A recent study by Child Rights Collective-Gujarat (CRC-G) on the basis of a representative sample of children and adults from communities and schools across 16 districts of Gujarat (Amreli, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Morbi, Rajkot, Banaskantha, Dahod, Kutch, Panchmahal, Patan, Sabarkantha, Ahmedabad, Anand, Surat, Vadodara and Valsad) has found that majority of those surveyed – children and adults – believe that there is complete lack of interest in implementing the right to education, which is one of the primary child rights. Excerpts:
During November 2014, on the eve of completion of 25 years of recognizing children’s rights, the Child Rights Collective-Gujarat (CRC-G) network organized an integrated Child Rights Yatra, a march that connected 16 districts of Gujarat. A total of 2758 participants, including 2331 children (age 13 to 18 years) and 427 adults (above 18 years of age), participated in the child-friendly places – communities and schools. Adults in the communities included parents and community members, while adults in schools included teachers. For the purpose of the CRC-G Yatra, Shaishav – a child rights organization in Bhavnagar city – facilitated the Child Friendly Places (CFP) approach to gather local data on the current conditions of a representative sample of children and adults from communities and schools across 16 districts in Gujarat state across three routes.
- Celebration of completion of 25 years of child rights;
- To gather information about current status of children’s rights and share the status report with children, society, and government;
- To use the status report to help children plan future activities related to their rights; and
- To sensitize and spread awareness about children’s rights across the state of Gujarat.
The case study outlines the top poorly-scored assessment items in communities and schools across Gujarat state that helps develop action plans for improving conditions related to children’s rights in Gujarat state in the future.
Case study overview
- To gather information about current status of children’s rights and share the findings with children, society, and government;
- To use the findings to help children plan future activities related to their rights;
- To sensitize and spread awareness about children’s rights across the state of Gujarat by implementing the Child Friendly Places methodology.
Shaishav facilitators have earlier implemented the CFP methodology in 27 communities of Bhavanagar, Gujarat.
According to census data Gujarat’s population is over 6 million, which is approximately 4.99% of total Indian population. The literacy rate has seen an upward trend and was 79.31% in 2011. Male literacy rate is 87.23% and female literacy is at 70.73%. The urban population of the state is now 42.6% and was 37.4% in 2001. The religious diversity in Gujarat state is 80.5% Hindu, 13.4% Muslims, 2.3% Christian, 1.9% Skihs, 0.8% Buddhists, 0.4% Jains, 0.6% others and 0.1% did not state.
Despite impressive economic development, there is stagnation in key social indicators. Gujarat has made slow progress in reduction of infant and maternal mortality rates; and malnutrition among children continues to be a major problem. Certain disturbing social norms concerning children, including child marriage, child labour and discrimination against girls seem to be so far impregnable. Also, issues related to child protection, including migration are pronounced.
Prior Child Friendly Places Assessments in Bhavnagar City: During May 2013, Shaishav staff and members of Balsena and Tarunsena conducted child friendly places community based assessments to assess and improve living conditions of children and adults across 27 communities in Bhavnagar city. 3516 participants across 27 low income communities including children, youth and adults participated in the assessment process. Through this initiative, many outcomes were achieved at the individual and community level in 17 communities, including awareness of children’s rights, improved understanding and ability to exercise one’s rights, created awareness about problems related to alcoholism, addiction, abuse and child labour amongst youth and parents (through door-to-door awareness programmes, public exhibitions, street rallies, distribution of posters and pamphlets, street plays and signature campaigns), and improvements to the physical environment such as cleaning up of communities.
For the purpose of the Yatra, CRC-G chose specific indicators for assessment of conditions of children and adults in communities and schools from the global indicator database of Child Friendly Communities and Schools. Indicators from all six domains of the CFP global database including, a) play and recreation; b) nature and ecology; c) housing/learning environments; d) participation; e) safety and protection; and f) health and social services were selected to gain insight into the lives of children and adults relevant to the context of Gujarat state. The global indicators in English were translated into Gujarati and modified as needed to suit to the local context.
Community wide data results for children from 16 districts: A summative content analysis revealed that the most poorly scored assessment items by 1275 children across all 16 districts for community assessments are related to food and nutrition. All 1275 children scored the indicator statement – ‘I have enough to eat each day’ – as poorly across all 16 districts. For this indicator, the average score was 1. Another food related indicator – ‘I eat nutritious food (milk, vegetables, fruits, etc.)’ – was poorly scored across 13 communities with an average score range of 1-2. Additionally, access to primary school was also identified as poorly scored item by children across 10 districts.
Community wide data results for adults from 10 districts: A summative content analysis revealed that the most poorly scored assessment items by 302 adults from communities across 10 districts are related to access to primary school and registration at birth. Also, the range of average score for adults across some assessment items was ranked from very poor (1) to average (5).
School wide data results for children from 16 districts: A summative content analysis revealed that the most poorly scored school assessment items by 1056 children across 13 out of 16 districts are related to issues related to walkability to school, play and leisure time at school and space to do school work. The average score range for the top poorly scored assessment items are 1-3.
School-wide data results for adults from 8 districts: A summative content analysis revealed that the most poorly scored school assessment items by 125 adults, i.e., teachers across 7 out of 8 districts are related to issues related to electricity in schools and proximity of a preschool to where families live. The average score range for the top poorly scored assessment items are 1-4.
Case Study Methodology
The Children’s Environments Research Group (CERG – http://cergnyc.org) prepared this case study. This document was supported by analysis of raw data of community and school assessments of 16 districts across Gujarat state. Project representatives from CERG and Shaishav validated the case study prior to sharing this final version online for learning purposes.