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Category: Blog

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Family Strengthening and Alternative Care

The family is the cornerstone of our society. More than any other force it shapes the attitude, the hopes, the ambitions, and the values of the child.” ― Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th US President. This quote beautifully captures the importance of family in our lives.

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Research Study on Deinstitutionalisation

Catalysts for Social Action is celebrating National Adoption Month. Santosh and Shobha Sahu have been happily married for 12 years and Dhimahi came into their lives when she was 20 months old.

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“Every child deserves a loving home, and every family is made richer through adoption.”

Catalysts for Social Action is celebrating National Adoption Month. Santosh and Shobha Sahu have been happily married for 12 years and Dhimahi came into their lives when she was 20 months old.

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“There is no difference between adopting a baby and conceiving one. The baby is yours.”

Mukta Dhond, 46, lives in Mumbai and says she couldn’t drive because her car used to be her home. She used to sleep in the car. She is a passionate media professional, who is a creative producer of television shows on general entertainment channels. Mukta is also a trustee at Bal Asha Trust, an adoption agency. She found Agastya there.

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“He loves to make sushi but eats only dal-rice”

Mangesh, 22, is a chef at an upmarket restaurant in Juhu. 
This Children’s Day let us celebrate the child in Mangesh, who did not give up
or go astray, but stayed focussed to make something of his life.

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Here’s an update on how we are coping with COVID-19 | Child Care Homes

Hello everyone my name is Shivani, I am from Mumbai. I am hoping you are not moving out of your house because there is a monster named Corona outside making people ill & taking their lives! Are you bored of sitting at home and doing nothing? Also are you thinking we are bored, and are you worried about us?

Let me tell you that we are doing a whole lot of things!
We are having a lot of fun during this lockdown and learning a lot of new activities and making the most of our time.
Here, have a look at what me and my friends at different CCIs are upto…

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They Spread their wings to take off…Flight@18

CSA’s Aftercare Program was conceptualized based on the following needs which were identified in course of our work with CCIs:

  • Young adults (YAs) need to leave CCIs once they turn 18 years, usually without proper career/aftercare plan & support system
  • Around 50% YAs are 8th or 9th pass when they leave CCIs and are not prepared for the world outside
  • YAs have either very limited or no support at all to pursue their career choices
  • Career choices are very limited and unidirectional and not supported by their career inclination, aptitude, and personal realities.
  • Based on past figures, we found around 50-60% YAs end up engaging in unskilled low paid jobs or conventional courses which have very limited employment opportunities
  • Majority of girls are married off post de-institutionalization.

For this very reason, CSA came up with a program to cater to their needs and make them independent. The program is implemented with the objective to facilitate effective preparation & identify appropriate career opportunities for every resident child in the age group 14 – 18 years and above, eventually making YAs self-reliant and contributing members of the society.

Currently through this Aftercare Program we have helped 332 children and made 103 self-reliant by helping them secure jobs in their fields of choice.

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Two children rescued post CSA’s training of Anganwadi workers in Madhya Pradesh

CSA’s efforts to train Angwanwadi workers in 4 districts of MP on legal provisions related to vulnerable children bore fruit when two children aged 4 and 6 living were rescued and placed in a child care institution. The training program for Anganwadi workers was implemented in partnership with Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD), Indore Division, Government of Madhya Pradesh with the objective to build capacity of Anganwadi workers to identify and respond to cases of child in need of care and protection. 51 trainings were conducted to train almost 8000 Anganwadi workers from Indore, Khandwa, Dhar and Barwani were trained on child rights, provisions related to children in need of care and protection (CNCP) in the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, and alternative care for CNCP.

Post training, information was received by the CSA team from an Anganwadi worker about two destitute children living with their mentally challenged mother in the outskirts of Indore. A detailed investigation by CSA team revealed that the children had no one to take care of them and had to beg to feed themselves. This investigation report was handed over to DWCD which then forwarded it to Childline for rescue of the children. While the children were rescued, produced before the Child Welfare Committee, and placed in a child care institution, the mother was admitted to a hospital by the police for her medical needs.

It is estimated that 40% of children in India are vulnerable due to difficult circumstances characterized by their social, economic and geo-political challenges. Many of them could be exposed to situations of grave risk, such as extreme poverty, child abuse, child marriage and child labour. While laws and policies for protection of such children and for have been enacted, locating and identifying such children and their families who could benefit from provisions under the laws continues to be a challenge for authorities. Training of grassroots workers (such as Anganwadi workers in this case) could bridge this gap to a great extent.

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Tax Saving Challenge

Children living in orphanages/CCIs (Child Care Institutions) have a right to living in a safe, protected and hygienic environment akin to children residing with their families. However, several times, this may not be the case. CCIs sometimes lack the funds or resources to maintain upkeep or upgrade their facilities that are essential to provide a protected and clean surrounding for children to grow in. In general, CCIs are barely able to provide basic needs – clean facilities, basic education, hygiene, healthcare and reasonable nutrition.

Children have to leave CCIs once they turn 18 years; in many cases this happens even earlier. The children then step out into the complex web of the outside world, having no clue whatsoever as to how to navigate through. This situation exists across nearly all CCIs across the country. By our rough estimate, about 50,000 children have to move out of CCIs every year. This is a big and universal gap in the way CCIs ecosystem.

Our intervention has led to betterment in living conditions and growth of children. Children are in better health because of the proper hygiene standards. The BMI (body mass index) of children is improving. Children are developing an aptitude for studies and sports. There is a lively atmosphere in the CCI due to various engagement activities like summer camps, festival celebrations, etc.

– We work with 4500+ children across 90 CIs in 4 states

– 86% children were found without ailments last year

– 83 % children were found with BMI in normal range last

– 76 Tuition teachers were appointed for Out of School tuition support program

– 503 children underwent Financial Literacy Training

– 69 children were placed in jobs- monthly remuneration ranging from Rs 6000 – Rs 12000 per month

– 227 children were supported in Aftercare for higher education and Skill training

Thus, CCIs are moving towards becoming an ideal ‘model’ home, where the living standards are as good as any regular household and the children are growing to become happy and contributing members of society.

To cater to the above challenges and to create such an impact we participated in the Fundraising challenge by Give India – Give India’s Fundraising challenge 2020. Through this fundraising challenge not only do we get to raise funds but also reach out to new people and garner their support for the cause. The response to this tax saving challenge has been phenomenal! We raised over Rs 20 Lakhs and won a bonus of Rs 7 Lakhs.

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Thank you to Step-up Charitable Foundation

Not all of us are Fortunate enough to have new clothes often or for special occasions. Donating your used clothes is an act of kindness but buying the less privileged new pair of clothes is rare and new.

Over 700 kids from our partner CCIs in Pune were thrilled & surprised with new t-shirts at the start of the New Year.  Step up Charitable Foundation and their donors were kind enough to become our ‘Catalyst’ and gift happiness to these kids in the form of new t-shirts around the festive season. They donated 700 new t-shirts to children from all our Pune homes.

Little gestures such as these go a long way in bringing smiles & joy to these children!