‘tapan Foundations (N. G. O.)’ has formed several self-help groups in the area. These self-help groups are running in the villages of Agra district of UP. It has successfully organized women in self-help groups at grass-root level. Under this project 400 families belonging to weaker sections are benefited. Now they feel more aware, confident and organized to fight against all types of exploitation. Self-Help Groups have given them voice and courage to speak and stand on their own. This new awakening among women has brough about a new change in their status in community. People now know that women who were silent sufferers yesterday are now united under the banner of the organization. The organization wants to help women generate alternative sources of income. Women are exploited because they are economically dependent on others. Without economic empowerment, social awareness has no meaning at all. It has always kept its focus on capacity building of community. Under this project, the organization has mobilized large number of women belonging to low income groups to engage in various income generating activities through self help groups. The organization helps them get information, training and other supports.
‘tapan Foundations (N. G. O.)’ helped women form self-help groups in Agra. The objective of this programme was to make these women economically self dependent. The women who have joined these self-help groups are now saving money and helping each other. They feel more confident to face all types of challenges in life. These activities given them a sense of pride and dignity. Women are exploited because they are economically dependent on others. Without economic empowerment, social awareness has no meaning at all. Keeping all this in mind, the organization has kept it focus on capacity building of community. ‘tapan Foundations (N. G. O.)’ has mobilized a large number of women belonging to low-income groups to form their self-help groups and engage in various income generating activities. The organization helps them by providing information, training and other supports. The project will soon come into full swing when these women start earning for themselves and their families.
Social Awareness Campaign.
‘tapan Foundations (N. G. O.)’ has been very active in launching campaigns for social awareness among masses. During the last few years we were engaged in educating the people about the danger of AIDS, Drug Addiction and Alcoholism. The organization also creates awareness against many other social malpractices such as child marriage, dowry system and female infanticides etc. Songs, dances and street-plays support our campaign. It helps us in eliciting community support at grass root level ‘tapan Foundations (N. G. O.)’ has been actively advocating for various social issues of deprived and exploited communities. We use all platforms for voicing people’s concern by participating in discussions at seminars and workshops organized by other NGOs and action groups. It is therefore needless to say that the organization has missed no opportunity to express its solidarity against people’s exploitation in any form.
Counseling to Street & Working Children.
‘tapan Foundations (N. G. O.)’ is also working for the uplift of street children and young people who have left home. The group works in Agra and adjoining areas. It is presently involved in bettering the lives of over 350 children comprised of shoeshine boys, rag pickers, snack-sellers, flower-and-vegetable vendors and destitute children.
The organization conducts programmes on preventive and curative health for them. educates them on nutrition, saving-and-income-generation schemes. gives them vocational guidance and also provides them recreation facilities at their various centers. The organization also provides a night-stay facility for young children. The centers provide a clean and friendly environment for its young residents, and also organize tours for them to places of interest. It also prepares them for higher education, and provides healthcare.
The children are also provided with snacks and refreshments at the centers. Savings are encouraged, bank accounts opened when ever needed, facilities for bathing as well as indoor and outdoor games provided. The organization welcomes encouragement for its activities and always open to interacting with likeminded groups.
Community Health Programme.
The organization also conducts awareness programmes on Reproductive child health issues. Its awareness programme includes subjects such as child survival and safe motherhood, women’s health, Family planning, adolescent health, early registration of pregnant women, antenatal care, promoting institutional delivery, preventing diseases by vaccination, distribution of condoms, referral services, Adolescent reproductive health care and counseling etc. The organization aims to improve women’s access to quality reproductive health services and empower them to make informed decisions about their reproductive health. It also works to increase community access to appropriate reproductive health care services through training and developing positive community behavior about reproductive health. It ensures that projects are sensitive to local beliefs and can be sustained in the long term. Its programmes aim to significantly reduce morbidity and mortality among women.
