When a Community Takes Ownership

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“Come see our bathroom too!” I had never witnessed so much enthusiasm over a sanitation facility before. Asha (name changed) opened the makeshift wooden gate that guarded the entrance to the backyard where the bathroom was. Newly painted and immaculately clean, the facility had clearly only just been inaugurated. As she walked me through the two pit system that was designed to produce rich fertilizer after three years, I couldn’t help but marvel at the pride and ownership she felt. Where the government had struggled to convince villagers to avail Rs. 12,000 designated for toilet construction under the Swacch Bharat Mission fund, residents of Barguttu village in Jharkhand had invested up to Rs. 20,000 of their own funds to construct superior facilities that met their needs. With a little extra initiative and investment, this community had created facilities they could show off to strangers visiting their village.

It was as if each household was competing with the other for who produced the best bathroom- if one pointed to their fancy door, another pointed to how spacious the interior was. And yet, there was a collective sense of ownership in the village. “We all want to follow up with the department to build roads and bathrooms- why wouldn’t we? We want our village to progress.” Barguttu’s community stands out as a notable example of community ownership, and it is one of many villages that have gone from widespread open defecation practices to collectively investing in water and sanitation (WATSAN) facilities.

FXB India Suraksha (FXBIS) has been working in Barguttu village since 2015, implementing an integrated water and sanitation project through support from Arghyam. In total, the project spans 34 villages in 5 gram panchayats of Namkum block. The program focuses not only on linking community members to relevant water and sanitation schemes, but also on strengthening local village institutions (i.e. Village Water and Sanitation Committees or VWSCs). The programme aims to overcome practices thwarting change through an integrated behaviour change communication strategy in all villages, and addressing several other unmet priority needs such as livelihood opportunities and access to healthcare. As a result, villagers today are aware of the adverse consequences of open defecation on health, and take concrete steps to conserve water, treat water before consumption, and construct proper sanitation facilities.

Barguttu is not the only example of active community involvement in FXBIS’ project villages. In Ulidih, villagers have constructed soak pits around the hand pumps from locally sourced materials, which not only keeps the surrounding environment sanitary, but also recharges the water. Even in villages where the program has been less successful, there is now increased awareness around the role of VWSCs and enhanced understanding of the connection between WATSAN and overall health and well-being.

IMG_6770As we prepare to leave Asha’s house, she graciously asks us to drink a glass of homemade lime water before leaving. My colleague, Hari, and I accept without hesitation – it is 35 degrees outside and it isn’t even peak summer yet. To my surprise, the water is not only fresh, but seemingly untouched by the scorching heat. “Desi fridge,” Hari says, smiling. After the water is pumped, it is stored in earthen pots sitting atop some sand in a shaded corner of the house, which keeps the water cool even without refrigeration. Similar examples of local ingenuity or jugaad abound across villages. With a little investment and initiative, communities can harness local knowledge, integrate new learning, and access appropriate resources to lead a life of dignity in a safe, healthy and productive environment.

– Mohit Nair, Research Associate, FXB India Suraksha

To get involved with FXB India Suraksha projects please write to us at fxbindia@fxbsuraksha.org

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Children and Youth find a safe, secure and protective environment to pursue their dreams.

Child Protection

FXB India Suraksha (FXBIS) recognizes security as a right and not a luxury afforded to some. An integral part of all FXBIS programmes is to prevent and reduce all forms of violence and insecurity within its intervention geography, in order to ensure good health and well-being for all (SDG #3 GoodHealth, #5 Gender Equality & #10 Reduced Inequalities). The envisioned impact of the FXBIS child rights and protection strategy is a safe, secure and protective environment for children. To reach this goal, FXBIS applies a proactive, multi-dimensional approach, utilizing sensitization trainings, cooperation with a multitude of stakeholders (including law enforcement), rehabilitation of victims through counselling programs, and evidence-based research on violence, protection, and advocacy.

FXBIS Actions over the years

2015: 1,316 childrenand adolescents were provided a safe and secure environment. Empanelled with the Government of Rajasthan for Promoting Child Rights in Jaipur, FXBIS participated in the anti-begging Campaign hosted by Department of Social Justice and Empowerment in May, July and November 2015 in which 18 child beggars and 7 lady beggars were rescued by FXBIS staff during three campaigns. These children were further presented before Child Welfare Committee for Social Reintegration.

