FROM FIELD – JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011

On 29th January’11, Saturday where I am usually off work, I received a phone call from coordinator of one of our Partner Organization informing that a 5 year-old girl has been raped. This unfortunate incidence occurred on 26th January’11 in the Program intervention area where CRY supports partner organization – Sahyog Charitable Trust’s intervention in Vatva, Ahmedabad.

Agony, angst, frustration, helplessness

enveloped me that entire evening. Completely restless, it took time to gather myself and build confidence in the team to take up this case to CWC and Child Rights Commission. With all that is required to to be done by all the child rights activists on the field, I still have this intrinsic fear of accused escaping conveniently. I fear what if the little girl would never be able to overcome the trauma. I dread the restrictions placed on other girls from the vicinity to freely move out and attend school. In midst this fear, the one and only thing which gives me courage is the commitment of the whole team to fight for her and see to it that the accused is caught. With continuous efforts from the whole team, the girl has now slowly begun to talk and engage in playful activities. Eagerly waiting for some quick movement in the case.

 Last Friday early morning I started the day with an energizing good news from another Partner. CRY supports fellow-Ishwarbhai who carries out work in Tribal Area of Narmada District in Gujarat. In his program area, there are some of the villages which are completely cut off with bad roads, no electricity and no bridge to cross the wide river. One such village is Fulsar, which is one of the interior tribal village with almost no basic facility reaching the tribal. Electricity poles were erected back in 1974; however after that there was no forward movement made and village remained without electricity connection. Similar situation was of the over-bridge over a wide river. The river is wide, which usually flows very heavy during monsoon. During monsoon, no ANM, AWW or school teacher reaches the village and thus remains completely cut off from any services.
Repeated applications and meetings were carried out with concerned authorities and over the years community lost all hope for any improvement in the situation. With Ishwarbhai’s intervention in the village, taking up child rights and human rights issues, what gradually worked for the village was strength in collectivization and use of Right to Information Act. Under the act the village collective questioned the authorities as a result of which within days the electricity work started, and over-bridge work also begun under NREGA. The tribal community regained new confidence and is now collectively decided to ensure that work carried is done with good quality authenticated raw material. Kudos to collective strength!

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