Samvedna understands that the children of Bedia community are the agents of change in the villages, in future. Unfortunately, the children are the most vulnerable section of this community. Every child who is exposed to the community based prostitution or commercial sexual exploitation is subjected to abuse. At the time of their growth, these children internalize and normalize violence in their daily life, against them and their mother, risking their normal and healthy childhood. To create a safe world for these children, Samvedna works on the simple yet powerful principle: The best way to change the life of children at risk is to change the world around them.

Education is the way

The Bedia children, both boys and girls, had their own reasons to neglect education. Where boys grew up looking at their elders dependent on earnings women brought engaging in prostitution, girls were raised with two options in their hands, either to get married or adopt the profession of prostitution. Education wasn’t an option. In marriage, women’s roles are decided – cooking and serving the family. And as Bedia traded for sex within villages, the local customers liked them to be uneducated, and so available.

Samvedna focused on promoting formal education with an objective of keeping the girls in school who otherwise had a possibility to be engaged into prostitution. In this way, girls are away from the abusive atmosphere of home and also less vulnerable to be sold off or lured by promises of jobs, only to find themselves in brothels later.


OUR JOURNEY

In 2009 Samvedna started its journey with the promotion of education by encouraging children to get enrolled in local schools. To our dismay, the rate of dropouts was high. Social discrimination with the Bedia children was also a reason behind dropouts. To avoid dropouts, discrimination and humiliation children enrolled themselves with the name of a different community - Gujjar. But a question troubled us, how would a child grow with a pseudo identity? 'Identity crisis' was a norm to these children and certainly, it was a blow to their self esteem and eclipsed their personal growth.

Against all odds and braving all the oppositions and criticism, Samvedna decided to bring children out of their sub-division and enroll them in the schools in the city of Bhopal, with better amenities and diverse amenable group. It gave them an opportunity for the first time to identify themselves as mainstream without giving details about their antecedents.

Samvedna networked with local education administration to get children enrolled in the schools and hostels. It’s a great success story of government and non-government collaboration and partnership.


Spillover Model

Samvedna developed the 'Spillover model' to experiment its effort. For 2011-2012 sessions, six children from one village were enrolled in school. The message spread in all the other three villages and the performance and stability of these children was a much talked about subject there. It was a proud moment for Samvedna when two senior children of class 9th and 11th passed the exams with first division. As a result, for 2012-2013 sessions, thirty two children from four villages were enrolled.

Agents of Change

These children are the agents of change. Shivani’s (name changed) mother, who engaged her elder daughter into prostitution like her, wanted Shivani to join her sister and earn. She was twelve, at an age that involves risk in the village, when Samvedna rescued her and enrolled her in school. Her mother was counseled for months before she consented to send her child. Before consenting, she professionally negotiated with Samvedna and got five other children enrolled in school, which was not a bad bargain for our team as it supported our objective. Shivani pledged to be an agent of change for the community at this tender age. She requested her mother, a prostitute, to take vocational training and earn with grace. Just like this, there are many stories and incidents, when the children became the inspiration for their community and changed the critical mindset of villagers towards Samvedna and its actions.

Work in child protection.

OUR APPROACH

Under its Child Protection Programs, Samvedna works with the following:

1. CHILDREN IN NEED OF CARE AND PROTECTION and
2. CHILDREN IN CONFLICT WITH LAW

To counter the transgression of child rights, Samvedna runs child protection program (CPP) which constitutes two parts:

  • Education is the Way: Work on the education of Bedia children
  • Work with Children in Need of Care and Protection and Children in Conflict with Law in Girls and Boys Observation homes, in the City of Bhopal

WHAT WE DO

The child protection program (CPP ) for Bedia children in villages include:

  • Putting children into mainstream school and provide them support
  • provide children to develop skills and creative faculties
  • Adolescent and youth groups are provided with platfotm to voice their own feelings and empowered to run need based activities thus helping them to assert their right to participation.
  • Non-formal and supplementary education for out of school and drop out children and youth.
  • Vocational training, computer training where young boys and girls can participate

The Child Protection Programs in Observation Home for Girls and Boys include:

  • Legal aid to children in contact with law
  • Counseling to both child victims of abuse and those in conflict with law
  • Campaigns against child trafficking, Child prostitution, child labour and violence and abuse of children.
  • Work closely with Girls and boys home / observation home:work towards rehabilitation and repatriation
  • Employability Skills of Youth and NFE (Non Formal Education) among children of two Observatory Homes (Juvenile Crime Rehabilitation & Shelter Homes) – Girls and boys and providing them the best opportunities to mainstream. Samvedna intended to enhance the counseling & NFE activities and establish a computer education, co- curricular activities & skill building activities.
  • Capacity building of service providers and various stakeholders such as the law enforcement officials, the judiciary, functionaries in the juvenile justice system, media NGOs and Networks

Child Sponsorship programme : SUPPORT A CHILD

OUR APPROACH

Our experience over the last 5 years of working with children in the need of care and protection shows us that no amount of intervention in the life of a child can have lasting effects as long as the child's surroundings remain unchanged. Therefore Child Sponsorship changes a child's life by changing the world to which s/he belongs. Child sponsorship creates a network of partners, who in the long-term help build a self-reliant and sustainable community that brings out the best in every child.

For Samvedna sponsorship means dignity, justice and hope for the child you have sponsored, a better and healthy living condition for the family. Sponsorship supports equity, justice, productivity, and development of the entire community.

HOW IT WORKS

A contribution of INR.2200 per month ($40) or INR.27000 ($500) per annum addresses issues that promote the overall development of the child and pays for everything including school fee, books, uniforms, tutoring – we can keep a child safe for the time period. Sponsored children along with their community are helped through education, training and awareness programs, clean drinking water, agricultural assistance and health benefits. Along with this, new livelihood opportunities are generated for poor families so that they can continue to provide for their coming generations after a point, without Samvedna’s help. Therefore, Child Sponsorship is a long- term commitment and its effects are sustainable and long lasting.

As a sponsor, one gets the satisfaction of being one of the creators of this whole new world. You can also keep in touch with your child through letters, and personal communication and become a part of your child's world. In a way, Child Sponsorship builds a meaningful relationship between you and a child in the need.


Be a part of the change, Sponsor a Child.

SUPPORT FORM : SPONSOR A CHILD : For a small investment – $ 500 (pays for everything: school fees, books, school uniforms, tutoring – we can keep a girl safe for whole year.

Persuading families of Bedia community to educate their children was slow going at first, but 30 children are enrolled now – without one being lost to sexual exploitation– the idea is gaining traction.