Project Mukti, an anti child trafficking project was launched in October 2015 in collaboration with ECPAT Luxembourg. Mukti is creating a social movement by empowering young boys and girls with knowledge and skills to fight against human trafficking. After the completion of a baseline survey, workshops and trainings for 80 children and youth was conducted in the districts of Ukhrul and Imphal in Manipur.

2014 : More than 500 children in distress were rescued and provided support through 24X7 child helpline number 1098. India’s first 24 hours service for children, initiated by CHILDLINE and supported by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. FXBIS is the collaborative partner in Gautam Budh Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh.

2013: In Jharkhand, around 6500 villagers joined the Suraksha movement on preventing Gender based Violence and trafficking led by 326 peer leaders and adolescent girls bringing change in the society. FXBIS successfully collaborated with UN WOMEN India on an anti-human trafficking initiative.

The Suraksha program used a multidimensional approach to fight against gender based violence by empowering young girls and women through capacity building trainings that links long-term interventions with more immediately implementable actions. It helped reduce the number of internally trafficked women and girls through community action and participation especially with the help of 30 Young Adolescent peer educators groups that included 326 adolescents girls from the 10 target villages of Hurua panchayat of Namkum Block in Jharkhand.

A  three day residential workshop- Jagek Bera (‘Time to Wake up’) was organised in Ranchi for adolescent tribal girls in collaboration with UN Women attended by 70 tribal adolescent girls from remote areas who stepped out of the village for the first time. 

The field team conducted several rounds of meetings with these groups and active members were elected. These adolescent groups were linked with Sahiyaa, a village based accredited social health activists for bringing in more impact on building village ownership on primary health care. As part of the awareness drive on  gender based violence and trafficking  amongst the villagers, FXBIS conducted Nukkad Natak or street plays in 19 villages & five village markets reaching out to 2600 people. 12 Vigilance committees comprising of 132 members in villages were formed which helped, FXBIS unearth many missing cases, out of which two missing girls were reunited with their families in Jharkhand.

2012: FXBIS participated in and rescued  29 children, 27 of them were girls in  a Rescue Operation at an illegally run shelter home called ‘Grace Home’ in Jaipur , Rajasthan. The rescue operation was conducted by Rajasthan team led by the State Coordinator with representative from State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Rajasthan , Child Welfare Committee, Jaipur. The children, aged between 5 and 17 were found living in extremely inhospitable condition. Understanding gravity of the case, FXB India Suraksha sought an immediate intervention from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India in New Delhi and asked for a CBI inquiry into the case. A request was put to set up a task force for detailed enquiry and cross-examine the nature of trafficking and to take preventive measures to prevent similar incidence in future.

2011 :  A week-long awareness campaign ‘CHILDLINE Se Dosti’ was organized in Gautam Budh Nagar from 8th to 14th of November, 2011. The campaign intended at creating awareness about the Child Helpline number at 1098 and to make it a household name.

2010 : FXB India Suraksha became the collaborative partner for CHILDLINE in Gautam Budh Nagar District (Noida). CHILDLINE is India’s first 24 hours, free, emergency phone outreach service for children in need of care & protection. It is supported by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (GOI) and operates in 133 cities/districts in 26 States and 3 Union Territories. The service is an efficient link between children in need and services that exist for their rehabilitation and welfare, utilizing the existing infrastructure and systems to ensure children their rights. The project involves setting up a 24-hour Tele-helpline, manned by Counsellors and social activists.

2009 : Railway stations often become the shelter for many run-away children. Usually they run away from home due to abuse and negligence. Such children are vulnerable to disease, violence and sexual abuse and are in particular likely to be infected by HIV and related diseases. FXB Suraksha facilitated access to counselling, basic health, shelter, recreation and other support services like  access to shelter homes and drug de-addiction for over 190 children in the age group 5 to 16 years at the Jaipur railway station in Rajasthan.

A core committee for the protection and care of railway children comprising of Railway Protection Force (RPF), Station Master and other Railway Officials was constituted through FXB‟s advocacy initiatives.

2008: HIV awareness and prevention programmes in the form of workplace interventions, barber intervention and slum intervention reached out to 23,000 vulnerable people across India. 500 peer educators were trained to take the information to a wider audience.

2007 : 9600 expectant women were counselled in time to prevent transmission of HIV from mother to child. They were introduced to low cost single dose drug treatment, safe delivery practices and infant feeding methods.

