About us

Vidhayak Bharti is a rights-based, non-profit working for the promotion and preservation of child rights and child protection in society. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Children and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (JJ Act) forms the backbone of our projects and programs. We work directly in Mumbai, Nandurbar, Solapur & Kolhapur districts and indirectly across Maharashtra.

Vision

A child friendly society where children know and exercise their rights, feel secure and there is a happy and healthy environment for their holistic development.

Mission

  • To promote active participation of children for creation of a child friendly society
  • To create an environment for protection of child rights and promote holistic development of the child by building capacity of state and non-state stakeholders
  • To research, build best practices and undertake advocacy for reforms in policies concerning children

What we stand for

  • Empowerment, not charity
  • Putting children first
  • Proactive participation of children
  • Strengthening & supporting child protection systems

What we do

At Vidhayak Bharti we strongly believe in working on both the prevention and response level to varied issues of child protection.

  • Prevention level work involves awareness, sensitisation with children, their families, schools as well as with system stakeholders like the police, child welfare committees, juvenile justice Boards, ICDS, DCPU
  • Response level work involves working with stakeholders to resolve that children are facing through technical case support, handholding, mentoring, aiding institutions in setting up systems of response to child protection violations. 

How do we do it

At Vidhayak Bharti, we conduct extensive training and capacity building of stakeholders. Often, more than children, it’s the adults who need to be worked with and supported to build a protective environment for children. 

1.System Strengthening

  1. Police:
  • Trained 2000+ police officials in basic child rights & child related laws with special focus on Juvenile Justice (care & protection of children) Act, 2015
  • Since 2017, we have been working on a special, dedicated initiative called “Child Friendly Police”. We are working with 6 city and 2 railway police stations closely to understand the on-ground reality, provide technical support in cases and improve their community programs with children
  • Advocacy with the police department for changes to better address children’s issues. Conducted research with over 550 respondents on police’s basic knowledge on child protection.
  • Created accessible resources in Marathi for the police (8 flyers & 1 comprehensive booklet). Improving police training academy curriculum on child related laws.

Evolving and developing ‘Child Friendly Police Indicators’ with police and other experts from the field.

  • Facilitating convergences between police and other departments for better functioning
  1. Judiciary:
  • Conduct regular trainings at the Maharashtra Judicial Academy for first class judicial magistrates on child rights, child protection with special focus on role of the magistrate as a Juvenile Justice Board member
  • Participate regularly in meetings organised by the High Court Committee for Juvenile Justice (twice a year)
  • In 2018, presented on Role of Police in strengthening Juvenile Justice Systems in Maharashtra along with ADG Dr. Pradnya Sarvoday in a conference organised by the JJC (Juvenile Justice Monitoring Committee).
  • The Child Welfare Committee is the competent authority to make decision regarding children in need of care & protection at a district level. They function as a bench of magistrates. We regularly conduct orientation and refresher courses for CWC members at Yashada and other departmental training
  • Appointed as member of the Covid-19 taskforce
  1. District administration:
  • Trained 1100+ stakeholders like the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), ICDS Supervisors, Anganwadi workers, Superintendents & staff of Child Care Institutions (CCI), ASHA workers, police patils, Bal Rakshaks (appointed by Education Department)
  • Activated the Department of Women & Child Development to implement the 2014 GR on ‘Ward/ Village Child Protection Committee’. Conducted specialised trainings for the same across Maharashtra.
  • Implementing an online intensive training program since April 2020 for all district administration stakeholders (14 weeks so far) that started with session on Covid-19 & lockdown measures for child protection

1.Community based child protection models

  1. Child Protection Committees:
  • Apart from the activation at the departmental level described above, sensitised municipal corporators and village panchayats on the formation of the committee
  • Directly facilitated formation and activation of CPCs in Dhadgaon block, Nandurbar. Mentored formation of CPC in other districts of Maharashtra
  • Released two booklets on CPC in Marathi. The first booklet was adopted and endorsed by the DWCD. The recent one has been launched in partnership with CRY.
  • Conducted online lectures on CPC, which can be accessed here: https://www.vidhayakbharti.org/village-ward-child-protection-committee-cpc/
  1. Awareness programs & activities:
  • Regularly engage with children in communities, schools through sessions on child rights and child protection. Also facilitated tailor made programs for teenagers addressing various topics like gender, growing up, violence among others
  • Regularly engage with parents on child participation, corporal punishment through community meetings, PTA meetings
  • Train teachers on their role in child protection, legal provisions
  • Conduct awareness & capacity building sessions for youth, law students, other civil society organisations like Childline, Akanksha Foundation, Cactus Foundation to name a few.
  1. Online resources & engagement:
  • A yearlong ‘Child Rights Everyday’ poster campaign and subsequent publishing of an E-booklet of the same (110+ posters as of 12th September 2020). View: https://www.vidhayakbharti.org/learning-child-protection-through-law-campaign/
  • 40+ Facebook Live session since April 2020 held bi-weekly with in-house and guest speakers. Covered a wide range of topics from child protection, online safety, gender & sexuality to nutrition. View:

https://www.vidhayakbharti.org/children-covid-19-lockdown-facebook-live-series-by-vidhayak-bharti/

  • Past resources created (flyers, booklets, posters) can be viewed here:

https://www.vidhayakbharti.org/resources/

  1. Issue based initiative

  1. Child marriage & gender-based discrimination:

  • Actively working in Nandurbar, Solapur and Kolhapur on the issue of child marriage which disproportionately affects girls
  • Formed Adolescent groups in Dhadgaon block where girls are taught life skills, leadership with a focus on confidence and exercising agency. A safe space where they can openly share their issues
  • Targeted awareness campaigns against child marriage during festival season in the tribal hamlets to engage with parents and community leaders to discourage them from marrying their girls early
  • Liaising with the Collector, Education Department, Child Marriage Prohibition Officer, local police, police patils, anganwadi workers, ASHA workers to actively create a safety network to ensure school completion and preventing child marriages.

 

2.Child labour:

  • Leading a network creation and working group called ‘End Child Labour’ across 36 districts of Maharashtra of individuals from varied backgrounds. This group will actively work against child labour in the district and this platform will serve as a collaborative and support network.
  • 5 public and 1 closed group meetings have been conducted so far with 91 participants in the final group. The group has been created considering the heightened risk of child labour due to the pandemic and a foreseeable need to have a multi-stakeholder, cross cutting network.

3.Safe Migration

  • Migration impacts children in immeasurable ways and unsafe migration makes children more vulnerable to child marriage and child labour. We are advocating for implementation of policies and schemes that makes migration safe for the families and the children.
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