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igsss Indo-Global Social Service Society



April – June 2015

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Pratibimb Editorial

Aparajita Kujur Gayatri Mahar Leena Bhanot P.V. Swati Sadanand Bag Sohini Bhattacharjee Sreya Muzumdar Sunakshi Nigam

Printed at Bosco Society for Printing

Share your Thoughts Please share your views, comments and feedback on this edition of Pratibimb st

April – June 2015

ED’s DESK The recently released socio-economic and caste census (SECC) 2011 is cause for concern, especially for the civil society. The reality of the poor has not changed much and the deprivation level is alarming. It is time to deeply introspect our role as change facilitators and measure the impact of our work rather than merely blaming the State. IGSSS is taking this up seriously to see how each aspect of our work will try to address the deprivations of the poor and the landless. The Civil Society’s response mechanism during any disaster situation is of immediate relief and the consequent recovery process. However, during emergency situations, one tends to generalize the response to all sections not looking into specific needs of vulnerable segments of the affected population. Building from this inference, children being the youngest and the most vulnerable section of the affected population, suffer from deep psychological impact in the event of a disaster. The opinion piece in this edition of Pratibimb dwells on the impact of disaster on children. While IGSSS strives to empower women to fight to break out of the culturally expected normative role of being the caregiver, we also realise that men too need to change their attitude and deep rooted discriminatory values. IGSSS through its Positive Fatherhood programme strives to break away from the pre-specified gender roles in families and encourages men to share the weight of parenthood with the woman and partake of equal responsibilities. The article on Positive Fatherhood programme throws light on this IGSSS intervention. Peace is an abstract concept and the world is aware of the need for it; a very vital need. IGSSS through its peace programme aims to commence the process of understanding Peace as a structured tool. The effort is to engage women and youth by breaking down the concept into comprehensive knowledge and then further promoting it in the recurrent conflict affected Kokrajhar district of Assam. The article on Peace Programming gives further insight on the subject. This issue’s cover story speaks about the effort of a group of women from a remote tribal village in Madhya Pradesh taking micro initiatives at the village level to address issues of malnutrition. Nigrani Dal manifests the strength of women collectivization in tackling the issues of health and hunger through stern vigilance and prompt action. From this edition, Pratibimb is becoming an e-edition in an attempt to make use of less paper. Hope you would like this attempt and continue to support us. We solicit your feedback for further improvement. JOHN PETER NELSON

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Impact of Disaster on Children: Kashmir Flood Case Article By:

Ms. Essar Batool, Former Project Coordinator - Emergency Humanitarian Support in Flood Affected Areas of Jammu and Kashmir “Disasters are the antithesis of human development� J Baez


pening lines of a write up have never been truer. Theimpendingdangerandtheunpredictability of damage caused by disasters, natural or man-made, turn them into dreaded occurrences with far reaching consequences over large sections of the population. Years of development comes crashing down in a matter of hours or sometimes even minutes, destroying the physical and abstract infrastructure of a given geographical area. The massive damage to economy, livelihood, shelter and basic amenities is a proof of the extensive impact of disasters and to quote examples we do not even need to go back very far in time. The earthquake in Nepal and the floods in Jammu and Kashmir are ample proof of how a disaster has no regard for life, heritage, infrastructure or development. However

the first response to any disaster is directed, justifiably, to rescue, rehabilitation of shelter, food, and other aspects of survival for all affected without first identifying who are the most vulnerable among those affected who need specialized attention. Children can safely be classified as the most vulnerable group during disasters, given their dependence on adults for fulfilment of basic needs of safety, shelter and food. In the late 1990s the number of children affected by disasters was estimated at 66.5 million per year; climate change impacts are projected to increase this to as many as 175 million per year in the coming decade.1 1 Penrose and Takaki (2006); Save the Children (2007 and 2009). pratibimb 3