Women become coequal players in the economic life of the community

Livelihood

FXB India Suraksha (FXBIS)’s  livelihood strategy focuses on empowering women and families from the most disadvantaged and vulnerable communities and social groups. Given that women are still perceived as subordinate to men in most communities, the vast majority of our activities under this domain emphasize the economic empowerment of women and increased access to economic resources. The envisioned impacts of FXBIS poverty and livelihood programmes are the overall improvement of living standards and the emergence of economically self-reliant families where women play an active and equal role. To reach this objective, FXBIS provides opportunities for skill-based employment for women (SDG #8), initiates group-based income generation activities, and connects program participants with relevant economic development and social security schemes. In this manner, FXBIS builds new linkages with the private sector and government (SDG #17) to “end poverty in all its forms” (SDG #1), reduce inequalities (SDG #10), and promote gender equality (SDG #5) all at once.

FXBIS Actions over the years

2015 : Through 18 business units running in 4 states, 496 women were directly employed in skill based livelihood promotion programmes. ‘Skill Building and Livelihood Promotion project’ reached out to 10 SHGs and in 10 villages of Ri-Bhoi district in Meghalaya. 130 youth from these villages were mobilized for training in livelihood with the support of IL&FS Education and Technology Services Limited. FXBIS assists local communities in establishing agro-allied enterprises such as Broom-Making and Bee Keeping enabling them to leap from subsistence farming to income generation through product processing and marketing.

2014: In Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, 90 HIV AIDS infected/affected women were provided with revolving funds and loans through a cooperative. With the support from Cairn India, FXB India Suraksha promoted sustainable livelihoods in seven habitations in S. Yanam village in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. 13 self help groups with 150 women were formed and trained in incense sticks making, mushroom cultivation, broom making, & chalk piece making. Seven clusters of brooms sticks suppliers are formed from within the community, which nurtures about 80 poor households as raw material suppliers of the broom units and benefiting them financially.

2013 : FXBIS in partnership with Lafarge (world’s largest cement made manufacturer) intervened in four villages of Bilaspur district of Chhattisgarh where there were limited employment opportunities because of high rate of migration. With the endeavor to livelihood support 9 SHGs were formed with about 105 members. The groups were trained for mushroom cultivation and thereafter a resource centre for promoting mushroom clusters was established.

2012 : In Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) 170 poor women formed a first of its kind in the state, Mutually Aided Cooperative Society to enable them to have access to financial services, technical material support to run their small business. Until March 2013, 36 women had availed small loans to meet the capital needs to run the business. FXB supported formation of the community owned MAC approach. 80 women from the community became its  shareholders. Low cost sanitary napkins produced by the women members were sold to the girls hostel in Andhra University.

2011 :  9 women from Mathur Chinna Colony, Villupuram were trained and provided with a set of machines for Coir Rope making. 9 fisher women of Uppada in Andhra Pradesh started a  high-quality fish drying and packaging unit and received certification as a successful IGA unit by the Govt. Fisheries Department.. Both groups became self-reliant and have added Rs. 3500 to their monthly income. The strength of the FXB-Village Network lies in its integrated approach and in the personalised support to the participants.

2010: Over 400 beneficiaries were trained in various income generating activities like fish-trading, shoe making, handloom weaving, bamboo products making. SHG based IGA were initiated which inculcated the habit of savings amongst beneficiaries- about 70% of the beneficiaries opened savings account in all the sites. The success of FXB-Village Network-1 has helped replication of the model in Villupuram in Tamil Nadu.

2009:  Sayamsidhha a new model of empowerment was launched in an Urban Slum in West Bengal. The women of FXB-Village in Dhapa, West Bengal were actively engaged in the manufacture of jute products through a small production unit called Sayamsidhha. The unit made a range of jute products like bags, folders, coasters, mats and hammocks unique in their design, eco-friendly material and customization. This helped in increase of income and in improving the basic quality of lifestyle for the women involved. The unit also participated in the 2009 trade fair organised in Kolkata.

2008 : 423 families started their own business ventures like candle making, shoe making, weaving, vegetable vending, poultry farming, goat rearing, jewellery  making among others. One or two members of the families were provided with training and a seed capital of 5000 rupees for starting their businesses. Each of the families were able to earn 2000 rupees per month in the first year itself.

2007 : FXBVillages in Vizag in Andhra Pradesh, Aizwal in Mizoram, East Imphal in Manipur and Dhapa- Tangra and Medinipur in West Bengal strengthened communities to become self sufficient. 80-100 families in each became better equipped with information, knowledge, access to healthcare, education facilities and skills to earn an income.

