RECENT  ACTIVITIES    


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                     STeP (Smile Twin e-learning) program:-
 
Association for Development of Human and Community Rebuilding has involved  with Smile Foundation, a national level development organisation, and started a project namely “Smile Twin e-learning Programme” (STeP) at Rajarhat area an urban locality of grater Kolkata and New Town area. STeP is primarily designed to offer job-oriented skills to youth from the less privileged sections of society living in urban slums and peripheral rural areas. Considering the ground reality that; the youth comprises over one – third of the Indian population which in turn constitutes a major part of the labour force of the country. A fact finding of the Financial Express says, “Only 15% of the young graduates passing out of colleges are employable; the rest are branded unemployable”. It is not their lack of theoretical knowledge that causes this. Instead, it is the lack of right skills and attitude. There is thus, an increasing concern among the leading employers of the country, about the dearth of ready – to – deliver employees. In addition, the macro perspective affirms that, it is crucial for such young energy to be channelized correctly in economic growth and nation building to elude their addition to family woes, social stress and national misery.


On above context the organization rented an accommodation from August 2015 and started training centre

           

Project Goals & Objectives:

Goals:

Short term training courses based on “Modular Employable Skills” (MES) decided in consultation with Industry. MES is the ‘minimum skills set’ which is sufficient for gainful employment for economically marginalized youth


Objectives

  • To provide MES training to school leavers, students, existing workers etc of economically marginalized youths to improve their employability by optimally utilizing the infrastructure available in private institutions and the Industry.
  • To provide skills that give employability to economically marginalize or under privilege youths.
  • To provide competencies and skills that enable marginalize youths to become self-employed/entrepreneurs.
  • To build capacity in the area of development of competency standards, course curricula, learning material and assessment standards in the country.
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Key Features of the Program:                            
a)Demand driven short term training courses based on Modular Employable Skills (MES) decided in consultation with Industry / commercial sector. MES is the ‘minimum skills set’ which is sufficient for gainful employment.
b)Flexible delivery mechanism (part time, weekends, full time) to suit needs of various target groups.

       c) Different levels of programmes (Foundation level as well as skill up gradation) to meet demands of various target groups.
       d) The services of existing or retired faculty or guest faculty are being utilized.
       e) Testing & certification of skills acquired informally.  
       f)  Testing of skills of trainees by authorised assessment group, which would not be involved in training delivery, to ensure that it is done impartially.
       g)  The essence of the scheme is in the certification. 
            
       Target Group:
        MES benefits different target groups like:-

        Local youth groups (age group between18 years to 25 years).
        Socio-economic marginalized youth population. 
        Workers seeking certification of their skills acquired informally.
        Early school drop-outs and unemployed youths.

           

 A multi-component school-based educational intervention program among school-going children and adolescents for the reduction of the their future risk of  cardio-vascular diseases

              

 Adhar in collaboration with Mission Arogya Health and Information Technology Research Foundation (MAHITRF) launched a interactive awareness programme  to        sensitize the school going adolescent  to reduce the burden of CVD to have an impact not only on adolescents but also their family members and the society as a        whole. The specific  and long term objective of the prgramme as follows

                       

  Specific objective

 

 To introduce a novel multi-component school-based program to reduce the burden of CVD among school going Indian adolescents and the community in general
 To improve knowledge, perception, awareness and practice related to CVD and their risk factors among school going adolescents and the community through the proposed  intervention
 To strengthen the evidence base regarding the burden of CVD and prevailing knowledge, perception, awareness and practice related to CVD and their risk factors among  school going adolescents

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Long term objective


Upon successful conduct of this program, based on the generated evidences in terms of tangible state-level impact elicited and measured as the evaluation of the program, appropriate advocacy will  be done to ensure inclusion of the program in the educational curriculum of all educational boards in India, to develop a  ational level strategy through necessary policy making.    

 

 Study project on Arsenic contamination in Ground Water:


 A study project was initiated by the organization with the financial support of “Global Greengrants Fund” in the arsenic affected areas  at the eight blocks from two major arsenic affected districts - Nadia and North 24 PGS of West Bengal. The study was primarily focussed into the assessment of the quality of the groundwater in terms of the arsenic and iron content in  some arsenic affected areas of Nadia and North 24 parganas district (s) and the likely socio economic impact on the population.

