Mamta and Kajal’s friendship is an inspiration for many!
16-year-old Mamta lives in the Ashadeep leprosy colony. Her father who was affected by leprosy is now cured but her life has been far from easy.
Both her parents are addicted to alcohol and their regular fights make it hard for Mamta and her siblings to stay at home. Outside the walls of her home, her she has often been mocked for belonging to a leprosy colony.
Hope found Mamta in an unlikely companion, Kajal. Kajal is a 16-year-old girl with dwarfism who regularly visits the Ashadeep colony. She and Mamta became good friends over 10 years ago and travel together to school on Mamta’s bicycle.
Both Kajal and Mamta are often the targets of cruel jokes by their peers. Kajal is laughed at for her disability and Mamta gets called names for being from a leprosy colony. They survive each day by standing up for themselves and for each other constantly.
Their hardships have brought these two strong girls together. They look forward to going to school and creating a better future for themselves. While Kajal wants to be a teacher, Mamta aspires to be doctor. They dream big and work hard believing that there’s more to life than their poverty and alienation.
By donating to this program
you will be sponsoring the overall costs incurred to support the beneficiaries
What the beneficiary gets
The 'Catch Them Young' program initiated by the Leprosy Mission aims to empower children affected by leprosy or those who belong to families where a member is a leprosy patient.
The program realizes that such children may not be able to avail all facilities and opportunities that are otherwise easily available to students free of any social stigma. Scholarships are awarded to these children in order for them to continue their education. The scholarship is awarded to them once a year and includes school fees, books, and stationery. The program was launched in the year 1998 and primarily aims to support students who are pursuing higher education in schools, colleges, and professional courses.
Donate to this program and help children from stigmatized families lead a normal childhood.
The Leprosy Mission Trust India
23 May, 2022
CUFA helps Sapna rejoin school
Activities and work undertaken in the last 5-6 months
Children Unite For Action (CUFA) Project – Program Highlights Chandkhuri, Muzaffarpur, Purulia, Vizianagaram and Naini January 2021 – December 2021
Leprosy Awareness: The project continued creating awareness on leprosy through leprosy awareness programs on Anti-Leprosy Day, Anti NTDs, Gandhi Jayanti Day, Human Rights Day, World Disability Day, Awareness rallies and several other community-based programs covering schools, leprosy colonies, villages, stakeholders across project locations in 5 states covering 7110 population.
Sensitization Program on Leprosy for Anganwari – CUFA project in Vizianagaram organized awareness and sensitization on leprosy and child rights program with Anganwari Workers in Vizianagaram. The program was attended by members of the child welfare department, Child Development Program Officer, ICDS Program Officer, Supervisors and 36 Anganwari Workers.
Working with schools - 22 schools were reached out through the reporting of a period of the year for leprosy, gender, disability, health and children’s rights awareness programs. Three more schools reported a minimum of 5 critically functioning services in 2021. 5 more new schools were added as CUFA was extended in Naini Uttar Pradesh. As of now, 20 schools have been reporting a minimum of five critically functioning facilities in the schools.
Re-enrolment of children into schools – The project continued creating and promoting schooling of children and as a result, 6 dropouts children were re-enrolled to school during 2021.
WASH: Program on WASH was conducted by project across project location wherein children were taught about handwashing and maintaining personal hygiene. In this program, children advised people to adopt the good habit of keeping hands clean as the illness is caused by eating with dirty hands. Total 7015 children, parents and stakeholders directly trained on WASH. Children were also encouraged to encourage children to continue WASH practice in their day-to-day life to avoid any kind of infection or disease. Children Parliaments was also involved in the WASH program.
Responsible Food Consumption Campaign – Children from children parliament conducted an assessment survey as part of follow up of campaign in CUFA project areas. The survey found that after the food consumption campaign was led by the Children's Parliament, awareness has increased among the people of the village. There has been a decrease of about 12% in food waste. 38 children, 60 parents and 10 PRIs participated in the programs. Children were made aware of food consumption and food safety by the project on 16th Oct 2021 in Muzaffarpur and Chandkhuri. Children were encouraged by the project to educate their family members not to waste food.
