating, single women, persons living with disabilities, men and boys to reaffirm their collective resolve to Leave No One Behind and take steps to prevent and protect each other from the onslaught of the mutant Coronavirus.

Master communicators will demonstrate correct techniques of handwashing, wearing masks, maintaining norms of social distancing, avoiding crowded and public spaces.

Information on COVID-19 vaccine will be disseminated by officials of National Health Mission

Activities-April 7, 2021

  • Door to door campaign on WASH and Health with folk dance troupe
  • Tribal dancers will educate public on personal hygiene and safety
  • Wall messaging and sloganeering on waste management by SWFM-CMC members
  • Reinforcing COVID Appropriate Behaviour by Master Trainers across 12 settlements
  • Take Your Selfie campaign with messaging on dealing with the pandemic

Organized by

April 7, 2021, World Health Day is being observed  as a part of the project, Water for Women: Mobilizing, Facilitating and Replicating Socially Inclusive WASH Initiatives in India’s Urban Slums, supported by Water for Women Fund, Government of Australia, implemented by CFAR in Bhubaneswar, India.

Door to door campaign on WASH and Health with folk dance troupe

Tribal dancers educated public on personal hygiene and safety

Wall messaging and sloganeering on waste management by SWFM-CMC members

Reinforcing COVID Appropriate Behaviour by Master Trainers across 12 settlements

Take Your Selfie campaign with messaging on dealing with the pandemic

Dr Debi Prasana Sahu UPHC

Rally on waste management by SWFM-CMC members

Getting children back to school in pandemic times

Bengaluru: The Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) has helped bring children from poor families back to school in Bengaluru. The initiative is part of CFAR’s work to alleviate the impact of COVID-19, particularly on the poor and the marginalized.

CFAR is currently implementing a four-city social inclusion project for the urban poor in Bengaluru, Pune, Ajmer and Bhubaneswar. In Bengaluru, the project is being implemented in 48 slums across 7 Wards in the West Zone where Single Window and Help-desks which are mechanisms that connect communities to institutions and benefits and help mainstream socially marginalized urban poor communities. The seven wards include Binnipete-121, Subhash Nagar-95, Nagarabhavi-128, Nayandahalli-131, Chaluvadi Playa-138, Oklipuram-96 and Deepanjali Nagar-158 Bangalore urban district covering 1, 42,350 urban slum population. The project is being run in partnership with urban local bodies and key departments across the settlements and is being supported by the Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives and Azim Premji Foundation.

When the lockdown was lifted in September and November, we observed that many children were working as daily wage labourers in grocery shops, repair shops, street vendors and construction sites to support the family. As a result, many of them simply dropped out of school or discontinued schooling. The children were earning approximately Rs.100 per day which was a great support to the family. At the construction workers’ sites, we noticed that many children accompanied their parents to work and supported as helpers and earned money.

When the schools reopened, neither of the parents nor the children were prepared to go back to school as they had become earning members of their families and helped meet their financial needs. In one of the government schools, in Ambedkar Nagar of Nayandahalli-131 Ward with 1,100 households, we observed that out of 46 children, 23 were not going regularly to school while some had dropped out and had migrated back to their native places. That is when the CFAR team, supported by Help-desk members, reached out to school authorities and the parents to ensure that children returned to school and continued their education.

CFAR team prepared a list of children from various schools and with that list the Help-desk members and Single Window teams visited door-to-door and counseled parents. In the first instance, 22 children who had dropped out were re-admitted after counseling. As the intervention was scaled up, 28 Help-desk members reached out to and counseled around 865 parents on this issue.

We found that many of the children could not track the day they had to attend classes as the school was running on alternate days. They had no one to guide them as the parents would leave for work early in the morning. Since Help-desk members were located in the same settlement, they guided the children and ensured that they attended school regularly. The Help-desk workers also worked with school authorities to distribute food grains provided under the midday meal scheme.

The Single Window and Help-desk team worked closely with 15 government schools and one Government College. We collected a list of 1,290 children studying in sixth and seventh standards and 102 children studying in eighth to tenth standards and began to systematically work with the children to ensure that they attended classes regularly. A total of 865 parents were counseled by the Help-desk members. From January 2021 we also facilitated 78 children to update their Aadhar cards for their admission in the first standard. The Aadhar centres were set up in collaboration with E-Governance and Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in the Single Window office functioning in a government building in Bangalore.