Inclusive Education for Blind Children
"The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision."- Helen Keller
This holds true in Patnagarh and Loisingha Blocks in Balangir District where there are 110 adults and 18 children identified with irreversible blindness, and as hope may seem bleak having no sight at all, the vision for a brighter and better future does not at all end in being blind.
Through ADHAR's intervention, children with irreversible blindness and those that have severe or low vision were included in the mainstream primary schools. That despite the severity of their vision, they too can still make a difference in their lives and eventually contribute positively to their respective communities.
RABI THELA, 11 years old, from the village of Rengali in Patnagarh Block, was born blind, but this did not prevent him from going to school. With support from his family, he is ADHAR's first beneficiary of Inclusive Education for Blind Children in Patnagarh Block and is now attending Class 2 in the village primary school.
DUKHA BISI, also born blind, is an Inclusive Education Teacher employed by ADHAR to make sure that children like Rabi Thela will have the opportunity to normally participate in the mainstream society. 11 year old Rabi Thela is one of his students who are now learning how to read in Braille.
Dukha Basi is an Inclusive Education Teacher who makes sure children like Rabi Thela
can live a happy and healthy childhood.
Right to Education is a Basic Child Right
Basic is the child's right to education, and this is the primary goal of ADHAR in its Child Rights Program operating in Ratakhandi, Rengali, Uparbahal, Hirapur, Kutenpali, Badibahal, and Bhudipadar Gram Panchayats in Loisingha Block of Balangir District.
At present, ADHAR ensures the implementation of the Government's Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), Midday Meal distribution among primary school children in the villages and 100 percent enrollment of poor and underprivileged children within the villages' formal primary schools.
ADHAR's Child Rights Program also includes advocacy for the youth to return to school. In the year 2010, there are at least 33 child labourers and school drop outs that have returned back to formal schools.
"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school."-Albert Einstein
Children's Club Mobilized Permanent Teacher
The Children's Club in the village of Bhoipali, Loisingha Block in Balangir District was promoted by ADHAR in 1998, and since then school children who are members of this club together with members of the Village Education Committee (VEC) have been holding meetings every Sunday of the week to discuss issues on Child Rights, Child Development and Health and Sanitation. Their conclusions are ratified by village elders and the plans are then presented to the Village Panchayat.
At the start of the school year, this Children's Club have succeeded in mobilizing a permanent and trained Teacher for the village primary school.
These children studied outside the Block Office to demand a permanent and trained teacher
Sustainable Agriculture Methods for Food Security
Barbagha in Patnagarh Block is the smallest village to be the recipient of ADHAR's Food Security Program. It is among 11 other villages in Phamunda Gram Panchayat.
In these villages, ADHAR is promoting sustainable agriculture method to help elevate food security. ADHAR introduced non- toxic and non-industrialized traditional farming practices to also help promote environmental conservation.
In all 12 villages, a Village Development Committee has been formed in each village that also included the Dalits and Migrant Workers. There are at least 5 to 7 executive members elected by the targeted households to address their respective issues and problems.
ADHAR extends the assistance to promote Village Level Grain Banks, Backyard Plantation and Bio-Intensive Gardens to supplement food and nutrition to targeted households in the villages.
ADHAR has also conducted trainings of small farmers on sustainable agri-farming and build cadres as Krushi Sathi (Cultivation Friend).The Village of Barbagha in Patnagarh Block, Balangir
Grain Bank for Sustainability of Food Security
ADHAR provided Grain Bank support to 12 villages covered by the Project to ensure their food security during the lean periods. Rice, Kolatha, Jhunga and Biri grains were distributed in the villages. The main objective of the Grain Bank is to provide safeguard against starvation during the period of natural calamities or during lean seasons when the marginalized food insecure households do not have sufficient resources to purchase their rations. Such people in need of food grains are able to borrow food grains from the Village Grain Bank and return what has been received during harvest for its sustainability.
Citizens Against Corruption Monitor Government Schemes Implementation
Since the implementation of the government's Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MG-NREGA) and the Public Distribution System (PDS), some far flung areas in the Khalahandi, Balangir, Koraput also known as KBK Blocks of Orissa seem to be beyond reach for these government for these government schemes, hence ADHAR's intervention to make sure that at least 8 Gram Panchayats in Loisingha Block of Balangir are guaranteed assistance from the government.
NREGA is aimed at enhancing the livelihood security of the people in the rural areas by guaranteeing 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to a rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual works such as building roads and bridges. The Public Distribution System (PDS) on the other hand, provides for 25 kilograms of rice per month to a household living below poverty line. The consistency is made sure by the provision of a card that says the said household claiming assistance is living below poverty line.
ADHAR's Citizen's Against Corruption Program is focused on organizing and empowering community institutions to monitor implementation of these government schemes, through social audit and civic engagement. This is also being implemented as part of the Food Security Program of ADHAR in all of its operational areas.
In a society where women are the most vulnerable, considered second class citizens and inferior to men, ADHAR aims to create opportunities for the disadvantaged women in the society irrespective of caste and gender, by providing a venue for vocational trainings and by ensuring their participation in the larger decision making processes at all levels for their own economic growth.
The Women's Self Help Group in the Village of Soliabahal consists of 10-15 members, and between and among themselves have been assisted by ADHAR's Community Development Organizers to start their own livelihood projects such as taking charge in preparing the Mid day Meals for the children attending the village general public school, as well as cultivation of cotton, rice and dal (lentils) and sheep and cow herding to augment household income.
Women's Self Help Group in Soliabahal
Community Based Rehabilitation for the Disabled
Nita Rana and ADHAR's Community Development Organizers helping her study
through Teaching Learning Methods (TLM)
NITA RANA, 7 years old, has severe hearing impairments but through ADHAR's intervention she is now attending Class 2 at the village general primary school learning Math and writing in Oriya (the language in Orissa). Every so often, she is home schooled through Teaching Learning Methods (TLM) using tools like picture charts and colored paper art materials to make her catch up with the rest of her classmates.
Nita Rana, 7 years old, severe hearing impairment
Hope for Child with Cerebral Palsy
There are 3 known cases of cerebral palsy in the operational areas of Titlagarh Block in Balangir District and JAYADEV BHOI, 13 years old, is only one of them.
Through ADHAR's Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Project, Jayadev Bhoi is now attending Luthurbandh Village Primary School in his village in Luthurbandh, Titlagarh, Balangir District. Jayadev Bhoi is constantly working on his basic physiotheraphy exercises such as sitting and crawling positions. He is also learning to bathe, brush his teeth, comb his hair on his own with the assistance of his parents. His father takes him to school everyday so he can be with other school children.
Jayadev Bhoi practices hand and eye coordination physiotherapy exercises.