Opinion However, the more worrying fact is that children are viewed through an adult prism which believes that they will be able to cope with disasters as they are young and carefree. However given the psychological development stage the children are in, trauma and psychological imbalance is most likely to affect them. In context of the recent devastating floods of 2014 in Jammu and Kashmir, increased levels of trauma, disturbed routine, sense of loss and fear among the children was observed by psychosocial counselors of IGSSS working with children. In societies with well preserved family structure such as in Kashmir, the well being of children is directly linked to those of their parents. In this case as well, the losses incurred post disaster resulted in stress and aggression among adults which were often transferred to the children, who were unable to express or vent their own distress and discomfort. During interactions with children it was found that the loss of routine and familiar structures such as homes, schools, and playing fields abruptly had left the children in a psychological limbo and overburdened them with responsibility to rebuild lives. The children found themselves being treated as adults with a role in economic and physical reconstruction of shelter and income. Parents and teachers also observed changed behavior, aggression, disturbed sleep pattern and a tendency to get into fights with other children among those affected by floods, clearly indicating a sense of loss and an inability to cope with the disaster. As it is, children in Kashmir also happen to be a ‘red flag’ group having faced traumatic situations in the ongoing conflict. Belonging to low income families, especially those living in rural areas, the loss of safe spaces for children in floods was a concern which left them exposed to probable physical, mental and sexual abuse. The World Health Report, ‘Violence and Disasters’, states child abuse, neglect, sexual exploitation and trafficking as issues facing children after disasters. Though there were no such reports post floods in Kashmir, the fact that children were being handled by unknown adults should be a cause of concern, especially when the level of awareness about abuse among children is dismally low both among children and adults in Kashmir. The major concern that emerged post floods was an increased drop-out rate among children, especially in the age group 9-14 among boys, as reported by school teachers. The major cause for this was found

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to be the involvement of these boys in labour to help with the economic reconstruction of their lives. A similar drop-out rate among girls was observed in all age groups; girls were held back at homes to help with domestic chores and were involved in physical labour at home. The destruction of school infrastructure also contributed to the low attendance in schools post floods, with children, especially young children, reporting trauma and fear. The children also worked as casual labour in Srinagar city for low wages thereby paving the way for their economic exploitation, apart from the loss of academic routine. The access to basic amenities among children has been seen to vary in certain disasters of low impact, with the post disaster intervention actually paving way for better facilities. However, this scenario remains an uncommon, though desirable trend.2 The scenario in Kashmir was contrary to this with no or insignificant improvement in access of children to basic amenities, especially in the rural areas where the access to basic amenities is already poor. The destruction of local toilets (known as dry latrines) forced children and especially female children to defecate in the open even during nights, violating not only their privacy but endangering their safety as well. However, it is also pertinent to note, that focussing only on children during and post disasters can prove to be as myopic as including them in the general populace. A more balanced and inclusive approach would look at the absence of research and comprehensive policies for children that separate them from the general adult population. To respond to a vulnerable group that is severely exposed to physical and psychological threats, it is important that children be viewed for their actual vulnerability rather than for the perceived vulnerability, by adults. To be prepared to save children from massive repercussions of disasters, they need to be a priority group for any emergency response. The role of agencies working for child welfare is clearly defined here; grassroots knowledge in partnership with governance mechanisms can result in protective and rehabilitative policies and programmes for children in disasters.


 eballos, Tanner, Tarazona and Gallegos, ‘Children and Disasters: S Understanding Impact and Enabling Agency’. 2011

In focus

Recounting a Year of Positive Fatherhood Programme in East Uttar Pradesh Article By:

Ms. P. V. Swati, Officer, Gender Mainstreaming


s part of its gender mainstreaming strategy, IGSSS has actively sought to engage with men in various programmatic areas and this was the key rationale behind the ideation of our Positive Fatherhood programme. We believe it is important to involve men in discussions and interventions related to gender as the onus of initiating change in attitudes and mindsets, related practices and behaviors does not lie with women alone. Our work with older and younger men is premised on the fact that they themselves have been victims of patriarchal socialization that traps them in the roles of providers, protectors and often, predators. Given the male dominance in the targeted communities undergird by strong patriarchal norms, the project as a point of entry focuses on positive fatherhood and child rearing models. The emotional resonance of most men (old and young) with their children has been utilized as a safe space to deconstruct the notions of masculinity, femininity, gendered roles and how they play out in such communities. The main strategy of the project has been to create a space in the community to initiate conversation about these issues. Through this process of sustained engagement, the project has aimed to capacitate men to achieve personal transformation, social and emotional involvement, community connectedness, economic stability, parenting skills and knowledge, healthy marriage and co-parenting. The programme in the past few months has laid special emphasis on the importance of men’s participation in care giving activities as an attempt to deconstruct gendered division of labour. Men in