National Girl Child Day – National Girl Child Day was organized in the project field. In this program Children from Children Parliament created awareness on saving the girl child and providing protection to a girl child in the villages and communities through a door to door. 98 children, parents and other stakeholders participated in the program.
Regular Support and Sensitization of Parents – Project continued sensitizing parents on child rights, leprosy, discrimination, environmental protection, gender issues, children’s examination and attending School Development and Management Committees for children’s development. Project sensitized 1607 parents throughout the year. 992 parents have reported attending the SDMC Meeting during the reporting period while 5 schools remained closed.
Capacity Building of Children Parliament - 11 new Children parliament has been formed by project and the total CUFA project has 27 functioning children parliaments. Capacity Building of all children parliament was built in the area of child rights, leprosy, health and engagement with government at the village, block and districts level, responsible food consumption, organizing republic day, organizing Anti Leprosy Day, Anti – NTDs day, WASH, education, Covid 19, health & Hygiene, awareness program in the villages for family members, regular study, and follow up on previous campaigns, road safety and environmental awareness in the villages.
Children Parliament’s engagement with PRI and Stakeholders – 40 advocacy initiatives by Children Parliament have been reported during the reporting period. Children Parliaments have advocated with Panchayati Raj Institutions for village Library, saving waters in the village, making village plastic-free. In addition, a cleanliness drive (about plastics) and personal hygiene are happening by Children Parliament. At some locations, the same initiatives are being taken by Children a drive on saving water through world water day, child marriage, and the environment. As a result of continuous sensitization with stakeholders by project and children, one of Gram Panchayat has come forward in taking positive action to make the village a child-friendly village by putting guidelines on a wall to make the village child-friendly village. 40 initiatives were taken by the children's parliament at the field level and 38 positive actions have been reported during 2021.
Children attending Group Study and Hobby Classes – Project is encouraging children for the study through group study as part of remedial education support and hobby classes as well. During the reporting, 2810 children attended group studies while 2696 children participated in hobby classes during the reporting period. This is to support children in education during the quarter covering several subjects like math, general knowledge and science and drawing, drama, sports, songs development is part of hobby classes.
International Women’s Day – International Women’s Day was organized across project intervention areas in March 2021. The purpose of the program was to encourage girls and women to come forward and lead the process of change in terms of gender equality.
Gender Education: An awareness program on gender education was conducted by the CUFA project in its intervention area. The purpose of the awareness program is to promote and support female children in education. 22 female children participated in the program.
Road Safety Awareness Rally - An awareness program on road safety was organized in February 2021. The purpose of the rally was to create awareness on following traffic rules and regulations. On this day, drawings related to children's road safety were made and a rally was taken out in the project area. 114 children and other stakeholders participated in this rally and through this rally people of ward 04 were made aware.
Save Environment Campaign - To save the environment, the campaign was carried out by the children of Children's Parliament. The save environment campaign was done on 27 February 21. On this day, children made drawings and rallies took place in their villages in these programs 272 children and other stakeholders participated in these programs. And on June 5 2021, an awareness program on world environment day was organized in Muzaffarpur and Vizianagaram in which children planted trees in the villages and did awareness on the importance of tree plantation.
Personality Development Class- 38 personality development classes were done, through this class, children were told to talk properly, dress properly, etc. All we're told about it. 1124 children were benefited from these personality development classes. Children were told about personality development.
Appeal by children for people affected by leprosy: Community based program with children on the inclusion of people affected by leprosy with respect and love was organized in the CUFA project. Many children sent their video clips appealing to love and respect for people affected by leprosy. It was organized on the occasion of Valentine’s Day in Feb 2021. 144 children and parents participated in the program.
English Speaking Classes – 12 English Speaking Classes were organized during the reporting quarter to help children learn English Speaking and develop their language skills. Children are taught about sentence formation grammatically, writing and children are encouraged to speak in English with each other. 426 children were benefited from CUFA’s initiatives of English-speaking classes during the reporting year 2021.
Gender Equity Campaign – CUFA project implemented a campaign on gender equity during the reporting year of the project. Several rallies and programs were organized in the community and schools of project areas. More than 7000 Community members including children were sensitized on gender equity. As a result of the gender equity campaign, wall painting on gender equity and child rights at 6 places was done by the Sarpanch of Chandkhuri Village, two letters of appreciation to the TLM CUFA project were awarded by schools with the assurance of making gender equality as an integral part of their education in the schools.