 

 To initiate the project the Governing body authorized Ms. Amrita Mukherjee, one of our core members to lead the study under direct supervision of Aparajit Saha. Accordingly a team was formed and discussed with numerous individual persons who are considered renowned expert on this field and other institutes i.e. Universities, Government departments etc. Finally we have selected eight blocks from above stated two districts. :

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  • Objectives of the Project:

  • Collect data (in a scientific method – primary as well as secondary) from the part of highly Arsenic affected area of Nadia and North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal to understand the impact of Arsenic on people’s life.
  • Water sample collection and testing to know the present level of arsenic concentration in ground water.
  • Carry out an impact assessment on the basis of  data collected to know the social impact.
  • Identify and compile data gaps related to all existing information being collected and/or relevant to the assessment/analyses to be carried out under this research study.
  • Analysis of secondary data of previous years.
  •  Capacity building and skill development in the community level and local self governing bodies, civil society organizations and NGOs in the block for quality monitoring and surveillance and mitigatory actions in support of the Govt. programs.

Work Status:

 

Core committee meeting  (partly completed)

Review of previous work report on arsenic affected areas - approach and intervention of GO (s), NGO (s) and Institutions (ongoing)

Preparation and printing of questionnaires for collection of baseline survey

Socio economic survey at village level – base line survey  (ongoing)

Water Testing (ongoing)

Seminar with the active participation of GO (s) and NGO (s) (ongoing)

Meeting with different stakeholders (ongoing)

Meeting with different stakeholders (ongoing)

Awareness campaign - Printing of IEC materials

GIS Mapping (ongoing)

Documentary – Project documentation using Audio – video (ongoing)

 

Social Impact assessment

  • From the overall study of groundwater arsenic contamination and its effect in our working area, it appears that the magnitudes of the calamity in these GP’s are severe. The data reveals that the arsenic level of the drinking water consumed by majority of the people is above 0.05 mg/lt.
  • Large number of people in the district of Nadia (Tehatta and Karimpur) are showing arsenical skin lesion. Lack of awareness, insufficient education, poverty and absence of effective health care support are the major factors contributing to the plight of the severely affected people.
  • Since arsenicosis was found to occur mostly among poor and usually less educated people, it has had far reaching social consequences. Many public water sources including piped water supply system exist were found but in several places the water line is either damaged or remain unutilised.
  • The awareness is so poor that they often remove filters from the tube well. We also saw many inactive tube wells were found along the roadside (SH-11) in Nadia. 
  • The impact on the livelihood of people remains underestimated. The various clinical manifestations of arsenicosis are crippling. The progress of the disease is accompanied by deteriorating health and directly affects the earning ability of adults, thus further lowering economic status of the family.
  • Some seriously arsenic affected people including cancer patients gave history of attending arsenic referral centres at Kolkata, but very often they failed to get admission because of paucity of beds. Further, inability to pay the cost of investigation, treatment and bed rent prevented admission in the hospitals thereby causing immense suffering and death of many severely ill arsenicosis patients. 
  •  Cancer cases were found increasing among those suffering from severe arsenical skin lesions.
  • Most of the people who had been interviewed or interacted during this study in Nadia were farmers or agricultural labours and belonged to low socio-economic class. A significant number of people lived in kuchcha house had low earning. 

         No child were found to be  suffering from skin problem


 Women’s Initiatives amidst Changing Climates in Kalitala Gram Panchayat of Hingalganj block of Sunderban region.


This is a follow-up program of Sundarban Unnayan Bhawan, Kalitala village, Hingalganj block, West Bengal who seek technical support from our organization towards implementation of the project.  Accordingly, proposal ware submitted jointly.  Association for Development of Human and Community Rebuilding got approval from Global Greengrants Fund, USA as lead agency to handle the project where as Sundarban Unnayan Bhawan under the leadership of Mr. Palas Mondal is authorised for field implementation. The target area of operation is the last inhabited Indian settlement in south - east Bengal at the Indo-Bangladesh border. It is a remote area where human habitation in some places is just 50 meters from the boundaries of the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve. Bound by the Kalindi River in the west, the Raimangal River in the east and the Arbesi - 1 Block of Sunderban Tiger reserve in the south, the village bore the brunt of cyclone Aila in May 2009 and was completely devastated.

 

Agriculture in the village recovered after a span of 4 years and the paddy harvest has been very good in both 2013 and 2014. Benefit from the increased harvest, unfortunately has been limited as the procurement cost has been decreased. This despite the fact that input costs for agriculture in the village has increased significantly i.e. cost of fertilizers, seeds, pesticides and labour (impact of NREGS and the out-migration of villagers to the southern states for work).  The work for building a new river embankment has begun in the village. Some villagers feel that the new design is also bound to fail as basic wisdom and experiences of the villagers have been ignored in the design. The last serious breach of the embankment in the village was on 18th May 2014 when a section of the embankment on the Kalindi River slipped into the river causing a flood.