the group meetings have often expressed how they are essentialized as “bread-winners” and “protectors” in the familial spheres while women are thought to be nurturers and care-givers. Many fathers in the group also expressed how they are apprehensive of going against these social roles. One of the men in a meeting in Kohna village of Allahabad stated “if I begin to do the housework like cooking, cleaning and caring for young children then people will think of pratibimb 5

me as an emasculated man and I would be labelled as a slave to my wife�. Such fears and insecurities were voiced by many men in the collectives across the villages we are working with. These apprehensions are the byproducts of social construction of masculinity which disallows men from participating equally in care-giving activities, thus perpetuating gendered division of labour. Hence, the activities conducted with men were aimed at their concentization about the importance of equally contributing towards care work in domestic spaces. While many men were initially hesitant to participate in role play exercises and were uncomfortable with

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the ideas being conveyed, many also came forward to identify with the positive fatherhood models. All fathers agreed that greater participation in care-giving activities will not only enhance their involvement in their children’s lives as fathers, but will also lead to more equitable spousal relations. The project has also made similarly successful leads in creating a space for younger boys in inter and degree colleges to engage with issues of gender inequality. Thus, in this past one year IGSSS as a part of the Positive Fatherhood programme has been very successful in actively stressing on the need for a strong message of gender equity in parenting processes and discussed potential strategies to infuse positivity in conception of fatherhood in families.

In focus

Peace Programming in the North East Article By:

Ms. Sreya Muzumdar,Senior Manager, Programmes


here is a history of violent conflict over land in Assam between the indigenous Bodo tribal and ethnic Bengali Muslim settlers dating back to 1952, with subsequent violent clashes occurring in 1979-1985, 1991-1994, and 2008. The most recent violence between the Bodos and the Bengali speaking Muslims erupted on July 2012 in the BTAD (Bodoland Territorial Area District) of Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri, where 77 people were killed, and over 400,000 displaced as a result of the violence that accrued. In the 2013 in the Karbi - Rengma conflict at Karbi Anglong, 17 lives were lost, with the destruction of basic infrastructure and livelihoods, accompanied by massive displacement. This recurring ethnic conflict has resulted in the separation of family members, alteration of gender roles, breakdown of family structures, loss of community support mechanisms, increased pressures of child care, increased incidences of domestic violence and sexual exploitation as well as the long-term psychosocial trauma that is an inevitable by-product of this dysfunction.

IGSSS is committed to respond with humanitarian relief in such emergent crises; however, the many years of such operations have also led to a conviction that these should be supplemented with longer term, concrete measures of peace building and conflict resolution to address the more structural issues. The role of women and young people, as the torchbearers of this peace building effort, is a cornerstone of the strategy. The organizational personnel, facilitating this movement on the ground, are being mentored and capacitated to enhance their understanding on peace building – such that personal convictions can be more effectively translated into action through a structured process of peace education. Macro perspectives of human rights legislations, reflections from Peace Counts modules and Berghoff’s handbook on conflict transformation, Betty Reardon’s gendered perspectives on peace building have built up a theoretical framework against which knowledge and skills are being developed. The intent is to transfer these skills onto the Women Peace Volunteers, through staff, who, in turn, will help spread a larger culture of peace in their own communities through small significant actions. pratibimb 7

Cover story

Nigrani Dal - Bhil Women from Remote India leads Fight Against Malnutrition Article By: Ms.Gayatri Mahar, Assistant Manager, Climate Change and Mr.Prashant Thorat, Project Coordinator,


n the last 15 years, India has successfully embraced economic reforms, which has led to an accelerating Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, the continuing problem of persistent hunger, under nutrition and food insecurity, demands urgent attention from policy makers. India ranks 55 on the Global Hunger Index (GHI), as per the latest report (2014) by the International Food Policy Research Institute. The GHI is composed using three equally weighted indices: the proportion of people undernourished, child mortality, and the proportion of underweight children. India’s poor monitoring of malnutrition status is seriously hampering efforts to understand and tackle the problem. India has not published national data on nutrition since the last National Family Health Survey which came out in 2005-06. Madhya Pradesh accounts for one of the worst ranks in the country with regard to malnutrition status. According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-III, 60 per cent of the children in the 0-3 years category in Madhya Pradesh are malnourished, while 82.6 per cent in this category are anaemic. The Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in the State stands at 70/1,000, while the same indicator for tribal areas is 95.6/1,000. Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh (M.P.) is one of the most backward districts of India. It is situated on the western border of M.P with a tribal population of nearly 86%. Amongst this populace is the Bhil community, incidentally the third largest indigenous tribal group in the country. pratibimb 8

