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Project summary :

This project will be implemented for the adolescent girls who are newly introduced to Devdasi community that is forceful child marriage practice further converted to forceful prostitution on the name of rigid and strong ritual and custom in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra state of India i.e. known to be an issue prone area in the country. The project is carried out for 250 girls with the special focus on their rehabilitation, health and advocacy on abolishing the practice from society. Duration of project is 2 years. Total budget of the project is 39, 00,000 INR for 2 years. The focus area of project is forced early child marriages, girls’ rights protection, and community support to GLHV and leadership to access proper reproductive and sexual health

Number of Direct beneficiaries:  250 (Devdasi Girls)

Number of Indirect Beneficiaries:  3000 (Parents, Customers and colleagues of Targeted Devdasi Girls)

Total Project Cost:   39, 00,000 INR

Total Grant Request:   35, 00,000* INR (10% cost will be bared by the organization)

Project Duration:   24 months 

), with special focus on effective use of preventive measures with high risk groups like CSW, MSM, IDUs etc.

NEED OF THE PROJECT:

1.       Geographical need: The proposed geographical area of project is Chandgad Taluka in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra state in India. We chose this location as it is the rural area of state, lacking in basic health facilities and diffusive approach towards supportive measures and treatment especially in case of women is observed, both from local community and government. Out of the infected women recorded in India, 3% belongs to this particular area according to statistics making this ‘an issue prone area’ There is only one Primary Health Center available for the population around 30,000 where only two professional doctors are offering services. Huge burdens on PHCs decrease their efficiency and reach upto all the citizens.

2.       Number of girls getting introduced to Devdasi custom is high. Statistics depict that annually around 4000 to 5000 young girls between age 12 to 16 are introduced to Devdasi custom and there is no way back for them. It violates their right to education, health and decision as they are married at very young age. There is need of strong interventions to reduce this number and highlight the status of girls.

3.       Project is needed to reduce health hazards like complicated problems occurring due to early introduction to physical relations like early and dangerous pregnancies, transmissions of STDs/STIs & HIV etc.

4.       Need to develop emergency support mechanism: Health issues of girls living with HIV needs to be addressed and measures should be taken accordingly as high mortality rate is observed due to AIDS among Devdasi & control is mandatory. Also it is important to develop an emergency support mechanism in cases where immediate medical interventions in serious cases would be possible being it a remote and unapproachable area.

5.       Need to provide Education in Preventive measures: Statistics depict that, 1/3 of rural women who have heard of AIDS do not know any way to avoid infection. It is due to ignorance, carelessness, stigma, guilt conscious regarding the issue.

EXPECTED CHANGE WITH SPECIAL FOCUS ON GIRLS LIVING WITH HIV:

1.       Developed emergency support mechanism at the remote locations will prove to be beneficial in serious and urgent medical intervention required cases

2.       Girls undergoing treatment like ART will be observed to be increased at least by 40% by 2018

3.       Our initiatives on interventions with nontraditional beneficiaries: the Usual project targets are FSW and MSM but our initiatives are for IDUs and ritually become sex workers, who are initially married in childhood, and then introduced to prostitution or begging. We are targeting 250 such Devdasi girls.

4.       Reduction in Death rate by HIV infection: among Devdasi it is high (50 to 60%) our interventions in promoting health with special focus on control over mortality rate will reduce the rate by at least 60% by 2018

5.       Reduction in transmissions of various diseases and reduction in health hazards occurring due to early marriages at least by 60% by 2018

6.       Serious use of preventive measures especially by high risk groups will reduce direct transmissions to their customers. It will also help to keep safe to the partners of their customers.

7.       Education on issue to the sex workers will not only keep them safe but will increase their understanding about the control of infections. Our aim is to educate them and promote them to help others coming in their contact.

8.       Rehabilitation & socio economic empowerment: the positive girls who wish to leave their profession and live a respectful life will be rehabilitated to institutions or their homes and trained in various income generating activities for their economic empowerment.

9.       Removal of stigma and community acceptance will be observed through training and counseling will help positive Devdasi girls to spend a dignified life in the society and promote their rights in context of social equality and health

ACTIVITIES PLANNED:  

1.       Identification of positive and negative Devdasi girls out of targeted 250 Devdasi girls will be our first step. This will help us to get an exact figure of positive girls, to plan for further activities accordingly.

2.       Activities for positive girls will include understanding the level of infection and encouraging them to receive medical treatment and support like ART (ART promotes the health of positive individual and live a lengthy life), promotion of use of preventive measures like condom distribution to avoid transmissions to others, providing nutritious food for them, counseling them to leave the profession and rehabilitating them though strategies like institutionalization or providing them vocational training through various activities in income generation, counseling them to remove stigma and guilt conscious ect.

3.       Activities with other victimized girls of the ritual of child marriage will include providing sex education to them to keep negative, generating their support to use preventive measures, so that they remain negative, a special focus will be on advocacy on helping them to come out from their cluster, (which is very much challenging as the social mind set is too supportive for the existence of ritual), creating sources of income for them, organizing training on reproductive health and informing them hazards of early pregnancies, organizing community education sessions on danger of early child marriages

4.       Advocacy Activities for policy making: formation of Concerned citizens group (CCG) consisting lawyers, police officials, policy makers to work against the issue of practice of child marriage as it violates the right to education & right to health of girls and make them helpless and dependent Rescuing girls during the child marriage ceremony is taking place and institutionalizing them until their security at home in confirmed Advocating legal actions on promoters and followers of such unlawful practices to establish control.

ASSURANCE OF POSSIBLE SUCCESSFUL PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION:

1.       A good community support: We, along with the help of our partners are working in these areas since last 25 years, and have built a strong rapport with local people, groups, influential political forces, law enforcing officials and other government bodies. This is helping us to carry on our activities without any interruption. This situation increases the chances of success of our project at its best.

2.       Strong project implementing capacities: Since we are effectively working in this field since years, we carry a strong knowledge and great experience in dealing with the issue. To mention proudly about our strengths we can describe the success stories in handling cases, dealing with groups, strong convincing power, updated knowledge about government schemes and policies, and our successful efforts in making them available for our beneficiaries. It proves we can carry out our tasks efficiently and effectively

3.       Dedication and commitment even in unfavorable conditions: We and Our partners even facing the unfavorable conditions like non availability of resources, reluctance of people in coming forward for treatment, constraints occurring due to remote locations are working effectively with same and nonstop efforts it shows their strong dedication and commitment towards their performance.

4.       We are working at strongly required geographical area where there is need and no other support system is available to work for them

 
















                                              

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