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Activities carried out during first phase of work:
     

** seeding of mangrove outside the embankments to protect them has been successful. Free grazing of goats and cattle has been a major challenge and it has been necessary to construct protective fencing around the plantation sites, thus increasing the cost. To reduce cost, permission had been sought and granted by BSF for using the existing polPlanting es of the border fencing for erecting the net fencing to protect saplings. Thus a much longer stretch of the embankment can now be protected through mangrove plantations.


** Nursery raises by one of the SHGs, namely Jai Ma Kali Group, has been extremely successful.

 

** Approximately 50 men and women from the village received a series of basic training from Vivekananda Institute of Biotechnology, of the Ramakrishna Ashram, Nimpith. These have revived an interest of organic farming among many farmers in the village and some villagers have already started reverting to traditional seed varieties and to only using organic fertilizer and bio-cides.
** Preliminary workshops on capacity development of SUB team members and also leaders of women’s SHGs have been held. At least the notion that a SHG is much beyond a platform for savings and loaning has been established.
 
Activities planned for current phase:                                                             
Focus is fixed just continue with on implementation of activities, which were done in a fractured / piecemeal manner in first phase. The vision of a larger goal and a realistic road map of how to achieve it were missing within the team. Capacity building and leadership development of the SUB team and the SHG leadership would be critical for any sustainable community led action in the village. In a strongly patriarchal community, many challenges faced by women are invisible even to the women themselves. 
Access to a regular and timely fund flow.
Finding appropriate external resource persons was a challenge.
Too many activities were planned in the previous proposal. The extent of the challenges in the community is tremendous, but activities over a period should be focused and taken up as per a strategic order.
 
Work status:
 

Mangrove Plantation (ongoing)

Distribution of Fruit bearing plant saplings (completed)

Training  of 50women and youths in the community on organic and sustainable farming practices (ongoing)

Organic Farming (ongoing)

Agriculture Training (ongoing)

Leadership development workshop (Ongoing)

 

Observation of “National Rural Drinking Water and Sanitation Week 2015” An Initiative of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India. 


Project Background: 


Considering the low awareness in villages across India on issues pertaining to the Rural Drinking Water and Sanitation i.e. uses of toilet, safe disposal of child fasces, domestic waste and garbage, safe handling of water and safe drinking water etc The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India, have lunch “National Rural Drinking Water and Sanitation Week 2015 across all states of India from 16th day of March 2015 to 22nd day of March 2015. Keeping in view of West Bengal, the low awareness of the rural community on the issues related to safe drinking water and safe sanitation like building and uses of toilets, use of drinking water from safe sources in chemically contaminated habitations, use of drinking water from bacterially contaminated sources only after treatment, water security, water conservation, participatory O & M water supply system etc. The campaign program is focus on Drinking Water, Sanitation, environment and Personal hygiene. and Sanitation.

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Objective: The primary objectives of the campaign to aim for increase mass awareness and make the identified audience more conscious about issues related to importance of water, sanitation and hygiene. It is also aim to ensure that households have sound knowledge of the linkages between water, sanitation, hygiene and health leading to increase public demand for quality sanitation services and adaptation of hygiene practices

Aim: Core aim of the awareness campaign is to bring about behavioral change and create attitudinal shift towards water usage and sanitation practices. Role & Responsibility of ADHAR: Usha Rural Urban Development and Research Organization (URUDRO), Barrackpore, authorized organization of above stated program was requested service of Association for Development of Human and Community Rebuilding (ADHAR), Kolkata to conduct awareness program in 50 school covering Murshidabad & Malda District. Accordingly, ADHAR responded and started initiative to select areas and schools as well. Accordingly, we have selected 30 schools in 3 blocks of Murshidabad district (Berhampore, Raghunathganj I & II) and 20 schools in Malda district (Harischandrapur I & II) and obtained necessary permission from the concerned departments and district authority as well. Activities: School awareness campaign: ➢ Organized Awareness campaign and performed in 50 schools i.e 30 in Murshidabad district and 20 in Malda district. ➢ Conducted awareness rally with the active participation of school children and teachers which were moved around the village with slogan related to the concerned awareness issues. ➢ Awareness leaflets were distributed. ➢ A decorated vehicle with the flex & banner containing awareness massage were moved with the rally, making on the awareness with display banners. ➢ Massages related to basic hygiene issues were disseminated in school assembly with school students, parents and teacher. ➢ Quiz competition with selected students on the issues related with Water, Sanitation, environment and personal hygiene were conducted in the school and at the end of the competition Prize were distributed to all participants. ➢ Token gifts, Tiffin and awareness materials were distributed among school children and villagers. Achievement: Around 10,000 School pupils were involved directly with the campaign process and at the same time, Community also empowered with the awareness through leaflet, rally and other methods involved within the program.