This is the motto behind all of Shakti’s work with children. In Rayagada District, children face many perils:
- Child Health - Malnutrition is rife due to poor feeding practice and poor economic condition of families.
- Child Labour - Due to their very poor economic background parents are engaging their children in work instead of sending them to school.
- Child Migration - Due to lack of waged employment opportunities people migrate in search of work and take their children with them.
- Child Marriage - Because of age old traditional practices, child marriage is common with girls marrying at 13 to 14 years of age.
- Child Orphans - The Cholera epidemic of 2009-10 orphaned 21 children.
This has driven Shakti to undertake work on behalf of these children by managing a School for rehabilitated child labourers and by becoming the District collaborative organisation for CHILDLINE (Hyperlink).
India ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1992. The Charter of Child Rights (CRC) is built on the principle that "ALL children are born with fundamental freedoms and ALL human beings have inherent rights". It sets international standards for the rights of children conferring 4 basic rights:
- the right to survival - to life, health, nutrition, name and nationality (enter cross reference to Shakti’s HEALTH work especially mother and child health, nutrition, vaccination, etc.
- the right to development - to education, care, leisure, recreation (cross reference to Shakti’s Child Labour School)
- the right to protection - from exploitation, abuse, neglect (cross reference to Shakti’s CHILDLINE work)
- the right to participation - to expression, information, thought and religionShakti, with its mission to help a child live like a child, has so far been able to rehabilitate around 250 of these children, by providing education facilities, vocational training and linking with the formal education system. Shakti’s staff are actively involved in the area and provide counseling, medical facilities and advocates for these children. Shakti has been running special child labour schools at Ramanaguda and Rayagada since 2000.Activities have included:
- Survey and identification of working children in the targeted area
- Developing a comprehensive data bank on child labour
- Rescuing working children
- Counseling the parents and the children
- Managing Child Labour Special School
- Developing a suitable curriculum for the children
- Mainstreaming the child at the level of his learning
- Program monitoring and evaluation
- Interacting with government on policies that have a bearing on child labor
- Sensitizing people and communities on the issue of child labor and child rights
Empowering lives and advancing sustainable development goals, Shakti Organisation(SSCSO) proudly aligns its impactful initiatives with the United Nations' SDGs for a brighter and more inclusive future.