Fellow: Alicia Tauro
Grant Year: 2019
Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Organization: Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA)
Project title: Activating Ward-Level Child Protection Committees in 3 Wards of Mumbai for Safe and Violence-Free Communities
Project summary: Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA) is working to activate women and girls’ groups to demand protection under the Child Protection Committees in Mumbai’s most unsafe areas. In Maharashtra state, 1 in 3 women are subjected to one or more forms of violence and girls and women living in urban informal settlements especially vulnerable to violence. They are often silenced and may lack the knowledge and agency to seek help from available systems and institutions. There are seven mandated Child Protection Committees under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme in three low Human Development Index regions and wards (with the lowest administrative unit in the city) of Mumbai (M East, H East, and P north). However, the committees are non-functional, the members are not trained on their roles and responsibilities, and they do not meet regularly. YUVA will activate and develop the existing Child Protection Committees. YUVA will engage girls and women in these regions through community meetings, street plays, and publicity to enable them to lead campaigns at the community and ward level. These adolescent girls’ groups and children’s groups will establish their presence and act as an active pressure group to activate the seven mandated Child Protection Committees. YUVA and the women and girl leaders will advocate with the corporators, who are the head of the committees, and the ward, to fulfill their role of activating their respective ward-level Child Protection Committee. When these seven Child Protection Committees under government regulation within the Women and Child Protection Department are functioning, 15,000 children, girls, and women will be protected from violence and safe environments will be created for women in girls in their own communities.