Covid 19 – Awareness of Covid 19 was continued during the reporting period and the project continued to follow safety measures in implementing the program.
International Day against Drugs The program in Muzaffarpur on 26th June 2021 was organized. The purpose of the program was to educate children and the community about the ill effects of drugs consumptions. Total 130 children and the community were benefited and made aware of the ill effects of drug consumption.
Program on Child labour Program on child labour was organized on 12th June 2021 in Muzaffarpur, Vizianagaram and Chandkhuri. In Chandkhuri, it was done through virtual media. 64 children reported attending the meeting. Children were made aware of child labour and its implication for children’s development.
Child Protection Committee – To strengthen child protection as part of child rights project worked with children and concerned PRI of the villages and as a result, 5 Child Protection Committee has been formed in Muzaffarpur, Purulia, Vizianagaram and Chandkhuri CUFA centres. The members are parents, children and stakeholders.
Children Benefited under Award Program – During the reporting period of the project, 278 children affected by leprosy, children with disabilities and children from leprosy backgrounds have been benefited from the award program of the CUFA project. These children are affected by leprosy, disabilities and leprosy background.
Initiation of CUFA Project in Naini Uttar Pradesh – CUFA project was also initiated in Naini Prayagraj Uttar Pradesh. The project is covering 4 villages and 4 leprosy colonies of Naini Prayagraj.
Bride Courses at Naini CUFA – CUFA project-initiated bridge courses at two places in 2021 to provide remedial education in the absence of regular schooling due to the Covid 19 pandemic situation. 89 children are currently attending the bridge courses implemented by the CUFA project in Naini.
Soft Skills Training – Project has conducted soft skills training program for the children during the reporting period of 2021 and have trained 772 children covering soft skills like conversation, creative thinking, leadership, creativity, communication, teamwork, attitude, self-awareness and decision making.
Exposure Visit for children – CUFA project organized exposure visits of children in Muzaffarpur Bihar, Purulia West Bengal, Chandkhuri Chhattisgarh, Vizianagaram Andhra Pradesh and Prayagraj Uttar Pradesh during the year. Children were taken to Fire Service Station in Muzaffarpur, children were taken to District Science Centre in Purulia, Chandkhuri, Prayagraj and children were taken to Police Station in Vijayanagaram Andhra Pradesh. The purpose of the exposure visit was to provide direct information on Fire Service and science centre, develop an understanding of science and police’s role in providing safety. 268 children from all the centres participated in the exposure visits across project locations.
Established Recreational Centre – CUFA project established and inaugurated Recreational Center on 19 Oct 2021 in Pendri village of Mungeli District. In this centre, arrangements have been made for sports, hobbies, group study class, library etc. for the children. The Recreational Center was inaugurated by the school teacher in the absence of the village head. In this inaugural ceremony, 10 villagers and 110 children of the Children's Parliament attended. The place and electricity have been provided by Gram Panchayat for children. On regular basis, 25 children visit the recreational centre for study and recreational activities. Sports materials were provided across all project locations to children as part of recreational activities and inclusive sports activities.
International Day of Person with disabilities – CUFA project observed International Day of Person with disabilities on 3rd Dec 2021across project locations and created awareness on it. During the reporting period, 6 children with disabilities were supported for disability certificated and assistive devices.
Career Guidance – A career guidance program by CUFA Chandkhuri was organized which aimed at guiding children on several career options. This program taught children subjects like entrance exam, college, education, goals, skills and interests etc. 38 children benefited through the Career Guidance program.
Human Rights Day – Across the CUFA project area organized the Human Rights program. During the program, all human rights-related matters were discussed. Chandkhuri invited Police Personnel from the nearest police station and PRIs.
Adolescents Health Awareness Program – 11 Adolescents Health awareness programs were done in Dec 2021 in Vizianagaram, Muzaffarpur, Chandkhuri and Naini. The project sought support from local health care workers ASHA, Anganwari workers. Through this education program, children of Children's Parliament were educated on Mental Health, Nutrition Health, Sanitation and Hygiene, Pneumonia, and Sexual Health. 410 adolescents, most of them were young girls, were educated during the programs.