The organization addresses to the need of understanding the special needs of adolescents by the community as well as the health and development agencies working in different communities. It involves capacity building of the NGOs, institutions and other service providers in this area, sensitization of the community including policy makers, service providers, teachers, and others on the needs of the adolescents and improving the reproductive health status of adolescents. It health activities include awareness and sensitization programs through dissemination of information/knowledge on adolescent health and development issues with rights and gender perspectives, Emphasis is to involve and enhance community participation especially with adolescent groups.
The organization is running community health programmes in Agra. Under this programme. 6 health camps were held this year. The objective of these health camps was to create health awareness among all sections of community and to provide them basic health services such as health checkup, immunization and referral services. With the help of its teamof doctors and nurses, health checkups were conducted on 250 persons.
People with common ailments were distributed free medicines. Patients requiring further diagnosisand treatment were referred to other hospitals and dispensaries. Doctors held talks on various health related topics such as importance of immunization, symptoms and treatments of common diseases, community hygiene etc, A large number of people including women participated in these health camps. Street plays on health issues were also organized at these occasions. The organization held a ‘Save Motherhood’ programme in which 240 households were covered. The programme was aimed at creating awareness for healthy mother and child. With the help of charts and posters many health awareness issues werecovered. The organization also established a reproductive health care unit for one week to educate women and adolescent girls about different issues pertaining to reproductive and maternity health care.
Income Generation Programs for Women.
‘tapan Foundations (N. G. O.)’ mainly targets women by providing them with economic opportunities, a safe working environment and encouraging them to participate in polities, It has trained about 250 women in various cottage industries. It provides training to the rural poor in such activities as carpentry, radio and TV servicing. On the agenda of the society is the formation of self-help groups. These groups will be active in 25 villages. They will meet every month to discuss the schemes floated by the government. such as pensions for widows, the handicapped and the elderly. Also in the pipeline is the construction of low-cost houses for the benefit of the poor. Training programs in community organization, communication, women’s development, skill training for women (typewriting and handloom) environmental awareness and Training is practical in orientation and organized on a participatory basis. It is conducted at our centers located within the project area Training is available in Hindi and English, Small Economic Activities Development projects are designed to provide financially sustainable savings and credit services to poor women, increasing their income, and their say in how their income will be spent. It has assisted women financially in income generation schemes. It has developed a community infrastructure in 22 villages and raised the income of 34 families through various economic development programs.
Rural Development Programme.
‘tapan Foundations (N. G. O.)’ is working to improve the living standards of rural folk in the district of Agra in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is also trying to create environmental-awareness among the people. The organization has been actively involving the local population and non-governmental agencies. It has installed hand-pumps for safe drinking water in villages, and has set up a handicraft production unit too. The handicraft production unit has provided employment to local women. It also involved in an integrated rural development program for school-going and non-school-going children, educated unemployed youth, women interested in improving their socio-economic status, small and marginal farmers and agricultural laborers looking for additional employment opportunities.
Environment Awareness Programme.
It has organized environmental awareness campaigns as well as campaigns to educate women about their rights. It promotes environmental education, eco development, and agro-forestry-based industries. It organizes environmentally important days/events in schools, and has developed a curriculum to impart education on environment, health and family life. Among its most important achievements are its actual work on a forestation of wastelands, conservation and development of water resources and rearing of nurseries to provide seedlings for tree plantations. It's, main concerned is the protection and regeneration of natural resources.they It trains villagers, in various ways, to stand on their own feet: it helps in watershed development and wasteland development: conducts programmes for human and animal health care: creates environmental awareness: imparts sustainable agricultural techniques and supports rural industry and artisans.
Educational Activities for Children.
‘tapan Foundations (N. G. O.)’ runs an education center for children, and provides vocational guidance and non-formal education to them. It works to emancipate the poor and illiterate people through programs of education, vocational training and improvement of community health services to organize an exploitation free society, ensuring quality of opportunity to all. It works for a better lie to the weaker and underprivileged section of society living in the slums and rural areas. It focuses on education for the children and non-formal adult education. It is involved with children, their families and communities, undertaking integrated development and dealing with other vital issues. Besides running educational schools, it strives to empower the community. The organization promotes general education among rural backward classes, with a special emphasis on educating the girl child.
