Saturday, April 30, 2011

Critical Learning From A Street Cum Slum Children And Adolescent Project Of Kolkata, India

This NGO-led project aimed to analyze the uniqueness of the socio-cultural environment and its impact on the physical and mental health of street cum slum children & adolescent (9-19 years) located at selected low socio-economic zone of Kolkata.

The project was implemented through provision of need based SRH services which included BCC within community outreach activities, free clinical services for general illnesses & SRH problems with counseling. Other interventions of the project: engagement of key community stakeholders, life skill education and advocacy to protect their rights.

Key observations during intervention: frequent negligence & domestic violence at the families, early school drop outs; premature and forcible induction to employments, early sexual debut; visit to sex workers due to easy money & peer pressure, sexual abuse at workplaces and by elderly peers, early marriage, alcoholism, poor awareness on safe sex, STIs and RTIs, psychosexual problems including myths & misconceptions around sexual beliefs and practices.

There should be effective and sustainable programs for the street and slum children & adolescent with life skill education, inculcation of responsible sexual behavior, appropriate SRH care, de-addiction and adequate legal protection within the would-be launched Urban Health Mission of India.

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