Access to Quality Education : The enduring solution to development issues

Education

FXB India Suraksha’s multi-folded education strategy envisions educated, confident, productive and socially responsible children and youth.

FXB India Suraksha (FXBIS) believes in the universal and fundamental ‘Right to Education’. A key focus of all FXBIS programmes is to ensure access to quality primary and secondary level education for every child within its intervention geography, in keeping with SDG #4. The envisioned impact of the FXBIS education strategy is to foster educated, confident, productive and socially responsible children and youth. To reach this goal, FXBIS applies a multi-faceted approach that leverages awareness and mobilization campaigns, various education schemes, and competence-based teaching methods to empower children across India. Our efforts contribute tangibly to improving equitable access to quality primary and secondary education for all girls and boys as part of UN SDG #5  (Gender Equality) and SDG#10 (Reduced Inequalities).

FXBIS actions over the years

2015 : 1,263 children gained access to quality learning through the Suraksha Education centers and Suraksha Computer Literacy Centers. A four month basic course with NIIT certification helped to provide a platform for digital empowerment to 60 youth in  Jaipur, Rajasthan and in Villupuram, Tamil Nadu. FXBIS empowered women & girls through non-formal education programmes such as ‘Life Skill Workshops’ and Vocational Training Courses through life skill training workshops and rights awareness meetings spread across the year, FXBIS reached out to 36 women and girls in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.

A Library started for youth development project at tribal villages in Andhra Pradesh catered to more than 80 students.

2014 : The Suraksha Education Centre in Kodeli village of Paderu, Andhra Pradesh benefitted 30 children from poor tribal families. A village library was established to promote reading habit among the local youth.

In the participating communities in Villupuram in Tamil Nadu, FXBIS efforts led to almost 100% school attendance, followed by good results in primary & high schools and no school dropout.

2013 : Around 700 children were shown the path to a brighter future through Suraksha Education Centers in different states especially to vulnerable children from tribal families in Namkum block in Ranchi, Jharkhand, dalit families in Bilaspur district in Chattisgarh and  HIV affected families in East Imphal, Manipur.

2012 :More than 100 children successfully were brought back into mainstream education and over 500 children provided with educational support services. Children attending FXB run Education centers also reported improved competencies and improved attendance to schools. 100% school attendance were ensured in the project area in Tamil Nadu.

Education material like guides, notebooks and books, geometry box, dictionary states, we provide supplementary support through non-formal Education Centers.

2011 : 1587 vulnerable children were supported to access fundamental right to education. Through FXBIS Suraksha Education Centers in 6 states we provided supplementary support through non-formal education, computer and tuition classes to the children to assist them to improve their performance. Adult literacy classes for women to were organized to develop their self esteem, knowledge base and confidence. In Mathur Chinna Colony, Villupuram, Tamil Nadu Evening tuition centre has helped 25 slow learners studying in high school improve their performance in school and to pass out in flying colors.

In Dhapa-Dhipi slum, Kolkata, West Bengal, 81 children benefitted from the Kindergarten, Primary and Upper Primary coaching with no school dropouts were reported. They received monetary support through reimbursement of school fees, as well as material support in terms of stationery, text books and uniforms. Regular parent-tutor meetings ensured the involvement of the parents in the academic performance of their children.

2010 : FXBIS Day Care Centre (DCC) near the Jaipur Railway Station reached out to over 190 children in the age group 5 to 16 years. The FXB DCC provided formal education where possible, as well as tutoring, life-skills education, recreational extracurricular activities and field trips, and vocational training. Counseling sessions were held to promote well-being, including HIV prevention, sexual and reproductive health, substance de-addiction and safe hygiene and sanitation practices. Referral to permanent shelters, foster families, or adoption services, as well as assistance to reunite with families is provided as appropriate.

2009 : FXB India Suraksha runs a Computer training centre for the benefit of the youth who are deprived of access to computers due to low education and financial status. Through FXBIS Computer centers in Jaipur and Delhi 86 youths given computer education and training for making them better equipped and qualified for jobs. Amongst them 27 youths obtained immediate employment ensuring a livelihood for their families.

2008 : School education for HIV orphans and non formal education for drop out children were advocated across India. School fees of 652 children, school material for 350 children and supplementary coaching for 717 children were provided.