International Girl Child Day – Awareness and capacity building sessions on the International Day of Girl Child program was organized across all project areas to make people aware of the issues like child marriage, feticide, education etc. In this program, children made people aware of the status of girls in society through drawing and drama in Chandkhuri. Girl children visited door to door made aware and advocated with parents SHG members and communities on treating male and female children equally in Vizianagaram. Door to Door advocacy and awareness were done in Purulia, Naini and Muzaffarpur through banners and posters. Child protection was the main theme of this day organized by CUFA. On this occasion, child protection committees in Chandkhuri and Vizianagaram were formed. Sarpanch, ward members, teachers, parents, police and children are part of these child protection committees. The news was covered by print media in Chandkhuri and Vizianagaram. 490 children, stakeholders such as parents, teachers participated in the program.
Champion’s Training – 5 Champion’s Training were done in Nov 2021. 202 children affected by leprosy, children with disabilities and marginalized children were trained on a championship. Along with child rights, children were also trained on, champions skills, qualities of champions, how they can be champions. In addition, children were also encouraged and trained to reach out to general communities to educate them on leprosy. Champions were also encouraged to spread awareness on leprosy.
Police Sensitization on Child Rights in Vizianagaram - Awareness and Sensitization on child rights with the police department at Nelimarla block in Vizianagaram was done. 28 police personnel were sensitized and trained on child rights. 102 children also participated in the event. Police educated children on child abuse, good and bad touch, dialling 100 in distress. The Police Inspector of Nelimarla Police Station also issued an appreciation letter to the CUFA project for organizing this sensitization program. The session was focused on child protection.
Training children on child rights: The project continued training children on child rights through several programs in schools, communities throughout the year. 3994 children, 2110 communities members and 89 PRIs were reached through child rights awareness and training throughout the year. In this connection, children’s day was also organized on 14th Nov 20121 across all the project locations in which sessions on child rights were done across all the project locations. Children were also taught about laws related to children like child marriage, child labour and child abuse.
Challenges faced and next steps
The project has been going smoothly in the last 6 months.
Stories from the ground
Impact Story 1: Sapna Chaudhary, 17
Rampur Upharhar, Naini, Praygraj Uttar Pradesh
Sapna, a girl of 17 years, comes from a poor family of Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh. Her small family comprises of her father who works in Mumbai to earn money for his family, a mother who runs a small shop to earn additional income, an elder brother, and a younger sister. Sapna and her sister Kalpana were both born with disabilities. Due to these disabilities, both sisters find themselves unable to do any personal activities without any support.
Struggling with poverty and disability has taken its toll on the family. In 2018, their circumstances changed for the worst. Sapna’s elder brother who was an earning member died of cancer. Sapna, who was studying in Class VIII, not only lost a brother but also her support. It was her brother who would push Sapna’s wheelchair to take her to school. The death meant the loss of school as well. Already struggling with so much, Sapna’s one beacon of hope, her education also stopped.
It was then that TLMTI’s CUFA project reached her village. During the baseline data collection, TLMTI staff found out about Sapna’s circumstances and informed them about our project and the possibilities. The staff’s attempts were met with a lack of enthusiasm by her parents but we persisted with our visits to her home and motivating Sapna and counselling her family for continuing Sapna’s education. After continued follow-ups, Sapna’s parents finally allowed Sapna to re-enrol in school in September 2021.
Sapna gained admittance in Class IX in 2021 and currently is pursuing her education through online classes conducted by the school. Her parents are now exploring options for sending Sapna to school in a physical capacity.
Sapna has wonderful words to share about the project: “TLMTI CUFA project is hope for many children like me in my village. I am very hopeful that the CUFA project will add value to many children’s personal and academic development in the coming days, the same way it has helped me,” shares Sapna.
