Bhubaneswar: The Women & Child Development Department of Odisha has been conferred with the prestigious SKOCH Platinum Award for ‘Ghare Ghare Arunima’ initiative and SKOCH GOLD Award for ‘Child Marriage Free Village’ Initiative through ‘Nirvaya Kadhi’ for 2021 at the 75th SKOCH Summit held today virtually.
The award was received virtually by Mr. Aravinda Agrawal, Director, ICDS & Social Welfare, WCD Department, Government of Odisha. At the award receiving ceremony, he expressed his sincere gratitude and thanks to the Skoch Team for recognising the innovations.
‘Thank you Skoch team for honouring this award to Govt. of Odisha and recognising our effort/work nationally’- said Mr. Agrawal. He dedicated these prestigious and highest honour awards to the entire team of WCD Deptt, district administrations, all the field functionaries of ICDS i.e. AWWs, CDPO-cum-CMPOs and DSWOs for their hard work, commitment and all time support in. He further congratulated UNICEF and the Team for their support over and there in implementing these innovations. He also congratulated Smt. Anu Garg, Principal Secretary, WCD Dept being the brain child of Ghare Ghare Arunima and conceptualising this innovation during Covid 19 Pandemic. Finally extending his special thanks to the Skoch Group, he stressed that this highest independent honour award would definitely motivate and encourage all of us and gear up the team to keep this momentum going on to the next level.
SKOCH Award remains the most credible independently instituted award in the country for the last 25-years. Instituted in 2003, SKOCH Award salutes people, projects and institutions that go the extra mile to make India a better nation. This is India’s highest independent civilian honour.
The projects of Odisha that qualified in SKOCH Order of Merit Semi Final are:
- Ghare Ghare Arunima – Integrated Child Department Services
- Child Marriage Free Village Initiative through Nirvaya Kadhi
- ‘VATSALYA’ – A parent led home based, Early Stimulation Porgramme: ICDS
The announcement of Skoch Order of Merit Semi Final Investiture and Skoch Award was organised on 13th November, 2021 during the 75th Skoch Summit which was organised virtually with the underlying theme of “State of Governance”. On this grand event organised by SKOCH Group, a large number of delegates from across the country were participated. The event was lined up with formidable speakers and panellists from all over the country from whom there was a lot to learn. More importantly, there was a lot to learn from each order of merit winner as each one of them came on stage and narrated their story/good work.
Mr. Aravind Agrawal, Director, ICDS&SW, WCD Department, Government of Odisha was choosen as one of the distinguished speakers in SKOCH inaugural session to share his perspectives on the said occasion. The inaugural session was chaired by Sameer Kochar, Chairman, SKOCH Group and facilitated by DR. GURSHARAN DHANJAL, Managing Director & Editor, SKOCH Group.
Mr. Agrawal shared briefly about the three innovative projects such as Ghare Ghare Arunima, Child Marriage Free Village initiative through Nirvaya Kadhi and Vatshlya programme, the uniqueness, benefits and sustainability of the projects in coming years. Mr. Agrawal stressed the immense contribution of the State to nation building, inclusive growth and COVID-19 response under the abled leadership of our Hon’ble Chief Minister, Hon’ble Minister and overall under the guidance of Principal Secretary in accelerating these innovations. He also emphasized State’s priority and commitment in gearing up institutional mechanisms, scaling up and maximizing the benefits in wider and larger perspective in coming days.
Other panellists presented in the inaugural session were MS SHANTA PRADHAN, Additional Secretary, Tourism Department, West Bengal and MR ONKAR SINGH MEENA, Principal Secretary, Agriculture, Government of West Bengal.
After the inaugural and Skoch Order of Merit announcement session, the live voting time brand was followed with 7 voting ballots which was counted towards Expert Vote score for final announcement of the programme. Then Skoch Award Ceremony was conducted virtually after the closing of voting brand time from 5-6 pm and final award was announced by the Skoch Group.
In any pandemic/disaster or crisis children are the worst victim of the situation. The priority is beyond the food, cloth and shelter, it expands to care, protection and home based quality time spent for learning. Approximate 15 lakh Children’s continuity of learning has been influenced because of the closure of AWCs.Parents are also facing a crisis of this type and magnitude for the first time, which can be potentially a stressful period which needs psycho-social recuperation to maintain the family wellbeing as a whole.
Engagement of children through activities lessens the impact of uncertainty and promotes happinessand psycho-social wellbeing at the home.Thus in this crucial time of lockdown situation the Ghare ghare Arunima program developed.
Ghare Ghare Arunima
Ghare Ghare Arunima introduced for continued activity based learnings for preschoolers during closure of AWCs. Learning loss can be managed with supportive joyful experiences of learning by doing. Like action songs, tell a story, read a story, clay modeling, sand/water play, daily schedule, “real” work, do a craft, fun on floor with seeds, millets, pulses, paper craft, puppet, palm printing and thumb painting, art for fun and wellbeing, vegetable printing, yoga, exercise etc. was focused in the calendar as per the theme. A calendar based fun filled list of activities for children implemented with support from parents and grandparents at home.12 months theme were crafted in the form of calendar. It also facilitate good habits of positive disciplining, health care, sanitation, hygiene and hand wash.
- Harnessing technology; The Calendar shared was through WhatsApp and in Print.
- Tele-monitoring; introduced to randomly call beneficiaries to assess the services.
- Men-streaming was focused thought the calendar activities.Fathers/grandfather are involved in child’s education and early stimulation, especially in case of girls.
- Scaling Up; On the request by the other State the calendar was developed in English and uploaded in WCD website for the benefit of other States/UTs.
Early childhood care & education (ECCE) package to stimulate young minds:State introduced “VATSALYA” a campaign on parent led, home based early stimulation program for children to ensure enhanced focus on care and stimulation of under 3years, through responsive parenting. Its component include Kuni Calendarized activities for language, psycho-social, cognitive, physical and cognitive development.
IEC/SBCC materials; WCD mascot TikiMausiCounselled parentson the use of calendar and how it’s going to benefit.Pictorial Flip book developed for AWWs to share the importance of talk, touch and play during home visit.
- Early stimulation activities ensured for 17 lakh Children’s under 3 years.
- Target: All parents, grandparents, care givers of children in the age of 0-3 years in Odisha
Child Marriage Free Village Initiative through NirvayaKadhi
NirvayaKadhi (Fearless adolescents), launched in 2019, a Special initiative/campaign of the State and District administration of Ganjam on ending child marriage & Empowering Adolescents. The programme’Child marriage free village initiative’ adopted mixed strategies with diversified stakeholders,
Setting up institutional arrangement and strengthening of committees at all levels, capacity building of committees to gear up responsibility, Multi-Sectoral State and District Action Plan puts in strong convergence and review mechanisms and ‘Men-streaming’ – Men and boys are part of the solution were key implementing solutions to this programme.
- 3259 village and 1,83,933 of adolescent reached through campaign
- Around 4,50,000 Students from 3614 government schools made a public declaration on saying ‘NO’ to child marriage
- 1032 villages and 140 wards(33% i.e.one-third of total villages in the district) declared child marriage free which spills overs across state as social revolution by the communities and as of today, nearly 10,000 villages of the State are child marriage free declared.
Benefits: community surveillance strengthened and more and more no.of child marriage reported and prevented cases. Vulnerable children were identified and supportive rehabilitation/linkage being provided. Prevention of Child marriage being treated as top priority by the State and districts, increased allocation of resources in State budget.A move was initiated on Child marriage free Odisha by 2030.Secured support from Local Community and having local leaders buy into the project and become champions for girls in their own communities is key to the sustainability of the programme and change for girls.