2007 : Life skill training provided to youth in urban slums and the formation of youth clubs were encouraged to expand awareness on sex and sexuality. More than 6000 youth and adolescents across India were taught about sexual health, safe sexual practices. Teachers and care givers were also trained to provide scientifically accurate information and non judgmental advice.

Good Health as a precondition to a Dignified Life

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FXBIS address health vulnerabilities by improving access to quality health services, clean water and sanitation facilities within its intervention geographies

FXB India Suraksha (FXBIS) recognizes the importance of good health as a precondition of living one’s life with dignity. A paramount objective of all FXBIS programmes is to address health vulnerabilities by improving access to quality health services, clean water, and sanitation facilities within its intervention geographies. The overall impact of the FXBIS health strategy is a significant decrease of communicable and vector borne diseases as well as infant, maternal and child mortality rates within communities. While our work in this domain relates explicitly to SDG #3 of “ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages,” the integrated of our programs not only improves health status, but also prevents families from descending into poverty (SDG #1) and helps reduce inequalities (SDG #10). We also focus heavily on water and sanitation (SDG #6), through our integrated water and sanitation promotion projects in order to achieve a Swacch Bharat and concomitantly improve health status and overall well-being.

FXBIS actions over the years.

2015 : WASH awareness programmes on water borne, viral and communicable diseases were carried out throughout the year besides workshops on personal hygiene and cleanliness. Through such outreach activities, FXBIS reached out to more than 8608 people both within and outside the FXBVillage in Villupuram, Tamil Nadu and in Puducherry.

2014 : Through Behaviour Change Campaigns, 469 people were sensitized about the issues of safe drinking water and toilet usage through awareness generation camps in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. 75 health camps were organised which benefitted more than 4,000 people especially women and children and nutritional support to more than 4,500 children from the marginalized communities were provided in the form of fruits & diet biscuits.

2013 : With the support from Government District Water & Sanitation Mission FXBIS facilitated construction of 11demo toilets in3 Gram Panchayats namely Hurwa, Hardag & Dungri under Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan in Namkum block of Ranchi District in Jharkhand.

2012 : A feasible model of effective and low-cost sanitation, good practices of hygiene and improved access to clean water supplies were promoted. 75 youths were trained on handpump maintenance are now actively monitoring and making livelihood out of it in Ranchi in Jharkhand, 20 water channels are constructed to drain out waste water from tubewell in Uppada in Andhra Pradesh.

2011 : In Uppada block near Vishakhapatnam and the dalit village of Villupuram in Tamil Nadu, where open defecation was a common practice our intensive, engaged and behaviour change strategies resulted in community demand for and construction of 63 and 56 household toilets respectively. ‘Balavikasam’ a group of children attending FXB education centre became agent of change advocating on drinking water treatment, hygiene and sanitation. More specifically they encouraged their family members to construct toilets.

2010 : FXBIS has been providing Care & Support services to PLHA by improving the quality of life of over 550 PLHAs through Medical support services in Vishakhapatnam, Jodhpur as part of Global Fund supported PACT program and the Indo-Myanmar border town of Moreh in Manipur. FXB community sensitization initiatives have ensured basic rights like stigma free life for PLHAs by increasing community participation in caring for them. FXB’s work with high risk groups through targeted interventions reached out to over 1720 MSM, Migrants and Female Sex Workers in the districts of Aizwal, Mednipur, Kolkata and Jamui in Bihar.

2009 : Medical insurance for 116 HIV positive people under STAR Health Insurance scheme. Cover of up to Rs 30000 towards hospitalization charges is given to PLHAs with a CD4 count of 300 cells/mm3. For the same, CD4 screening camps were also organized.

2008 : Reached out to 200 MSM (Men having Sex with Men ) ie. Homosexual men enabling them to adopt safe sexual practices in Mizoram. The project was supported by the Mizoram State Aids Control Society.

2007 : 10,800 workers at Hindustan Construction Company sites in Mumbai, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttra Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Jammu-Kashmir and Orissa and 51,000 workers at Kolkata jute mills became aware of safe sexual practices

Giving Voice to the Forgotten : The Story of FXB India Suraksha

For a decade FXB India Suraksha’s  integrated community development model has triumphed hope over adversity and enabled people to live a life of dignity.
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School is a regular fact of life for girls at FXBVillage in Tamil Nadu

‘We are very happy to be celebrating Women’s Day in our village. I feel lucky to have been part of a programme that has enabled us voice our opinions within the community. The women in my village cherish this opportunity to reminisce how far we have come’. Prabha, SHG group member at FXBVillage, Tamil Nadu

This April 24th, FXB India Suraksha (FXBIS) is celebrating 10 years of working alongside scores of courageous women, men, young adults and children who have each striven to live a life of dignity and ensure that their families and communities prosper in a safe, healthy and productive environment.

