Much like the rest of the world, Children of India’s Girls’ Advocacy Alliance is finding ways to get accustomed to a more digital way of functioning.
The GAA Digital Lab is an initiative facilitated by Children of India’s partner organisations, Shramika Vikas Kendram and Scope RD, to ensure sensitisation among the government and the public regarding issues that girls face during lockdowns due to COVID-19. These issues include sexual abuse, discrimination, and forced labour of children. Advocacy on child trafficking and child marriage are also being addressed digitally.
From this space, the public and government authorities are educated about how to provide care to children, especially girls, through online materials.
Some of these online materials have been created by youth advocates themselves.
Another initiative is online counselling services provided to people in need. These take the form of psychological counselling and emotional guidance via phone calls along with assisting the public in accessing helpline services from the government to report issues related to gender-based violence, physical abuse, child marriages, child trafficking, and child labour issues.
The public has also been provided with general information on issues related to government rules and regulations during and post-lockdowns via E-Links and Computer Image Graphics.
From the Digital Lab, staff members also have online meetings with government officials to ensure the continuation of the programme’s advocacy. Furthermore, the lab organises online meetings with civil society organisations and other stakeholders to ensure that the project activities continue. The lab also conducts online training programmes for youth advocates.
“ The GAA Digital Lab is a perfect fusion between the power of technology and human intelligence. As we continue to practice social distancing and experience limitation of gatherings, it is an opportunity for people to continue their work in protecting children”
“The GAA Digital Lab is a perfect fusion between the power of technology and human intelligence. As we continue to practice social distancing and experience limitation of gatherings, it is an opportunity for people to continue their work in protecting children”, said Subrat Kumar Panda, GAA Project Coordinator who has been instrumental in planning this initiative.
Children of India Foundation provides technical and financial assistance to the Digital Lab and closely monitors and evaluates the quality of services that are offered.