Good news from our Children GOOD project!
Shilpi was a bubbly young girl who enjoyed drawing, dancing, and reading. She aspires to be a teacher and educate the children in her community.
Her dreams were quickly shattered when reality hit her. She was forced to work as a sex worker after puberty by casually stating that you have no right to dream because you are from the lower-caste Devadasi communities.
Children of Devadasis are abused and discriminated against in a practice that is deeply rooted in socio-cultural exploitation; the majority of them drop out of school. Women in the same family engage in the practice for generations.
How does a Children’s Good Project create an impact?
Shilpi was identified as a child vulnerable to the devadasi system by Project GOOD in November via a baseline survey and was registered under the project. She was also invited to join her village’s Kishori Club, a Project GOOD children’s club for girls under the age of 18 who are vulnerable to exploitation. Shilpi is a member of the Mother Teresa Kishori Group, which consists of 35 Kishoris (girls under the age of 18) from her village. Shilpi has learned a lot about child rights, the importance of education, and how to use one’s voice to effect social change.
Shilpi and other Kishoris were taught life skills, advocacy tools, and research techniques, with the goal of empowering them through participation in their own development. The goal of this organisation is to empower children and promote confidence in them so that they can fight for themselves and discern what is right and wrong for them.We combat child exploitation in the Devadasi community by involving children in advocacy, education, and skill development, collaborating with law enforcement agencies, and sensitising communities.
Now, Shilpi is getting a better education and has started aiming to become a teacher again. And, thanks to the project, we were able to successfully rescue 700+ girls and 500+ boys, who are now doing well in their lives.
However, while rescuing children like Shilpi, we discovered that many of them are not on the list and thus do not get the benefit from the schemes finalised by the multi-stakeholders. Some of them desired to pursue higher education, but were stopped by the mandatory column of father’s name.
As a result, CIF’s Team under the Children’s Good Project has decided to bring all of these concerns to the attention of the government on behalf of the community. After all those efforts,
We are excited to share with you that we have received six Government orders from the Department of Women and Child Development directing concerned departments to implement the concerns raised during the advocacy meeting with Ministers of Women and Child Development and Social Welfare. Here are the Following Orders:
Order 1- Special priority for former Devadasi women under various housing schemes
Directed the Government Secretary of Housing in Karnataka to implement suitable measures for the construction of houses with a special priority for former devadasi women in various housing schemes.
Order 2- To make father’s name as optional in all educational documents
Directed the Government Chief Secretary, Department of Higher Education, to take the necessary steps to include mother’s name as an alternative to father’s name in forms used in higher, technical, and public educational institutions.
Order 3- Reservation in School, College & Hostels
Directed the Department of Family Welfare to take the necessary measures to provide Reservation for former devadasi women’s children during seat allocation in schools/colleges and hostels.
Order 4- Regarding priority job cards in panchayat limits for former devadasi women
To take suitable measures to provide housing facility on a priority basis in the panchayat limits to former devadasi women without access to housing along with job cards and other facilities under various schemes
Order 5 – Making father’s name as optional in various online forms of government sector jobs
Directed Government Secretary, Department Of Personnel And Administrative Reforms to take necessary measures to provide mother’s name as an alternative to father’s name in various online forms for government sector jobs
Order 6 – Regarding compulsory listing of father’s/husband’s name in various bank forms for former devadasi women and their children
Directed Chief Admin, State level Bankers Association to take necessary measures to make father’s name optional in various bank forms for former devadasi women and their children.
This is a true milestone in our advocacy efforts!