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1. Webinar of adolescent girls with UP Commission for Protection of Child Rights
When the voice of the successful daughters by virtue of the strength of digital technology while addressing to their circumstances in slums reached to Smt. Jaya Singh, Hon’ble member of the State Child protection Commission, she expressed her willingness to webinar with these daughters and spoke directly to them. In the course of conversation, the girls apprised them of problems they experienced during lockdown, such as their education, health, hygiene, domestic violence, sexual harassment, cyber bullying, and got the assurance for positive action. Hon’ble member directed this organization to submit a memorandum based on the suggestions received from these girls. Most of the demands were conceded by the government following the directions issued by the Hon’ble Commission, which included options of online education, door-to-door distribution of the ration under ICDS and MDM schemes, and distribution of sanitary pads to adolescent girls.
When all were imprisoned in their homes during the lockdown, it was only the telephone which provided suitable opportunity to connect to the community. Telecommunication was conducted in three phases under a strategy. In the first phase, there was a dialogue on Corona epidemic and its prevention. The second phase was in the context of various government schemes and toll free numbers. The third phase was dedicated to particularly to the education of children and helping them to overcome the depression, caused by various reasons. In context of the above references, there was telecounseling on community problems, with a total of 1560 participants including 1100 adults, 250 adolescent girls and 210 children.
3. Community friendly Policing
During the lockdown, on calm roads and tranquil streets, social workers felt that it was time to connect directly to the community and become an active partner in their needs.
But, in curfew-like situation, it was difficult for everyone to get out of their homes. In this situation, representative of the organization met and called upon Mr. Braj Bhushan ADG, Police Varanasi Zone and appraised him of the problems being faced in Urban slums of Varanasi stating to him that our volunteers not only needed the pass but the cooperation of the police administration too. Because, if in the situation of prevailing starvation in slums, our volunteers go there to distribute the food stuffs, they would not only be violating the advisory of social distancing but might face an unruly mob too. The ADG directed Sri. Arjun Singh, CO Circle in charge of Police Public Annapurna Service, who came to the office of this organization and launched the service. The Varanasi police provided their full support, became partners in our efforts as volunteers, on open roads and inside streets. Similarly, on the direction of District Magistrate, Bhadohi, the police personnel of Aurai police station also extended their full support for one week in distribution of ration and hygiene kits.
4. Children Creativity Manifest during Lockdown
During the lockdown the children utilized the time of their stay in homes in a better way and manifested their creativity through poetry, storytelling, painting, video clips etc. On inspiration of this organization, the children drove their paint brushes on diverse issues such as preventive measures on Coronavirus, environment, side effects of drugs, importance of education, Child rights exploitation, menstrual hygiene. These were disseminated on WhatsApp groups and other social media platforms, receiving wide appreciation.
5.Establishment of smart classes and remedial evening classes in slum
SRF has felt the importance of online education in the years to come. In collaboration with its ally partner, CRY (Child Rights & You) digital board for the smart classes has been setup in Primary School, Ghausabad (I) and Kasturaba Gandhi Awaseey Balika Vidyalay, Sarnath. Training to the teachers has been arranged through Next Education Pvt Ltd. Besides, the volunteers of CRY America have been providing regularly online tuitions to five children in our intervention area. At the Paigambarpur Digital Learning Center, in collaboration with primary school teachers, a remedial class is being held with 25 pupils regularly attending.
6. All India Radio & other international media highlighted the initiatives
On 13 June 2020, at 11.30 a.m. the Vividh Bhaarati channel of All India Radio, Varanasi (FM 100.6) broadcasted the interview of Mr. Rajeev Kumar Singh, Chief Functionary and General Secretary of the SRF on the topic “COVID-19 and Society” It was an innovative idea to use the mass media in order to reach the masses and spread the message of the SRF’s strategy to combat and contain the COVID-19.
Links for media channels are given below: