Community Development

The Institute is engaged in various right based field-level intervention programmes in West Bengal to address the structural anomalies of the society in terms of violence against women and children, poor enforcement of the law, lack of people's participation in the development process, lack of access to information etc. The focus on analyzing the sociological roots and psychological consequences of contemporary social problems and developing a rational strategic frame for intervention for a equity-based, gender just social order have been the hallmark of the community development programmes run by the Institute.

The main field areas of the Institute where community development programmes are undertaken are Bhagwanpur I & II block of Purba Medinipur district and Sandeshkhali block of 24 Parganas (N) district of West Bengal. These two areas are one of the most trafficking prone areas of the state of West Bengal where children are regularly trafficked as commercial sex workers or child domestic workers taking advantage of the abject poverty, dysfunctional familial structure and ignorance. Intervention programmes adopted by the Institute range from creating a network amongst survivors of trafficking and violence, networking of grass-root level democratic setups, administration and the non-Govt. organizations to self-employment of the vulnerable women/girls through innovative livelihood approaches. Activities related to capacity building of various stakeholders on legal issues, social dissemination are also covered under the same programme. Campaigning methods for juvenile justice and gender development through public consultations and dialogue with the policy makers and other stakeholders are routinely carried out in order to spread mass awareness and sensitize the people on right based development and unsafe migration. The cornerstone of the Institute's field based programme is empowering people about their rights and responsibilities utilizing the grass-root level platforms of participatory democracy.

The Institute also runs non-formal education centres (Shishu Shiksha Kendras) under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan for the underprivileged children in five backward pockets of the city of Kolkata. In the past it had also run non-formal education centres for the underprivileged children in Kolkata and some other selected municipalities of 24 Parganas (North) sponsored by REACH India.

SHG members at a Purba Medinipur Centre
Children's programme in a source area of trafficking
Public meeting in 24 Parganas (N)