Collective Voices is a project that aims to accelerate the achievement of sustainable development goals relating to education, protection, health and nutrition. This engenders women and child friendly communities aware of their rights and entitlements.
Naxal Bari Tea Plantation
Naxalbari is the name of a village and community development block in the Eastern Indian state of West Bengal. The stretch of land where Naxalbari is situated lies in the Terai region at the foothills of the Himalayas. To the west of Naxalbari, there is the river Mechi which lies at the border of Nepal. The entire stretch of land surrounding Naxalbari is covered by farmland, tea estates, forests and small villages, which consists of an area of 182.02 km². The Naxalbari block has six Gram Panchayats (village councils), viz. Gossainpur, Lower Bagdogra, Upper Bagdogra, Hatighisha, Naxalbari and Moniram, from north to south. Its population was 1,44,915 in 2001 and is now under the jurisdiction of the Siliguri subdivision of Darjeeling district.
Naxalbari block consists of one census town called Uttar Bagdogra as well as rural areas. This block has two police stations in Bagdogra and Naxalbari. The headquarters of this block is in Naxalbari.
The village can be found at 26.68°N 88.22°E and has an average elevation of 152 metres (501 feet).
DMWSC began working in the Naxalbari tea plantation in 2013 and has remained up until 2016.
Self Help Groups
There are 50 children in one composed group and 8 members in Bal Panchayat
There are 15 members:
The women of Naxalbari are able to continue the movement against alcohol prevention with the help of the police and closing down of almost sixteen shops which used to supply local liquor at a low grade. Because of this, many people experienced addiction and partook in the beating of their children and wives. Women of the community have started lodging complaints against their husbands who are rendering life in the home difficult.
The existing areas have now become empowered to deal with the crisis situation, requiring technical support. The dissemination of this support however, could not be completed due to the elections in spite of having approached the Panchayat office. We plan to complete this by the end of the year.
DMWSC began working in the Lohasing Tea Plantation in 2013 and still remains there as of 2016.
Self Help groups
In Lohasing there were six groups, which were closed but have recently been revived in the last two years. They are now eligible for getting loans.
Bal Panchayat Group
There are youth groups of around 25 children. There are seven boys and girls who are members of the Bal Panchayat
Aware about the 100,1098 (child help line numbers)
In Lohasing the women are now more aware of their own needs, rights and entitlements. They have a strong self-help group which is suitably functional and has succeeded in obtaining some loans from the banks. They have very strong advocate groups who insist on the maintenance of the community’s bridge so that its residents may be able to travel easily . There are other NGOs (Seva Kendra also working in this field). The Integrated Child Protection Scheme program is composed of teachers who are quite vigilant of the children’s attendance, while participating in all the meetings when invited.The management is now very supportive in the work undertaken and focused by DMWSC.Up until 2015, child marriage was commonly practiced in Lohasing, yet as of this year it has become less common. Now the community is extremely vigilant and report cases of the potential arrangement of child marriages to the police station. Furthermore, women are taking leadership in different programmes.
MWSC began working inthe Village of Panthabari in 2013 and has continued to remain up until 2016
7 groups are functional
There are forty children in two groups. Each group is composed of twenty members.
The Bal Panchayat group is composed of 9 members
There are 22 members in the group
In Panthabari village the self-help groups are very much empowered and now they have got connected to the banks and the block office. They are able to take all the facilities from the block as well. They are eligible for bank loans since they have had good grading in the SHG. The youth group is also quite active and has participated in all the activities assigned to them. They are now associated with the Ethical Enterprise Groups and the women are now excelling as their skills continue to develop. The community now has good links with the block offices due to which they have regular health camps, veterinary camps, SHG training etc.
The DMWSC began working in the Lohagarh Tea Plantation in 2013 and has remained up until 2016.
Self Help Groups
There are three groups which are very functional. The groups are active in the following:
There are seventy children in the group and thirteen members of the Bal Panchayat
There are sixty members in the group
In Lohagarh T.E. the people have become very much aware of the various social problems and also of the child protection committees, youth groups and of the Bal Panchayat group trying to solve the problems through personal initiatives. The members are presently planning to improve the conditions of the village, and do not allow any young child to go for domestic work which formerly led to their victimization in human trafficking. They want to develop the place into a tourist location but they carry the fear of whether this situation would give rise to more sexual exploitation of local girls in the community. Now the people have become more vigilant. If any kind of abuse occurs, a rally is arranged to fight for the cause. If the law is not taking the correct course, then they go to inform the police.
Panighatta Tea Plantation
Village of Chenga
Siptiguri Tea Plantation
Gram Panchayat - Sukna Dist-Darjeeling(W.B)
Distance from office - 38Km
Number of people: 550 (approx.)
Number of families: 112
There are only two I.C.D.S centres; the school is far from the village - near about 12 to 15 Km.
Police Station- Garidhura Dist-Darjeeling (W.B)
Distance from office 27km
Number of people: 3000
Number of families: about 430
Gram Panchayat - Dudia
P.S- Garidhura Dist-Darjeeling (W.B)
Distance from office: 39km
Number of people: 6000
Number of families: about 430
Education, protection, health and nutrition. It works for community development and for the workers’ rights & entitlements.
Structural formation of village leadership and counselling
Linking the community in question with the government