Child Centric Panchayat Initiative is a unique programme under the CSR framework where children are at the centre of development; each intervention and activity rationalizes the benefit for children as primary stakeholders. No society can think of meaningful development without addressing appropriate development of children and women; ‘Invest in children’ is our credo and ‘ensure participation’ is the guiding principle. This sharpens the focus while directing our effort for inclusive development.
- Community gets sensitized on Rights of Children and start advocating at family and community level. It is a continuous process and with every passing day more and more people get involved in the project activities as children’s issues help create an emotional bond and thereby, interventions are generally accepted by the mass.
- The concept ensures women’s participation in decision making at family and community level as children and women are non separable. In the process of promoting children’s rights, women leaders from the community convene village meetings and take up local issues with village and GP level leaders. Their participation in the community meetings and decision making process is thus initiated which leads further to large scale participation of women and children as well as other excluded sections at community level.
- As most of the ongoing interventions are adult centric and arise from an adult’s perspective, self interests and conflicts often become the biggest barriers to inclusive development. With children, each and every household gets involved in project activities and thus the community owns the objectives as well as the outcomes. This approach is time intensive and requires nurturing and hand holding. The concept is replicable in any community and always promotes highest level of participation while ensuring ownership of the assets created.
- Playing together, sitting together in meetings, building consensus through debate and dialogue, and taking collective action in the community dissolves social barriers especially for adolescents and children, which in turn facilitates greater inclusion at community level.
PPL’s ongoing community initiative in two Gram Panchayats – Bagadia and Mangarajpur, covering 11 villages in the neighbourhood of the Plant at Paradeep has its basic premise in the child centric approach. The long term vision is to provide a platform for collective action in order that atleast two villages can be developed as model villages in a span of three years. While several inputs especially in terms of activities, action research and participatory events are being conducted in the outreach villages, the focus is on critical inputs in education, health, water & sanitation and livelihood (based on development plans created by community members which prioritize their felt needs) in 2 villages as a demonstration model. PPL is working in partnership with Forum for Integrated Development and Research (FIDR) with support from local Panchayati Raj Institutions and district administration.