VARRAT works with the support of ChildFund principles of Core Outcome i.e. Healthy and Secure Infant, Educated and Confident Children and Skilled and Involved Youth which centred around two broader circles such as (1) Families and Local Organisation (networked in their communities, promote the development and protection of children, (2) A broad constituency of supporters dedicated to the wellbeing and rights of children.
Keeping the core intent Healthy and Secure Infant in view, VARRAT has launched a gamut of activities with the support of ChildFund for 0-5 years of children which can be categorised as Home Based Care and Centre Based Care. Home Based care includes educating the parents on development milestones, rights of the children, creating model play spaces for the children in the community etc. and Centre Based talks more about supporting the Anganwadis in developing safety plan for the children, IEC materials for the community, and on nutrition, promotion of nutri-gardens in every household etc.
Education plays a vital role not only to build an individual as a complete person but also it creates a platform to shape the destiny of a nation. Keeping this in view, VARRAT has been providing home-based care and centre based care to the children of its intervention area for their optimal development. Steps are taken to sensitize the parents and care-givers on art of parenting and creating safe and enabling environment for the children. In early years VARRAT was running Balwadi Centres of its own in its intervention area where there was no Anganwadi Centres. With the initiation of VARRAT, Anganwadi Centres were opened by Government and VARRAT handed over its community building, assets created including teaching-learning materials. The organization did not stop here just by handing over its assets to the AWCs. Moreover, it takes sincere efforts to enrol and retain 100% children of the villages and simultaneously capacitate its workers for ensuring joyful learning in the Centres.
VARRAT is not confined within school readiness programme only; furthermore it focuses on ensuring quality education in the formal schools. To achieve the goal the organization tries its best to make school environment safe and secure. That is why Safety plan for schools have been developed and Disaster Response Task Force are formed. In regular interval teachers are trained on positive discipline, Right to Education Act, child Rights, teaching methodology etc. The Organization is devoted to create child-friendly space in schools and community. Internalizing the role of community participation for ensuring quality education in schools, VARRAT takes all possible attempts to make the School Management Committee vibrant. VARRAT also provides financial support to the needy and meritorious students for continuation of their education. Apart from this, life-skill education training and Career Counselling camps are organized every year to give right direction to the children for shaping their future.
The destiny of a nation is always being shaped by her youths. Youths can change the nation to any extent. But in most of the situations it is observed that the youths are disorganized due to political, social and communal factors. Keeping these in view, VARRAT has left no stone unturned to organize the disorganized youth not only for their sake but also for the cause of the society. In order to strengthen this process youth clubs are formed in all its intervention area and these clubs act as platforms for identifying and addressing common issues of both youths and villages. The organization takes all sorts of attempts to prepare the youths for becoming the responsible citizens of the country. Life skill training, Career counselling camps are organized every year by the organization to give right direction to the youths in right time. Similarly entrepreneurial and vocational training are given for gainful employment of the youths. In addition to this, VARRAT tries its best to engage the youths in civic activities and takes all necessary attempts to build their leadership skills for raising their issues in different platforms.
VARRAT is partnering with Digital Green which builds and deploys information communication technologies (ICT) to amplify the effectiveness of development efforts around the world to affect sustained social change. Its approach combines technology and social organization to share locally relevant livelihoods practices among rural communities in a cost effective manner. Digital Green works with partners to effectively exchange relevant livelihood practices among rural communities using locally produced videos and mediated dissemination.
Digital Green has been working with VARRAT, an NGO based in Keonjhar districts of Odisha, for the last four years with a focus on community-based approaches to agricultural development since 2010. In 2012, VARRAT partnered with Digital Green in a 12 month pilot intervention in 30 villages (October, 2012 onwards) to test the feasibility of integrating nutrition and hygiene aspects into its agricultural programs (DG-AG+NUT) with technical assistance from the Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally Project (SPRING). This intervention promotes key practices for improving MIYCN (including water, sanitation, and hygiene [WASH], age-appropriate dietary practices and maternal and child care), building on the Digital Green agricultural model. Sixty locally produced MICYN-focused videos were developed and disseminated to women farmers participating in bi-weekly self-help group (SHGs) meetings, as part of an on-going Digital Green-VARRAT agriculture program.
Presently VARRAT is implementing the Digital Green ICT model in 192 villages of 4 Blocks in Keonjhar District named as UPAVAN Upscalling Participatory Actions on Videos for Agriculture and Nutrition in collaboration with Digital Green, LSHTM, SPRING, BMGF, UCL, Ekjut with the ethical clearance from Government of Odisha Health and Family Welfare Department.
Rapid industrialization, migration and lack of awareness in the area make some youths vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. Keeping the evil consequences of HIV/AIDS into consideration, VARRAT with the support of OSACS has been working in the field of Targeted Intervention for Prevention & Control of HIV/AIDS in Aul, Pattamundai, Kendrapara Municipality since 2009. The objective of the Programme is in two-fold, one is to alter and reverse the HIV epidemic and the second one is to reduce the stigma and discrimination related to HIV/AIDS. Hence, the target groups are regularly sensitized and addressed through various programmes like immunization, awareness creation initiatives. Major activities are undertaken for this flagship programme is: Promotion of condoms for having safe sex, Community Mobilization, STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections) Care and Treatment, BCC (Behaviour Change Communication), creating Enabling Environment for the targeted groups, and linking them to different services/entitlements available for them in Government.
It is observed that elderly people are neglected by today’s generation despite their enormous contribution to the family and society. VARRAT with the support of HelpAge India aims to create a platform for them to live with dignity. Internalizing the issues of the elderly people, they are provided with financial support to be engaged in different income generating activities. This is why ESHG (Elderly Self-help Group) has been formed in each village. Besides this, a federation of ESHGs is functioning for addressing their issues in the name of (VGBSSGM) ‘VARRAT Gramin Bayaska Swayang Sahayak Gosthi Mahasangha’. VARRAT also extends its support to include them in different government schemes and programmes. Apart from this, health care services are provided to them in regular interval. The Organization also created a space for them to be actively engaged in civic activities.
VARRAT believes that active involvement of village organizations can bring drastic changes in the villages. That is why VARRAT has formed JJS (Jan Jagruti Sangathan in each village. JJS comprises of 15 members including 5 adults, 4 women, 4 youths and 2 children. This body is the apex body of village organization and it shoulders the responsibility of planning, executing and monitoring the programmes implemented by the Organization. The feedbacks and suggestions from JJS are always solicited by the organization for effective planning and proper implementation. A federation of JJS has been formed to look after all the operational villages of the Organization. Immediate issues are addressed by JJS federation members and similarly the developmental activities undertaken by the organizations are also monitored and evaluated by them.
(VGMBM) ‘VARRAT Grameen Mahila Bikash Mahasangha’ is a federation of women SHGs facilitated by the Organization in both Kendrapara and Keonjhar district. The federation of Kendrapara is comprised of 135 SHGs where as the federation of Keonjhar is consisted of 735 SHGs. The federation of Kendrapara is operating in Mahakalapara block where as the federation of Keonjhar is functional in Patna, Sadar and Ghatagaon blocks of the district. VGMBM is independent and empowered enough to take its own decision for lending, borrowing or starting a new enterprise .Now it is engaged in different income generation activities and civic activities.