With this backdrop, IGSSS started a project supported by Welthungerhilfe in the year 20132014 with key objectives to strengthen community based organizations (CBOs), address and ensure accessibility of rights and entitlements in areas of food security, access to commons, Mother and Child Nutrition (MCN) and Primary education. IGSSS started its intervention in 50 villages of 2 blocks namely Jhabua and Meghnagar since November 2013. Most of the tribal women in Jhabua are involved in all stages of production and postharvest work from field preparation to sowing, transplanting, fertiliser and pesticides application, weeding/hoeing, irrigation, harvesting, threshing. However, women have limited access and control over resources and minimal role with regard to key decision making based on agriculture. This has a direct impact on the nutrition and food security status of the household. In absence of control over resources, limited awareness on food and nutrition, the women are compelled to deal with the issue without any comprehensive strategy. The data collected in year 2013 on status of issues related to mother and child from Govt. Departments highlights 68/1000 infant mortality rate, 278/ 1,00,000 maternal mortality rate and 98/1,00,000 under five mortality rate ( source - child and maternal mortality rate from Block Office and Health Department). The data compiled from 122 Anganwadis in the operational area revealed that there were 188 severely malnourished children in the records, of which 84 were boys while 104 were girls. The total number of children who were recorded as being moderately malnourished was 660, of which 323 were boys and 337 were girls. 303

of these children were admitted and referred to the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres (NRCs) set up in the blocks (Source: Anganwadi survey) To achieve the objectives, the strategy of sensitization, organization and involvement of tribal women in overall monitoring of the planned interventions was initiated. The qualitative improvement of health, food, nutrition and educational services of entities operational at village level (like anganwadi centres, health centres, PDS shops, primary education and village panchayat) was taken as primary task in the initial years of project. Women Watch Groups (Nigrani Dal) constituted in every target village were involved in mapping and development of village profile. The profile included information of every village level committee, basic amenities accessible, especially drinking water, hospitals, schools, anganwadi, sub-health centre, PDS, natural and human resources. The profile also included an anganwadi-wise list of pregnant women, midwifes, 0-5 year children, Severely Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and Moderately Acute Malnutrition (MAM) children so that the mother and child can both avail health and nutrition facilities. The watch group uses this profile to track the services for the mother and child. The watch group ensures that the benefit of these services reaches the intended individuals if there is any case of denial. The whole process helps in ensuring women participation and the effective delivery of amenities and sense of ownership along with improvement of mother and child health.

Monitoring system of ‘Nigrani Dal’ and their serious efforts of vigilance over the village institution such as Aanganwadi centers, Sub Health centers, Schools, PDS shops etc. are visible in the villages. Few examples are enumerated below: 17% increase has been recorded in vaccination of 0 to 5 years aged children 11% increase in institutional delivery 59.7 percent children have become malnourished free from total target 7893 families linked to different social security schemes. 264 nutrition gardens established at household level. Similarly 1150 families with acute malnourished children received vegetable seeds, fruit plant and masala kit from horticulture after convergence activities. 1578 families across seven gram panchayats constructed toilets under the Swaach Bharat Mission. The aforementioned data indicates that these initiatives have resulted in positive out comes at the micro-level. But at the macro-level, the policy makers need to develop schemes wherein the issue of malnutrition is addressed by also taking into consideration the results and the outcomes of these findings. It is of utmost importance that this issue is tackled on an urgent basis at the macro level, with proper implementation of policies and laws.

