Bal Mitra Gram (Child-Friendly Villages)
We actively implement the Bal Mitra Gram programme in mica-dependent villages across Giridih and Koderma districts. The primary objective is to eradicate child labour from mica collection processes. In pursuit of this goal, we execute the BMG program directly and extend technical assistance to the district administrations of Koderma and Giridih.
Child-Friendly Villages (Bal Mitra Grams) is a transformative grassroots solution to prevent child exploitation, a model that empowers children to take democratic actions to protect their rights and enables parents and other stakeholders to stand up for the rights of children and build a protective community.
No child in labour or being trafficked or married in the villages
All children receive a meaningful and quality education
Child leadership is established through Bal Panchayat (children’s council).
Bal Panchayat (Children Council) receives recognition from the Gram Panchayat (Village Council)
Pillars of the Child-Friendly Village or a Bal Mitra Gram™
The approach of providing technical support has been strategically adopted to align with the Government of India's commitment to eradicating child labour by 2025. By enhancing the reach and impact of the BMG program, we aim to actively contribute to this national objective. The technical support encompasses various components, including training and capacity building for government officials, members of the Village Child Protection and Welfare Committee (formerly VLCPC), and Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI). Moreover, we are involved in developing educational and informational materials and offer assistance, including training to the government in the development and implementation of child protection programmes and schemes that integrate BMG elements.
Partnership with Government
We work closely with the government at the national, state, district and village levels directly, or through our partner civil society organizations.
Partnership with Central Government
Our partner Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) was selected by the NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog, the apex think-tank of the Government of India, to work on the overall growth and development of children in 11 Aspirational Districts of Bihar and Jharkhand. The Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) aims to transform the 112 most under-developed districts across India quickly and effectively.
Giridih district of Jharkhand, having many mica-dependent villages where the major source of income is through mica mining, is among the 11 aspirational districts being covered as a part of this collaboration. A special emphasis is on improving the underperforming indicators related to child protection and well-being analysed by the NITI Aayog including health and nutrition, education, financial inclusion, skill development, and basic infrastructure.
As part of our collaborative efforts, we focus on achieving the following through our intervention:
Promoting the overall growth and development of children in the 6-18 age group by ensuring that every child is healthy, enrolled and retained in school, is safe from all forms of exploitation, and has access to justice and welfare services
Building capacity for promoting effective interventions by agencies for child protection
Promoting relevant skill development among young individuals
Working towards ensuring rehabilitation and development of underprivileged and vulnerable children
Additionally, we closely work with various ministries and departments like the Women and Child Development Ministry, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Panchayati Raj and others. We also work with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to ensure child rights and child protection.
Partnership with State Government
We, in partnership with the Jharkhand Legal Services Authority (JHALSA), are providing training to members of Village Level Child Protection Committees (VLCPC) in more than 600 Child-Friendly Villages in Koderma and Giridih. The training and sensitisation sessions are focused on the functioning and role of VLCPCs in child protection along with providing information on laws related to child rights and child protection.
We are also working with various state departments like the School Education and Literacy Department, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Department of Women, Child Development & Social Security, and other departments that are directly or indirectly involved with child rights and child protection.
MoU with the Government of Jharkhand
In 2018, our partner Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF) and the Government of Jharkhand signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to address the issues related to child labour in Jharkhand. Some key highlights of this MoU are -
Both parties are committed to jointly undertaking technical programmes and projects, which aim to build the capacity of state, district, and block and gram panchayat level functionaries in addressing the issues of children
Both parties to jointly design and implement innovative programmes such as Bal Mitra Gram (Child-Friendly Villages) to ensure the protection of children in mica mining areas
The harmonization of applicable international/national/state legislation and regulations concerning child protection
Collaborative activities for ensuring holistic development of communities in general and families of child abuse/child labour survivors in particular.
Promotion of appropriate measures and safeguards to curb the trafficking of children, women and men from mica mining areas.
Jointly undertaking mass awareness campaigns on child sexual abuse, child marriage, child labour and child trafficking
Convergence with all the concerned government departments to address the need for community mobilization in mica mining areas on a priority basis
Partnership with District Administration
Our staff is working closely with the local district offices and child protection mechanisms like the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), Child Welfare Committees (CWC), Village Level Child Protection Committee (VLCPCs), Juvenile Justice Board, Anti Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs).
Partnership with Local/Village-Level Governance
The Child-Friendly Village (CFV) programme works hand in hand with the village panchayats. The Bal Panchayats (Child Councils) formed at the village level under the CFV programme are given formal recognition by the village panchayats. The village panchayat leaders do not just listen to the voices of the child leaders of Bal Panchayats but also support them and take relevant actions to make their villages child-friendly.
Partenership with local NGOs
To reach the farthest corners of the mica mining areas, we’ve partnered with trusted local NGOs in Koderma and Giridih district in Jharkhand and Nawada district of Bihar, to carry out on-ground interventions for enhanced child protection.
Survivor Led Intelligence Network
The Survivor-Led Intelligence Network (SLIN) is a model grass-root intervention initiative developed by KSCF to address the issue of trafficking, sexual abuse and commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) among children. It actively functions in the mica-abundant Giridih district of Jharkhand along with our other interventions.
Led by those young adults, who themselves were subjected to exploitation as children, the SLIN aims to create a child-friendly ecosystem through the prevention and protection of children from exploitation and break the nexus of trafficking by working with strategic partners, community and law enforcement machinery.
The Survivor-led Intelligence Network has three key functions through which it ensures the protection of children from trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. These include: - gathering intelligence about traffickers, aiding the prosecution of customers/brothels engaged in commercial sexual exploitation of children and working with survivors of child sexual abuse and trafficking.
Our work is made possible by the generous support of people like you. Your donation can help us reach more children and bring them closer to a childhood they deserve.
Click the button below to donate now.
Together, we can create a world where no child is forced to work in unsafe conditions and robbed of their childhood. Join us in our mission to end child labour in the mica industry.