‘tapan group Association’ is a registered voluntary organization working for the welfare of most disadvantaged groups of Indian society. During the year, the organization not only achieved it targets but also expanded its activities into new areas. The organization succeeded this year in developing a close and intimate relationship with community at grass root level, It helped the organization enrich its perception, and gave it more strength, confidence and ability. During this period, the organization held following programmes & activities.
Counseling to Women on Reproductive Health.
‘tapan Foundations (N. G. O.)’ conducted a four days training program from 4th April to 7th April in Agra for women. Approximately 140 women from slums participated in this training program. Another target group covered by the organization in this training program comprised of adolescent girls. Since a comprehensive education package on reproductive health and sexuality did not find favor with the education department of the government, interactive sessions were held with the adolescent girls on personal hygiene, female sexuality and sexual abuse. Representatives from other NGOs working on these issues were also invited to participate in this training as resource persons.
The programmes covered various topics such as first aid, personal hygiene, community sanitation, and prevention of diseases and treatment of various common health problems. Group discussions, debates, essay competitions, exhibitions etc. were held to create health awareness. Film shows on health issues were also organized. With the help of posters and charts on health, the organization conducts counseling sessions with people in which important information is given to the people on various health issues. The cultural group of the organization held a street play on ‘Safe Motherhood’ on this occasion. The street play was well appreciated by the audience. At the end of the play, a discussion was held on the subject.
Counseling sessions were also held with community leaders in which problems related to children’s health are discussed. The team of medical staff supported by community health workers provided them counseling on relevant health issues. The community leaders were encouraged to take care of community health, which sometimes is ignored leading to serious health problems. Despite being educated, many local leaders have very little knowledge about preventive health care system. Quite often people take their health issues very casually and don’t pay proper attention to address those problems on urgent basis.
Remedial Classes for Poor Children.
The organization is providing non-formal education to the children in the age group of the 6 to 14 years in Agra, who are deprived of attending any formal school due to various problems i.e. poor Socio-economic conditions of their families, ignorance, illiteracy etc. are attending these classes. The organization has adopted innovative and effective methodologies to strengthen cultural values in education. Non-formal education is meaningful only when it is related to life. No. prescribed syllabus was imposed on them thus children easily grasped their lessons. At the center run by the organization, they are thought through various games. During the period under report 65 children were enrolled in two centers out of which 28 children got admissions in formal schools in different classes. In Remedial classes, school going children are enrolled and provided coaching classes. These classes where conducted for those who were weak in their studies and belonged to poor families. Their parents couldn’t afford private tutors. During the period under report 34 students were enrolled in two centers. They have shown remarkable improvement in their school performance.
Training to Women in Dairy Farming.
‘tapan Foundations (N. G. O.)’ is encouraging rural women in Agra district to be involved in agriculture, dairy production and livestock management activities. Traditionally, women are responsible for the activities such as giving feed and water to the animals, cleaning and bathing of animals, maintenance and cleaning of cattle shed, fodder collection, collection of cow dung and preparation of cow dung cakes, and preparation of milk products.
They also participate, frequently in talking care of sick animals, care of pregnant animals, care of newborn calves, milking and grazing of the animals. The level of involvement of women was quite low in breeding activities and sale low in breeding activities and sale or purchase of livestock and feed items.
The organization is providing training to rural women in the field of livestock care, management, feeding and processing of livestock products. This has improved their participation in animals husbandry activities. They are now playing an important role in taking decision regarding livestock production. The organization is trying to develop educational and training programmes in appropriate livestock production technologies for farm-women which would be duly supported by input agencies and credit facilities for increasing the productivity of farm animals, Special attention is being given for improving existing skills of rural women. Though the farm-women perform all the activities related to agriculture and animal husbandry, their contribution in decision making is found to be meager. Majority of the farm women look decisions on number of animals kept, quantity of milk to be sold, feeding and general management of the animals.
Consumer Awareness Programms.
During this year, ‘tapan Foundations (N. G. O.)’ was actively engaged in organizing various consumer awareness programmes. Its social workers organized periodic group meetings in slums and rural areas, and made people aware of their rights as a consumer and various laws enacted by the government to protect them. They explained to them the specific procedure of filing complains in precise terms if they are let down as a customers and the delivery of goods or services has damaged their interests in any manner.