FXBIS was established as an autonomous Indian NGO in 2007 with the vision of an India in which women, children and their families lead self-reliant and empowered lives. With a goal to ensure that every child achieves her/his potential in a healthy, poverty free and protective environment FXBIS has reached out to over 3,00,000 people through its community-based multi- sectoral programmes and interventions in 159 villages across India.

FXBIS’ roots however goes further back in time. The story of  FXB started in 1986, when

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Albina with her son Francois- Xavier

Albina du Boisrouvray’s only son François-Xavier, a rescue pilot, was killed in a tragic helicopter accident when he was just 24. This life-changing loss prompted Albina to dedicate her life to perpetuating the values of generosity and compassion that had guided François-Xavier’s life, and to keep his mission alive by also seeking to rescue people – some of the poorest on the earth. Walking away from a successful career as a film producer, Albina founded FXB Foundation and FXB International(FXBI),  in honor of François-Xavier. The high point of FXBI’s then young life came with the publication of ‘FXB Orphan Alert: International Perspectives on Children Left Behind by HIV/AIDS’. It became a global resource that became a catalyst for highlighting issues related orphans especially those affected by HIV. FXBI’s Symbolic Global Safety Net campaign supported by two million people (quite an achievement without any social media or internet), eventually led to the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan declaring 7th May as World Aids Orphans Day, observed annually since then. The campaign urged the UN, governments, donors and policy makers to give priority to the millions of AIDS orphans. FXBI started operations in India through the FXB Foundation in the 1990s. It’s programmes focused on HIV/AIDS prevention and STI prevention, education and information-awareness campaigns. The work spread across India and included the states Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Maharashtra, Pondicherry, Rajasthan and West Bengal.

At the turn of the 21st century, as the HIV pandemic receded and FXB began to reap the fruits of it’s labours, FXB also felt the need to renovate itself. The publication of ‘Aids in the Twenty-First Century’ funded by the FXB Foundation confirmed the idea that it is vital to consider the disease in its totality.

Between 20072010 FXBIS’ intervention agenda expanded from its focus to a community-

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FXBIS Annual Report 2016

based, multi-sectoral programme approach along its four ‘Domains for Change’Access to Quality Education, Livelihood Promotion, Improved Health Status, and Protection and Safety.

FXBIS works with the less privileged communities in the media darkest parts of the country and includes dalits, tribal populations, railway children, victims of human trafficking, migrant labourers, PHLIV- orphans, widows and homosexuals.

FXBIS addresses the full spectrum of grievances of communities away from the geographic and social mainstream. Poverty is a multidimensional phenomenon that goes beyond its traditional understanding of monetary insufficiency. The FXBIS integrated approach, FXBVillage works towards the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals through its interventions. A three year, integrated intervention model, FXBVillage program addresses the links between different development disciplines such as economic poverty, health, education and human rights.

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Information Dissemination through wall paintings in Tamil Nadu

Through Intensive Behavioural Change Communication (BCC) campaigns and grass root interventions in education, health and facilitating Income Generation Activities FXBIS seeks to help families break out of the cycle of poverty and associated conditions of backwardness in thought, resources and practice. FXB India Suraksha recognizes security as a right and not a luxury that can or cannot be afforded. It works with communities and selected ‘risk groups’ (especially children and adolescents) on the prevention of violence through the sensitization and training of stakeholders and community members, awareness campaigns, the modification of physical environments, building networks between the communities and the police, etc. The objective is a sustainable long-term change in society by identifying and addressing underlying causes of violence within communities. At present FXBIS is working in 14 states across India.

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Children attend FXBIS Suraksha Education Center in Manipur

In 2016, FXBIS instituted a Research Unit to undertake primary research and seeks to enhance the knowledge base within its domains of expertise. Over the years it has developed strong linkages with diverse communities, government organizations, UN bodies and academia enables FXBIS to improve programme strategies and objectives and identify new issues requiring intervention.

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Team Building exercise at FXBIS Annual Retreat, 2016

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Breaking the Chain : Human trafficking as the modern form of slavery

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FXB India Suraksha conducts capacity building workshops in Ukhrul district, Manipur to combat Human Trafficking.