Impact Story 2: Shibu Kumar, 18 Years Muzaffarpur, Bihar Shibhu, a 19-year-old girl, comes from a very poor background of a rural family in Muzaffarpur in Bihar. Shibhu has five brothers and sisters. Her father Mahendra Bhagat, a poor farmer, often gets support in agricultural activities from Shbhu’s mother who is essentially a homemaker. The financial situation of the family is bad as they possess only a small piece of land and the situation only turned grievous due to the pandemic as the family had to take loans for survival. To add to all the pecuniary struggles, Shibhu contracted leprosy. The disease, as often happens, was misdiagnosed for six months. In that time, a disability developed in Shibhu’s left hand – her writing hand. Her studies stopped due to this. Her family finally visited a government hospital that diagnosed leprosy and started Shibu’s treatment. However, leprosy treatment cannot reverse the deformities or disabilities, only corrective surgery can help in this case. It was at this time that TLMTI’s CUFA project staff visited their village in September 2021 and met Shibu and her family. The staff member Dipendra Kumar counselled the family on leprosy and referred them to TLMTI hospital in Muzaffarpur for further treatment. Shibu was soon operated and her hand was corrected with surgery which enabled Shibhu to write again. Now Shibhu is studying in Class XII and is associated with the CUFA project. Shibhu participates in all project activities at her village level. “I could not write earlier but I feel very happy writing with my hands. I have been able to experience the joy of writing again only because of The Leprosy Mission Trust India CUFA project’s effort”, says Shibhu happily. CUFA project is moving ahead to support Shibhu for her studies under the award program in 2021-22 sessions. With this foundation, Shibhu hopes to achieve her dream of becoming an engineer.
26 March, 2021
Children shown the way in pandemic
Project continued creating awareness on Covid – 19 ensuring ‘child participation’ in it. Children were encouraged to participate in developing several awareness posters, songs, painting, related to Covid-19 and put it on their walls so that others can get information related to it. These posters were about hand washing, maintaining safe distance, using hand sanitizer and not going out without any important reason. Trained children actively trained others on how to prepare and use ‘Mask’ and ‘Physical Distancing’. Project used to train them through video calls and clips. Project ensured the physical distancing while conducting these activities in the villages. Hobby classes and group study classes are happening across all centers which children are learning new hobbies such as drawing, paintings, singing, dancing and doing their study. In the Covid – 19 pandemic, children were connected online to continue their group study. Group Study and has been an important aspect of the project in order to improve their study habits. This aspect is helping children enormously in improving their reading and study habits.
Preparatory work to start Recreational Centers for children was initiated in last quarter of year 2020 in Chandkuri Chhattisgarh, Purulia West Bengal, and Muzaffarpur Bihar and Vizianagagaram Andhra Pradesh.
Three children were supported with wheel chair by CUFA project in Purulia and Chandkhuri.
Project awarded 37 (10 in Purulia, 10 in Muzaffarpur, 10 in Chandkhuri and 7 in Viziangaram Andhra Pradesh) children during the reporting period.
5 August, 2020
Children parliament at a glance
Children parliament at a glance
Under this unique programme - children are provided support for continuing (or getting back) to the mainstream education system of the country, psychological support to battle the stigma and awareness and empowerment training to stand up for their legal and fundamental rights.
In the last 2 quarters, two new children parliaments were formed and now project is having 16 children parliaments across all the locations. Children Parliament actively participated in organizing several programs such as save girl child, International Women’s day, engaging with stake holders for advocacy.
Children Parliaments are engaging with stakeholders at village level. Children Parliament advocated with ward counsellor for safe drinking water and drainage in March 2020. A letter was submitted to ward counsellor and with follow up the problem was sorted out. Children Parliament organized “save girl child’ program in schools to highlight the issue of ‘right to survival’ of girl child in January 2020.
Newly formed Children Parliament’s Oath taking ceremony was organized in the villages in Chandkhuri. They took oath as member of children parliament in Feb 2020. Gram Pradhan was also present in the ceremony and promised to encourage children parliament in the village.
With emergence of Covid-19, project initiated awareness activities ensuring ‘child participation’ in it. Children were encouraged to participate in developing several awareness posters, songs, painting, related to Covid-19 and put it on their walls so that other too get information related to it. These posters were about hand washing, maintaining safe distance, using hand sanitizer and not going out without any important reason. Trained children actively trained others on how to prepare and use ‘Mask’ and ‘Physical Distancing’. Project used to train them through video calls and clips. Project ensured the physical distancing while conducting these activities in the villages. An activity called “Our time will also come and Corona will go” was conducted with children. Basically the idea behind conducting this activity was to boost the morale of children so that positivity among children continues to exist. Information through wall paintings was also done.
