Sankalp Sarai Tareen Project - Background
Sankalp Sarai Tareen: Holistic Child Education & Development, and Health Improvement of Those Working in the Horn & Bone Handicrafts Industry of Sarai Tareen in Uttar Pradesh
Sambhal is a block in the district of Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh and is popularly known for its horn and bone craft items which are manufactured in Sarai Tareen. In present day, a total of ten (10) wards of Sambhal constitute Sarai Tareen, which comprises of a total of thirty-one (31) mohallas. The bone and horn handicrafts industry has burgeoned over the years. It is estimated that there exist over 1500 to 1800 manufacturing units in Sarai Tareen involved in this craft. The entire family is engaged in the manufacturing process, wherein most people work for daily wages. As per the Situation Assessment conducted by ASK in 2009, locals claim that over 80% of the families in Sarai Tareen are involved in handicraft manufacturing
using animal by-products like horn and bone. Wood, brass & chemical bye products are also used. A majority of households involved are Muslims with minimal or no level of education.
Child labour is an intrinsic part of the handicraft industry within Sarai Tareen. One can witness children working in every nook and corner of the 31 mohallas across household units along with adult workers. Children are employed down the supply chain and are involved in process of unloading, washing, segregation, and transportation of raw materials to warehouses, cutting, molding, grinding, scraping, and polishing of artifacts, making holes in beads, and finishing and packaging of the finished handicrafts. Bead setting is undertaken only by girls. As per the ASK Situation Assessment 2009, it is estimated that over 60% of the children in Sarai Tareen are involved in child labour within this trade, often working for 6-7 hours a day, from an age as young as 6 years. While most children work within their household units, there are others from families of new migrants that work for other manufacturers. Apart from the abuse and deprivation from a normal childhood, the children are also exposed to numerous health hazards, exposure to toxic chemicals and fumes.
In 2009, ASK decided to adopt Sarai Tareen as an area under the Action For Inclusion domain, to work on key areas of child education and health, both of which had been suffering, owing to the effects of work in the horn and bone handicrafts industry. The educational programme Sankalp, already in practice in the brass industry dominated Rehmat Nagar of Moradabad, was extended to cover Sarai Tareen with the aid and support of Monsoon Trust. Sankalp is a programme focusing onchild rights, education, and welfare of children under especially difficult circumstances. The programme is carried out through Community/Mohalla Development Centers (MDC), located in areas with maximum child population, enabling them to access the centers easily.
Each center has been developed to run as a small primary school offering education till the 5th standard,and also to serve as Training Centers for teachers, and Information Centers for the community, offering guidance to parents of children on issues such as health and education. Non-Formal Education is provided to children against a nominal fee, so as to avoid an element of charity, and funds collected are used for maintenance of building and infrastructure, investment in books and sports material for children, and to sponsor the education of those belonging to the poorest of the poor families.
Key Highlights: (Updated in December 2012)
7 Community / Mohalla Development Centers have been established in Sarai Tareen, wherein trained Social Entrepreneurs have been successful in weaning away a total of 384 children from child labour, and providing them access to quality, affordable non-formal education. These children also receive nutritional support in the form of mid-day meals, and have the opportunity to enjoy a normal childhood through extra-curricular activities and in-school celebrations.
In addition, 24 children have been enrolled into other schools, while 12 children have been mainstreamed into the formal education system by admission into formal schools in the 6th standard.
Preventive and Curative health care is being provided to students, their families and community members at large. They are gradually becoming more aware of their occupational health hazards and diseases, and are accessing government/non-government medical institutions for medical aid.
Adults, children, and civil society members have been reached out to due to the sustained efforts of the social entrepreneurs to spread awareness of education and the need for literacy, as well as holistic child development.
Health camps have been organized for the benefit of the community members, enabling them to enhance their understanding of preventive and curative health care, as well as to seek medical aid and free health check-ups.