SABUJ SANGHA'S SAFE MOTHERHOOD PROGRAM, SUNDERBANS (www.sabujsangha.org)
Sabuj Sangha, a non-profit non-government organisation was established in one of the remotest parts of India, amidst the largest mangrove vegetation and the largest delta of the world, the Sundarbans. With over three decades of service towards socio-economic development of vulnerable communities through entirely participatory and unconventional methods of intervention, the organisation has been successful in addressing its mission.
While working in the Health and Nutrition thematic area, Sabuj Sangha found that the condition of pregnant women is truly deplorable and that they are largely subject to risks of unscreened pregnancy in the land of marginal facilities. The risks, trends, magnitudes of various determinants of safety of mothers and neonate-infants - are largely unknown. Thus, Tiara Foundation decided to help Sabuj Sangha implement the project titled - Safe Motherhood in Sundarban Islands with an objective to minimise risks of motherhood in Sundarban islands - through proper dissemination of universal Optimum Service package and simultaneous monitoring. The specific objective is to create a demonstrable & replicable model which ensures safe motherhood in remote island villages of Sundarbans. The key activities include training of potential field paramedics (women from village community), refresher trainings. Village mapping, home visits, camp services, awareness camps and integration of village health service with hospital services.
GOPALI YOUTH WELFARE SOCIETY, KHARAGPUR (www.gyws.org)
Gopali Youth Welfare Society is a registered non-governmental voluntary organisation primarily managed by some faculty members and students of IIT Kharagpur, with the support of local members from Gopali. It was established in 2002 with a mission to improve the living standard of the people of Gopali, a village 5 km from IIT Kharagpur. It has been advancing with the twin objectives of making the youth and society aware of and ensuring socio-economic welfare for underprivileged and weaker sections of the society. Through its programmes of free education, social awareness campaigns and vocational training, GYWS has seen many lives changed for better.
Gopali Youth Welfare Society comes to the people to help them weave these disparate threads together to reflect the integrated nature of our national life. They believe India’s achievements have been fuelled by the realisation that the progress of the whole country ultimately depends on the progress of its weakest links. GYWS initiates a nationwide youth awareness campaign, the success of which would ensure all levels and sections of the population and all parts of the country, march forward together towards a more secure and prosperous INDIA.
AHIMSA - EDUCATION, EMPOWERMENT & THE ENVIRONMENT, SANTINIKETAN (www.ahimsasantiniketan.blogspot.com)
AHIMSA was founded in 1996 and one of the primary aims was to support artisan groups in West Bengal and the artisan “way of life’. Gradually AHIMSA broadened its focus to include the entire area of ‘creative manual skills”. AHIMSA believes that support of local artisan and craft traditions is essential in the fight against globalisation and that the market can be harnessed to develop and promote eco-friendly and sustainable local techniques and crafts and skills.
The Tiara Foundation is supporting their Santiniketan programme, headed by Ms. Chandana Dey who is interested in various facets of development work. Her team consists of people in different walks of life who contribute their own special skills to the work; whether through their deep knowledge of farming practices or as empowered women who are keen to break new barriers as well as teachers who guide the education and literacy awareness work.
LORETO SEALDAH - MOBILE LIBRARY BUSES, KOLKATA
Loreto Sealdah is a big English Medium school which has made itself a Resource Centre for the poorest with many projects catering to their needs. The school is a model of Inclusive Schooling welcoming children from many different backgrounds on an equal footing and providing them with the means to succeed no matter what their background is. The school offers a wide range of innovative methodologies for academic teaching, has already developed a Knowledge Hub where teachers from other schools can come for help and advice to develop quality education in their own schools, has written a number of story books which have been published by UNICEF and has teachers who are constantly developing new materials for their classrooms. It offers capacity building, teacher training in human rights and values as well as a special course called ‘Barefoot Teacher Training’ for teachers who have no basic qualification to go to a regular college because they come from remote rural areas or deep urban slums. Finding so many street children without homes and sleeping rough at night, the school opened its doors to start the first Rainbow Home catering to street children, little did we realise that now the Government would take up this concept and sanction funding for as many as 600 such homes. It is responsible for the initiation of the Shikshalaya Prakalpa under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, and it now has 340 centres catering to 16,000 children scattered all over the slums of Kolkata where there are no Government Schools. In all this school with an official enrolment of 1500 students touches the lives of around 25000 children, the vast majority of whom are from among the poorest strata of society.
Tiara supports the school by providing funds to run three buses which serve as Mobile Libraries travelling from centre to centre all over the city. They are out all day covering between them about 30 centres daily, often in really inaccessible areas. With a total of 340 centres and 16,000 children, they are kept busy all month and every child gets 5 to 10 books to read monthly. This year alone they have distributed 56,400 books. In addition, on Saturdays and Sundays when the centres are closed the buses are used to take the children out on educational tours, for picnics and outings. The school has so far ferried approximately 24,000 children to and from outings to places to which they would never have gone if it had not provided transport. When the school’s regular children move out into the villages each week to teach 3500 village children, it is these buses which provide the transport. Now that the Govt. has started the midday meal programme for the 340 centres, the buses are also used to carry the sacks of rice.
ANJALI - MENTAL HEALTH, KOLKATA (www.anjalimentalhealth.org)
Anjali is a human rights based mental health organisation that was established in Calcutta, West Bengal, India in 2000 by Ratnabali Ray. Ratnabali Ray is a trained clinical psychologist and mental health activist who has worked inside state institutions of West Bengal that incarcerate and criminalize persons with mental illnesses. She was awarded Ashoka Fellowship in 1999-2000 by Ashoka Innovators for the Public for her new idea in humanising custodial institutions in West Bengal.
Ratnabali Ray established Anjali with the goals of:
a) Humanising government health institutions to usher in inclusive and rights-based care of persons with mental illnesses
b) Moving persons with mental illnesses from victimhood to full citizenship, ensuring their full participation and consent in all decisions related to their lives
c) Shifting the mental health care and treatment paradigm from institutionalisation to community-based care and healing.
Tiara Foundation help is towards core support, which would keep the organisation alive kicking. This in turn enables them to continue with their initiatives like: hospital based rehabilitation programme, and community mental health programme which are unique approaches to feed into Anjali’s vision of a world where the right to positive mental health is secured for all and its mission of securing large scale changes in the mental health field by building community eco-systems for mental health care & well-being and by ending stigma, violation and discrimination associated with mental health.