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photo feature

Nigrani Dal - Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh

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NEWS Highlight

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon ����

Celebrating the Journey of IGSSS Trainees, Working on Housing for Urban Poor

National Consultation on SAMMUKH Small Farmers and Family A WEBSITE REPORTING Farming: Prospects and VIOLENCE AGAINST Challenges WOMEN LAUNCHED

IGSSS organised the National Consultation on IGSSS organised an event to celebrate the journey Small Farmers and Family Farming. The programme of IGSSS’ Trainees who have worked on the issues aimed to look into the existing challenges and of housing for the urban poor for the past three possible prospects in this context. More than years in nine cities in the states of Rajasthan, U�ar 200 participants representing civil society Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Haryana. organisations, agricultural experts and government The sustained engagement at the ground level was policy makers along with farmers from across the concluded with a national workshop addressing ON ��TH DECEMBER ����, IGSSS participated in the sixth edition of country a�ended the consultation. the challenges faced by(ADHM), civil society on housing formembers Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2013. A group of sixty six urban poor. of the IGSSS team and also the homeless residents participated in the Over the two days of consultation, farmers from event. Welspun Energy in journey support ofof IGSSS across the regions deliberated the contemporary Commemorating theLimited three ran year the as the corporate challenge team and fielded 10 of its employees Trainees, a short documentary was screened challenges faced by them and scope of possible IGSSS participated in the event to raise awareness on the issue of capturing their struggles and achievements. The IGSSS launched - a website solutions. The major challenges and solutions Urban Poverty and homelessness. It also raised support for Winter on reporting cases of violence against celebration was also graced by the esteemed presented by the groups concentrated on issues Campaign for the homeless people, who struggle every winter to survive women. Sammukh, launched on December 16, presence of Dr. Kulwant Singh, Regional Advisor, UN 2013, aims at creating an outlet for voices of like lack of adequate irrigation facilities, lack of the harsh cold of Delhi. Many of them die on the streets without adequate Habitat, who was the chief guest at the event. women survivors of violence and help in devising shelter facilities, food and warm clothes. Through the Winter Campaign, access to quality seeds, climate change leading to strategies for coping and change, based on such IGSSS aims to provide and warmth the homeless populace The leaps made by comfort the trainees whiletobeing a inadequate rainfall, crops in the shared cyclones experience. ruining The website will eventually during the biting cold. significant milestone for IGSSS also posts an provide ‘closure’ to the cases reported, connectfield, depleting quality of the soil and absence of ing them with concerned authorities for redress With faces painted blue and banners held the team IGSSS was effective model forincapacity building ofhigh, young proper marketing linkages. of any kind. The website will additionally provide an eye-catching sight. Motivated by the and enthused with the community leaders commi�ed tocause securing housing information on gender issues, policies, moveIGSSS the focus of the spirit offor athleticism, everyone theirwas bestatotribute finish the Run formulated rights urban poor. Thegave event toGreat the Delhi ments andthematic campaigns nationally. of six kms which started and finished at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, ‘Sammukh’ literally means ‘facewith to face’ – this national consultation much in synergy the nine IGSSS Trainees and their stories of struggle. is an attempt to encounter and visibilise the New Delhi. years of learning and takeaways from its work with discourse on Violence Against Women (VAW) small and family at the ground level. thatfarmers has been often relegated to the realmAs of the domestic and public. a national level development organisation, IGSSS There has been much debate since the epihas actively worked promoting based sode of towards the brutal gang rape of the farm young woman on a cold December night in Delhi last year. and non-farm based activities with specific focus IGSSS work with women in different contexts of ensuring food security andits reducing climate in across the country; personal experiences such contexts have collided and intersected change vulnerabilities. It is very important to in this search for a platform where women who are develop a sustainable agricultural system withcould victims/survivors of violence and violation A three day workshop on Social Analysis was voice their experiences freely, without fear of focus on changing climate and the economic organised for the group of Churners. IGSSS censure or discrimination. is our situation of theresponse country forchurning, the sovereignty ofinfood to this to be rolled out a launched the Churners’ intervention with the aim phased manner over the year. security among the small scale farmers or the rural of identifying people from both rural as well as poor. In this context IGSSS through its livelihood urban areas who work for improving the quality of interventions focuses on promoting specific models life for poor people and marginalized communities within its intervention areas through its partner in their own environment. Through exposure organizations which are associated with a similar visits, structured training and mentoring of such goal. people over a period of one year, IGSSS aims to add strength to their work and conviction.

Training on Social Analysis

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28, Institutional Area, Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110003 Tel: +91 11 45705000. Website:

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PRATIBIMB April - June, 2015, E. Vol. 1  

Pratibimb - A Reflection. An IGSSS Newsletter.

PRATIBIMB April - June, 2015, E. Vol. 1  

Pratibimb - A Reflection. An IGSSS Newsletter.