Koshish Charitable Trust

Project Theme

Food Justice campaign

Target Group

Tribals

Project Period

01 Apr 2014 - 31 Mar 2015

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Introduction

Koshish is a non-government organisation working for social upliftment of marginalised community and is registered as a charitable trust. It has campaigned and lobbied on issues such as Right to Food, Right to Information, Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), Dalit and Women’s Rights, Panchayati Raj and Right to Education. Koshish has a resource group of experts to train community activists, enabling them to create awareness amongst the poor and marginalised communities on these issues. Koshish’s strength lies in its sustained interactions at grassroots’ levels on a variety of issues in urban and rural communities.

Impact by partner
  •  Community members are trained to write complaints and deposit them in the Complaint Box. Nyay Dal members review all complaints every three months and try to resolve them with the help of officials of each scheme. 
  • Advisor office maintains coordination with officials concerned with all schemes from Block to State levels. They take up issues related to non-implementation of schemes and make sustained pressure on officials for quick redressal. They send reports on status of each scheme to the commissioners of the Supreme Court. 
  • 36 village-based vigilance committees are formed and trained. 
  • The awareness level of the community has increased about provisions of schemes such as: ICDS, TPDS, Mid Day Meals (MDM), National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS), National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS), National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS) and MGNREGA, through constant engagement by the project team. 
  • As a call of action after the incident of Mashrak block of Saran district in Bihar, the Right to Food Campaign Bihar was asked by the Governor to develop a Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) for quality control of the cooking process (Kitchen) for MDM and Anganwadi, which could be presented to the government for implementation. 
  • The Right to Food Campaign, Bihar organised a consultation on “Food Security and Resources of Livelihood in Bihar” with focus on introducing amendments in the recently passed National Food Security Act, 2013 and gathering information on local resources of livelihood. The purpose was to create collective opinion at local level to pressurise political parties to include such demands in their manifestos and make it a political agenda. 
  • The offices of the Advisor to Supreme Court Commissioners in Bihar released its annual report and held a consultation at the A.N. Sinha Institute of Social Studies in Patna. The report was prepared on the performance of the various schemes such as ICDS, MDM, NMBS, NOAPS, NFBS and PDS. It was felt in the meeting that such evidence based report should be periodically prepared and submitted to the government, suggesting rectification of any gaps in implementation of schemes. 
  • East regional level consultation organised in which right to food advisors of five states participated. 
  • Service providers, Panchayat representatives and concerned officials at block level are pressurised by people to deliver better services.

Case Study

Name – Ravindra Paswan

Village- Purvi Mallahi

Panchayat-Bhetgaon

Block-Barh

District-Patna

Ravindra Paswan is an asthmatic patient whose wife was the sole bread earner of the family. His wife, Parvati Devi died few months ago leaving behind three small children. When she was alive, she used to earn bread by working as agricultural labourer during agricultural season.

Ravindra Paswan has a BPL card but could not avail grains because of lack of money. He came to community leader and explained his problem that he cannot pay the payment of grains at one time. He requested community leader for installment of the quota. Community leader along with him went to PDS dealer and asked him to give him ration in three installments. On this dealer denied that there was no such provision relating to distribution of grains in installment. Community leader referred the Supreme Court order in which distribution of grains in installment is clearly mentioned. Dealer agreed with him, but said that this provision would create headache for him. Finally Ravindra Paswan managed to get the ration in installments.

Community leader also supported him to get INR 1500 under Kabir antesthi Yojna from Mukhiya and submit application to the BDO for benefit under National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS). He now sells vegetables by the amount received and earns his livelihood. After enactment of the National Food Security Act, Ravindra Paswan is getting 20 kg grains.

Increased participation of marginalized and vulnerable communities in ward, vigilance committees have strengthened community monitoring. Ward committee members spread awareness about National Food Security Act and vigilance committee members pressurize the service providers and block level officials to give proper services.

As the result of their efforts Schemes are functioning relatively better. Poor people like Ravindra Paswan can avail PDS and send their children to school and where they eat MDM as afternoon meal Prior to the intervention, Public Distribution System (PDS) was not functioning at all. Grains under the scheme were not being distributed even for 2-3 months so women like her from vulnerable community had to buy grain at high rate from open market. They could not buy sufficient quantity of grains because of the lack of money. Besides, they were not able to save money to meet other basic necessities. Schemes like ICDS, MDM and NOAPS. Mid Day Meal (MDM) was rarely served in the school while AWC never opened.