“Not everybody gets a chance to be a survivor, and there are girls out there right now that don’t even know that they’re victims…But maybe, just maybe, they’ll see one of us and they’ll hear one of us and they’ll know that there is help, there is hope, and there is a way out.” Angela’s (name changed) words of hope featured prominently in the 2016 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report.

TIP Report,  an annual report issued by the U.S. State Department’s Office, which monitors trafficking efforts around the globe and ranks governments based on perceived efforts to combat human trafficking. India is ranked as a Tier 2 country in this report, indicating that while the national government is not fully meeting the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s minimum standards, it is making significant efforts to meet them. Despite the optimistic recognition of anti-trafficking efforts in India, Angela’s words may never reach the hundreds of young adolescent girls who are vulnerable to being trafficked via the porous borders of the states of Northeast India every year.

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copyright http://www.e-pao.net

 

The problem is particularly acute in Manipur. As a small, landlocked and mountainous state in the geographically isolated Northeast region of India, Manipur is one of the poorest and most undeveloped states with respect to both economy and governance. An October 2016 report in Northeast Today highlighted an alarming increase in human trafficking cases, particularly those involving child victims: 62 reported cases of child trafficking were recorded between 2013 and 2016; yet, in the first six months of 2016 alone, there have been 58 reported cases. While this could be an indication of improved monitoring efforts rather than an actual increase in cases, there is no doubt that trafficking in Manipur is a grave concern. Armed conflict, rampant unemployment, and political violence have plagued the region for decades, which has created a vulnerable environment, ripe for human traffickers. Young boys have been forcefully conscripted as child soldiers and trafficked from child care centres for domestic labour, while young girls have been taken from remote districts like Ukhrul for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or domestic servitude.

Many young people are trafficked internally to placement agencies in metropolitan hubs like Delhi and Mumbai with the false promise of high paying jobs, while others are trafficked abroad to Thailand or Malaysia. An individual can be considered to be enslaved if they are: a) forced to work through coercion or mental and physical threats, b) owned or controlled by an employer, through abuse or threats of abuse, c) dehumanized and treated as commodities, or d) physically constrained and have restrictions placed on freedom of movement.[1] In most of these cases, traffickers are known to the victims and operate by exploiting their trust and economic hardships. Increasing demand for cheap labour in big cities further compound the problem and traps vulnerable children in a vicious cycle of violence and dependency that is akin to modern slavery. Most victims of trafficking meet all four criteria and are hence considered to be victims of modern slavery, which not only differentiates this heinous crime from other criminal acts, but also necessitates urgent action.

Ukhrul, one of Manipur’s 9 districts, is especially vulnerable to illicit trafficking networks, which have unfettered access across vast unmanned sections of the border with Myanmar. In order to address this vulnerability, FXB India Suraksha (FXBIS) joined hands with ECPAT Luxembourg to help reduce the incidence of trafficking of women and girls for commercial sexual exploitation in India through a comprehensive community-driven intervention. As part of the initiative, FXBIS identifies potential victims and provides early assistance to them, raises awareness among key stakeholders in government and civil society, and strengthens the capacity of service providers to both prevent trafficking and assist victims when it does. Over the course of three years, the project aims to reach more than 30,000 adolescent boys and girls, community members, service providers and official stakeholders in Manipur, effectively employing an integrated strategy to tackle a growing, global phenomenon.

Since its launch in 2015, the project has produced a baseline study as well as a map of available resources on child rights in the state. As part of the initial rapport building between stakeholders, FXBIS was approached with a case involving the rape of Tanya (name changed), an 8 year old girl in Ukhrul. The case was not reported earlier due to the lack of resources available to the victim’s family. After a thorough discussion with the family however, FXBIS assisted the victim in filing an FIR, obtaining medical assistance and evidence within one day. As a result, the perpetrator was eventually arrested by the police, and a meeting was conducted with community leaders to sensitize them on laws and resources regarding child rights. The project continues to reach the most marginalized segments of the population, as FXBIS envisions a society where families embrace child rights and feel empowered to break the shackles of modern slavery.

[1] What is modern slavery? https://www.antislavery.org/slavery-today/modern-slavery/

To know more about Mukti project please write to us at

Mr. Satya Prakash,

Programme Manager, FXB India Suraksha

sprakash@fxbsuraksha.org