The Pratichi-CRY Project

The Pratichi-CRY project began on October 1, 2010 in Birbhum, West Bengal, and is titled Documenting New Initiatives in Ensuring Rights of Children. Since November 2010, the project has been successfully headed by Swagata Nandi, and comprises a team of three associates. Till July 2011, the project has encompassed 123 primary schools in 8 graam panchayats areas within 7 blocks of the Birbhum district.

Project aims:
The twin aims of the project are:

  • Documenting initiatives and local movements to ensure the rights of children to survival, nutrition, health and education.
  • Making this database of experiences and public action available to anybody interested, or working in areas related to child development.

At its current stage, the project looks at primary and upper primary schools. The responses from parents and teachers have been overwhelming so far. 90 per cent of local teachers and several local residents participated in the preliminary meetings conducted in the villages. The ICDS workers and local mothers groups are also being brought into the programme. The programme also documents, disseminated and analyses similar initiatives taken up elsewhere in the state (ICDS-based community initiative in Malbazar, Jalpaiguri, community initiative in primary education in Kolkata and South 24 Parganas, etc), nation, and the world.

Project objectives:
Through strengthening this connection with the local institutions, the project aims to create a bridge between the community, and the policy making and implementing authorities, thus making child rights related policymaking and implementation more democratic, organic, and effective.

Its work is also building networks of information, public interest and public action in the areas it is active in, which contributes to the process of building a participatory model of public (primary) education that goes far beyond the conventional modes of the Village Education Committees (VEC).

This level of community involvement in children's development and welfare, we are certain, will become part of the public culture, and continue to benefit us beyond the project.