World Environments Day in June 2020 was conducted in which tree plantations were done by children. While conducting this activity, precaution like physical distancing and was followed.
Continuous home visits and regular follow up through phone calls (during Covid-19 pandemic and nationwide lock down) ensured that 210 (out of 212) children supported financially as part of ‘right to development’ in 2019-20 for educational purpose have passed their examination.
3 December, 2019
Children engaged in diverse activities
Children engaged in diverse activities
22 July, 2019
The project has been working in 15 villages across three states - West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Bihar. Under this, scholarships have been provided to 150 children and 1325 more children have been brought under the program's impact.
A total of 8 well-functioning Children's Parliaments have been established across the 3 centres. All of these children are being provided regular training and mentoring on rights' awareness based on UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Regular summer camps have been organised. A sports centre for girls in the leprosy colony has been created.
Program children are regularly taking up issues that impact them in community and their schools through these functioning Parliaments.
Story from the field
For the last one year, a 12-year old boy has been forced to call a hospital his home. Sunil Nishad has been battling some of the most grievous reactions caused by leprosy at The Leprosy Mission Trust India’s hospital at Chandkhuri in Chhattisgarh.
Belonging to the Baloda Bazaar district of Chhattisgarh, Sunil and his mother would travel frequently for more than 64 kms to Chandkhuri in order to get treatment for Sunil's leprosy complications. The severe reactions forced Sunil to stay at the hospital for months on end, thus forcing him to drop out of school.
Being a bright student, Sunil was miserable with the break in his education and thought he would never see the inside of a school again. Sunil’s case was referred to CUFA by the hospital staff for counselling and support.
The project staff took initiative and enrolled Sunil in a nearby school after taking leaving certificate from his old school in Baloda Bazaar. Sunil was also provided a scholarship under the Awards Programme of CUFA.
Sunil is now studying in VI standard and leaves the hospital with a cheerful smile to go to his school. The project staff also provides additional academic help to Sunil, whenever needed.
|What is the expected total number of beneficiaries in this program for FY18-19?||1475|
|What is the number of beneficiaries/ benefits provided in this program, Year-To-Date||1475|
|Village/City/State where project is located||Purulia - West Bengal; Muzzaffarpur - Bihar; Chandkhuri - Chhattisgarh|
|Total Budget for the project for FY18-19||5740000|
|Total Expenses for the project YTD||5740000|
30 October, 2018
The Leprosy Mission Trust India's Update
Children Unite for Action' is a project working for children and youth affected by leprosy and other disabilities, to access their right to survival, right to protection, right to participation and right to development. The project ensures that children have the necessary skills and knowledge to access education and attain desired relevant careers. The needs of these children are addressed in a holistic manner where they are developed as 'Champions for Leprosy'. Early detection of leprosy among children to prevent disabilities and inclusive development are important aspects of the project. Children affected by leprosy from lower socioeconomic background are awarded scholarship for two years as part of 'A Proud Champion' Award Programme of the project, to encourage and support them to overcome stigma and discrimination related to Leprosy in order to dream high and achieve higher. Many children are getting benefited under this program.
Story from the field
Kalpana Patel wants to be a nurse and serve the society. Her parents are visually impaired and live in a village in Allahabad District. Her father, Mr. Shiv Asre was affected by leprosy. They struggled to meet their ends meet. TLM supported them through livelihood training and helped them set up a kirana store for their livelihood. She has a younger sister studying in Class 12.
Both sisters help parents with the shop during their free hours. Even In the midst of all problems Kalpana took up science stream and pursued her goal. She scored 75% in Class 12 examination and has applied for General Nursing.
Though her extended family wants her to get married and settle. Her parents are motivated and want her to continue her education. The support received is being utilised for her educational needs.
|Expected total number of beneficiaries in this program for FY18-19||300|
|Number of beneficiaries/ benefits provided in this program this year||220|