To improve Literacy levels of Chenchu Tribe from 10% to 35%

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The Chenchus  are considered to be the most primitive and one of the two tribes in south India that still largely depend for its survival on food gathering and hunting which are their traditional occupations. Since time immemorial they have inhabited the forest-clad hills on either sides of the Krishna River, and even today the forests are their true habitat.   There is no community in India poorer in material possessions than the Chenchus. The Chenchu, with a  population of  4 17 8 7 is one of the first tribe to be declared as a Primitive Tribal Group based on the criteria of low literacy, declining or stagnant population and pre agriculture stage. According to Project Officer ITDA Srisailam Chenchus have not come out of food gathering stage and are 100 years behind by rest of the society. Chenchu relocation will be a disaster.  Relocation of the certain Chenchu habitations and implementation of  forest laws , their habitat has under gone a sea change, bringing in its wake not only adverse economic conditions but also psychological and cultural effects. Most of the Chenchu families are of nuclear type and the average size is 4.38, which is considered to be   very small and it can be attributed to under utilization / non availability of Medical services and high incidence of Morbidity(diseases) and Mortality (deaths).
Banjara Development Society initiated a project to protect Chenchu tribe of Prakasam district from chronic malnourishment, communicable diseases and      forced     relocation by Forest Department. Provided training to Chenchu youth and women on sustainable methods of extraction &  collection of minor forest produce, promoted kitchen gardening, income generation activities. Treated   Chenchus for common ailments and also shifted critically ill to the specialty hospitals in Hyderabad, Guntur and Kurnool. BDS  has  attempted to bring down  child deaths and increase institutional deliveries.  Chenchu women turn the tide‎. BDS observed that  Chenchu community is facing innumerable problems  related to Education, Health and development programmes.

The reality of Chenchu Education Programme:  Integrated Tribal Development Agency Officials took keen interest in the construction of school buildings, staff quarters, compound walls and community halls, but least bothered in improving the quality of education of the Chenchu children.   Infrastructure created by spending millions of rupees is underutilized. Neither the staff occupied quarters nor the ITDA officials insisted  the staff to occupy the quarters and stay within the premises to closely monitor the progress of the children.

Government Girijan Primary Schools: There are around 117 schools under ITDA Srisailam and as per the ITDA records, 2161 children are studying in these primary schools. These schools are located in the small habitations and the teachers who stay in Mandal head quarters rarely come to these schools. There is no mechanism to monitor the functioning of these schools. Neither the parents nor the teachers have concern for the children's' education. Children of 4-6th class are not even familiar with alphabets and numbers.
Schools aplenty but no Children:  There are 46 residential schools((Ashram, Guru Kula and Mini Guru Kula Patashalas) functioning under ITDA Srisailam and as per the records of the  academic  year 2007-08, the students' strength was 8162. (BDS organised an inspection programme of Dr. K. Rajya Laxmi -MLC and former Vice Chancellor of Padmavathy Mahila University).  Staff is recruited for all the schools and hostels. Names of the Children to the sanctioned capacity are entered in the attendance registers, irrespective of the presence of the children. 100 percent attendance is marked to all the children(whose names are on the rolls) and money for the provisions is drawn to all children as per the strength in the registers and food is not served as per the menu, even to the few children who are present in the classes.  Only 10 to 20 percent of the children attend the classes in the residential schools located in the Chenchu habitations and 30-40 percent of the children attend the residential schools located in the villages. Attendance is high in the Residential schools located in the villages is because of children from other communities are also admitted in these residential schools. A few upper primary schools have been upgraded into high schools even through there are no Chenchu children in those schools. Play material, cosmetics, boxes and plates are rarely given to the children.  These Malpractices were reported in the local press in the year 2004 itself. Nobody is interested to look into these aspects because, TWD, ITDA Officials get their (hafta) share (30%) from the Head Masters regularly. Schools aplenty but no children.  Right from  the Project Officer(ITDA) to an Attender of the Residential School knows this fact. However no efforts were initiated to improve the attendance of the children over a long period.
Chenchu children whiling away their time instead of going to a school meant for them near Nagarjunasagar in Guntur district. The Hindu 10 Jan 2008.
Activities: Community Organizers (COs) would organize parents meetings in all the habitations in their jurisdiction and motivate the parents to send their children to schools by explaining the need and advantages of education. COs also collect information about the school going age children and counsel the parents whose children do not go to the schools through door to door visits. COs and Field Coordinator would motivate the Teachers to attend the schools regularly through personal meetings. ITDA & TWD Officials would be sensitized through friendly persuasive interaction to take up monitoring of the functioning of the schools regularly. Sensitization of the Officials would be done by the Project Coordinator through personal meetings with the Officials, Media coverage, seminars and public hearings.  Project Coordinator also facilitates to raise the issues in the Legislative Assembly & Council  through the Elected Representatives if necessary.

Outcome:  Schools are regularly opened, classes are conducted. Teachers and children’s presence is ensured. Food and other provisions are provided to the children on regular basis. Performance of the children would be improved. Enrolment is increased and dropout rate is drastically reduced.  

Indicators:  Number of schools regularly functioning with the attendance of teachers and children. Children being provided with Food and other provisions regularly as per menu.  Knowledge acquired by the children.

Budget in Brief :
  1. Inputs  cost (Vegetables seeds, Referral Services Medicines .etc)  3.5 Lakhs
  2. Orientation to BDS Staff and  Village Tribal Development Agencies(VTDA) Presidents and Secretaries. 2.96 Lakhs
  3. IEC Campaign and Sensitization of Line Departments 5Lakhs
  4. Salaries and Travel Expenses of Staff 16.2 Lakhs
  5. Administration 7.31 Lakhs
 For the details please check here
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Rs.1,000
raised of Rs.3,500,000 goal

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Beneficiary: Chenchu A Primi... info_outline
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Vineeth donated Rs.1,000