VCRO Project from CRY

Nature of Initiative: Alliance

Location: Orissa.

Project Holder: Mr. Bharat Bhusan Thakur

CRY support since: 2005

Objectives: # Build perspective on child rights to its partners. # Promotion and strengthening of people’s organization. # Campaign for promotion and protection of child rights. # Build need based alliances with like-minded organisations and networks. # Initiate people centric advocacy.

Reference Group:

Situation: Orissa is one of the poorest States of the country with a high percentage of rural families living below the poverty line. Threats of displacement loom large due to large scale construction of dams and major indistrial projects. The major child rights issues identified in Orissa include high IMR, non functional education system and child labour. Food security is a major issue as more than 54.5% of children in 1-5 years age group are malnourished. Child labour is rampant in sectors like agriculture, stone quarries, NTFP collection, weaving, domestic labour and shops and garages. The benefits of welfare schemes, adopted by the State Govt. remain inaccessible for the poor and tribal communities living in remote corners of the state. The prominent Regional Focal Issues affecting the CR violations include lack of proper health facilities/infrastructure, defunct primary/ secondary education system, gender discrimination, recurrent floods/natural calamities, lack of irrigation facilities, large scale mining operation and poor and discriminatory wages.

Project brief: Alliance visualises a society where every right will be ensured for all children. VCRO started its functioning under the leadership of Mr. Rajendra Meher of YCDA (Project partner) who was elected as the first Convener of VCRO. The members of the alliance who have perspective on child issues and experience of child development activities as well as awareness about issues of Orissa are considered the strengths of the alliance. The alliance has wide representation from 23 People’s Organizations of Orissa. The alliance provides a platform to member People Organizations to come together to fight against any kind of exploitation and child rights violations. VCRO which came into existence with the initiative of some like minded NGOs and individuals, is slowly shaping towards an alliance of People’s Organizations, that are in the process of unification of movement based struggling groups for building a larger movement in the State. The strengthening of POs which started last year will be catalyzed this year through training and developing them to prepare people and take lead in the process and movement.