TN-FORCES
C/O Foundation for the Rights of Young Child,
3, Ayyavu Street,
Ayyavu Colony
Chennai - 600 029, Phone: 91-44-2363 1126
       
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  Advocacy | Research | Capacity Building | Lobbying | Publication | Other
  Public Hearing | Social Audit | Election Campaign
 

Advocacy


Advocacy has been one of the most successful areas of operation for TN-FORCES. TN-FORCES used variety of strategies and techniques. All these are vital for Advocacy and influencing Policy change. This level of achievement usually requires political connections and other affiliations. Several methods were used to achieve advocacy efforts which included Pre-election Campaigns, Dharnas, Human Chain, Rally, Petitions to Political Parties, MLAs and Ministers, Workshops and Seminars, Public Hearings and Lobbying .

   

Public Hearing

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TN-FORCES used several strategies to achieve its objectives. One among them was the ‘Public Hearing’. In a Public Hearing, Government Officials receive petitions and complaints from the public and answer these petitions to the extent possible. There are several advantages in this methodology:

  • The Government Officials get an opportunity to listen to the ground realities
  • The Workers in the field get an opportunity to present their grievances
  • Spot decisions are taken in certain cases thus avoiding bureaucratic delays
  • NGOs play the facilitating and coordinating role

Social Audit

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National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005
Based on the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005,  the  National Rural Employment Scheme – 2006 was implemented  in six Districts of Tamil Nadu, namely, Thiruvannamalai, Nagapatinam, Villupuram, Dindugul, Cuddalore, and Sivagangai Districts.  To find out the effectiveness of this Scheme, a Social Audit Committee was formed with the leadership of Ms. Aruna Ray, Ms. Annie Raja, Mr. Jean Dreze. There were 360 members for this Social Audit.  TN-FORCES was one of the members for the Social Audit.
The Major findings of Social Audit

  1. Lack of awareness about work, financial assistance during the non availability of work, basic infrastructure facility in the work spots
  2. Application Form – the Application Forms were not used for the job; instead the jobs were given based on the personal interest of Management
  3. Jobs were given in a cyclic Method – one week for Backward Caste and one week for Schedule caste people. This will definitely lead to caste discrimination.
  4. The Physically Challenged and Senior Citizens were not given work.
  5. There are no basic facilities as per the  Law – First Aid, Child Care Center, Rest Place, and Drinking Water, were not implemented,.
  6. In some places, the mothers who come with the Children were not allowed to get work.

Election Campaign

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In order to achieve its objectives, TN-FORCES used several strategies. One of such was Pre-Election Campaigns. It publicized the needs/ problems and demands of children to the Political Parties contesting Elections well before the Elections so that the Parties can make it part of their Election Manifesto. After the Elections was over TN-FORCES continued with campaigns to ensure that the parties implemented the election promises made in the Election Manifesto. Such campaigns were organized during the elections to the local bodies, State Assembly and Indian Parliament.

Parliamentary Elections 2004
Demands put forward by TN-FORCES consisted of
-  Inclusion of Child-care Services under the Minimum Needs Programme
-  Setting up of a special fund for crèches and childcare services
-  Allocation of a minimum Annual Amount for Childcare Services keeping in mind
    the below 0-6 category who constitute 18% of the population
-  Payment of at least Minimum Wages for all Childcare Workers
-  Provision of adequate physical facilities in he existing Childcare Centres and
   allocation of Rs. 6 per child for daily maintenance

Local Body Election-2006
Continuing with its Policy of campaigning for the cause of the young child prior to the Elections, TN-FORCES initiated Pre-Election Campaigning before the Local Body Elections in 2006. The Campaign was organised in five districts: Cuddlore, Trichy, Tirunelveli and Thuthukudi. The objectives of the programme were to:

  • Create awareness on Child Rights among the Candidates and public
  • Enhance the overall quality of Anganwadi Centres
  • Ensure Community Participation in Child Care Centres
  • Ensure Panchayat Leader participation, monitoring and maintenance of infrastructure

TN-FORCES and Anganwadi Welfare Union jointly  organized a Workshop for candidates and public on the 16th of October 2006 in Cuddalore. Another Joint Election Campaign with Rosed NGO was organized on the 21st of October 2006 at Musiri, Trichy district. On October 4th 2006 similar Workshop was organized in Tirunelveli district jointly with Tamil Nadu Voluntary Health Association and Trinet. TN-FORCES and Trinet jointly organized another Workshop on 5th October 2006 in Thuthukudi district.

State Elections, 2006.
A clear strategy was designed well before the Elections were announced by the Election Commission. On 10th December 2005 a State Level Conference on Child-care Services in Tamil Nadu was conducted in Chennai. At this Conference Dr. Syeda Hameed, Member (Women, Children and Health) National Planning Commission, Government of India, Presided.  She stressed the need for Community Participation in the ICD Scheme. Mrs. Anne Raja, National Secretary, National Federation of Indian Women, participated and gave the Key Note Address. About 500 participants from all over Tamil Nadu participated.  The following resolutions were passed:

  • Allocate 2% of State’s Gross Domestic Product towards Child-care Services in Tamil Nadu.
  • Raise the overall quality standards of ICDS in Tamil Nadu
  • Ensure Child Friendly toilets and safe drinking water at every Child Care Centre.
  • Provide for electricity and sanitation facilities at every ICDS centre.
  • Develop alternative Models of Childcare for Tribal and other unreached areas and communities
  • Restructure ICDS with flexibility modifying the location, size and timings of Centres to the unreached, especially women in the unorganized Sector
  • Decentralize ECCE services to the level of Local Bodies for greater effectiveness
  •  Local Community Bodies such as the Self Help Groups and Parents’ Groups should be strengthened and they should be involved in the day to day functioning of the Child-care Services.
  • Review and raise the assistance given under National Maternal Assistance to Rs. 6000 and extend it to all Working Women without preconditions.
  • Effective implementation of Labour Laws such as Factories Act 1948, Mines Act 1950, Plantations Act 1951, Bidi and Cigars Act 1961 and make crèches mandatory.
  • Government should take steps to provide Crèche facilities, Maternity Leave and other Entitlements for the unorganized workers.
  • Unorganized Workers Welfare Board must provide Crèche facility and Maternity Entitlements to all Workers 
  • Ban Admission Tests for children at Pre-Primary stage
  • Prohibit formal instruction of Reading, Writing and Arithmetic at this stage.
  • No admission for children below the age of three and half  years in the pre-Primary stage.
  • In the Free and Compulsory Education Bill 2005, include Compulsory and Quality Pre-School Education.
  • Extend Pre-primary Curriculum to other streams of School System including Anganwadis.
  • Formulate a separate Code of Regulation for Pre-School Education
  • Recognize Training Institutes that impart appropriate Training
  • Ensure appointment of only Trained Teachers for Pre-School Education with Statutory Terms and Conditions of Service. 
  • Ensure Child Friendly Disaster Policy

Parliament Election 2009
An Election Campaign Programme was conducted in various Parliament Constituencies of Tamil Nadu and Puduchery.
Status of Young Children’s Rights in the Parliament Election Campaign meeting is in process in 40 Parliament Constituency both in Tamil Nadu and Puduchery which is being conducted by the TN-FORCES with the support of Member organizations and local organization.


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