The organization held three talks on various issues related to Consumer Rights. Apart from speeches & lectures, audio-visuals on consumer’s rights were also shown. Various communication aids such as posters, charts etc. were developed, produced and used for these talks. Apart from other things, the talks covered topics on rights of a consumer, there care should be taken while buying a product. Fair price shops, the role of a consumer court, consumer welfare societies, various laws related to the subject and specific measures for filing a complain in consumer and other courts. Expert Resource Persons were also invited to speak on these subjects.
Speaking on the occasion, the President of the organization said that the legislative measures taken by any Government to protect the rights of its citizens are not enough. It is also the responsibility of the community to take initiative and protect the rights of its citizens of the same are infringed. Many fair price shops have been opened by the government in various localities where essential commodities are provided to the people at fair prices. Many people go and buy things from these shops. But sometimes the essential commodities are in short supply or the quality of products may not be good enough to satisfy the consumer’s needs.
AIDS Awareness Camp.
The organization, during the month of August, has vigorously campaigned against AIDS by holding awareness camps in community. In this campaign, awareness was built on safe sexual practices and reproductive health of women. During the campaign, Shri Sudeep Garg, M.D. of ‘tapan group Association’ spoke on the danger of spreading HIV virus and the need to initiate community efforts against this at war footing. He addressed the gathering and highlighted other important issues related to health. On this occasion, volunteers of the organization staged a street play on AIDS.
In August, an awareness programme was organized for school children to help them acquire the necessary knowledge, belief, attitude and skills that can help them to behave in ways conducive to health and well being, and to avoid situations likely to lead to their infection with HIV. Resource persons, who, using participatory approach, discussed the risk factors, and effective means to avoid HIV infection and transmission of HIV among young people, conducted the programme. A Quiz contest was also held after the programme to understand the level of comprehension. The programme concluded with a note of optimism that with sufficient information and will, AIDS can be prevented and avoided.
Training Camp on Water Conservation for School Children.
The organization held a training camp on water conservation for school children. This training camp was planned to extend formal pro-active system of imparting environmental education to school children by involving them in various’ environmental activities. This was an environment awareness programme was targeted to prepare a team of 40-50 students in every school who are interested in the conservation and protection of our water bodies. They will dedicate their time and efforts on a regular basis. The objective of this training programme was to develop awareness among students towards water conservation. Teachers of these schools were also involved in this programme.
Cutting Tailoring Centre for Women.
The organization is successfully running two Cutting Tailoring Centre for women in which, vocational training is being provided to women in cutting. tailoring and embroidery. These women are from weaker sections and other backward communities. The objective of this project is to enable these women to develop their skills and thus make them economically self-reliant. At present 52 women are attending these centers.
The skilled manpower available in weaker sections is scarce mainly because of the high cost of training. Even if a trained woman begins her own shop. she will be able to earn on an average Rs. 2000 per month. The organization wants to open similar vocational training centers in new areas because a large number of women and adolescent girls are still uncovered. But due to financial constrains, the organization is finding it difficult to cover this target group. These centers are being run entirely by community support.
Roade safety awareness campus.
‘tapan Foundations (N. G. O.)’ held a Road Safety camp this year. The objective of this camp was to educate people about road safety rules, blood donation camps and emergency help to road victims. The organization’s social workers motivated people to observe traffic rules very strictly. The organization also held many shows of a street play on road safety in schools, slums and open places. These programmes were highly successful and received tremendous response from community. The organization also held one blood donation camp in which a large number of people turned up for donating their blood. During this blood donation camp. Special sessions were held on road safety and emergency help.
The organization also distributed first aid boxes to representatives of various social groups. The organization also held a workshop for truckers and auto-taxi drivers in which they were sensitized towards providing emergency help to road victims. The problems faced by them were also discussed. Some govt. officials were also invited to interact with drivers and clear their doubts about legal implications of providing emergency help to victims. The drivers were told about ways and means to avoid accidents.