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Sponsor a mother nowNews & Events

CINI at 40: one of India’s most effective and influential NGOs

Celebrating our 40th birthday in 2014 has been a major landmark for CINI.  From a small weekly clinic for malnourished children, CINI has grown into one of India’s leading NGOs Huge progress has been made over the last 40 years.  Unfortunately firm figures covering the whole period are difficult to come by because of inconsistencies in what information has been collected and how it has been done by different individuals and organisations.  It is also difficult to overcome challenges such as parents not bringing in their children for further health checks once they seem well.  Nevertheless, over the period CINI’s achievements have included:

  • Directly providing 547,990 mothers and children with better access to health and nutrition services and reaching at least a further 502,852 through community based health and nutrition interventions
  • Helping at least 188,498 children who were not attending school having dropped out or failed to enrol to catch up with their peers and get back into mainstream education
  • Training 86,468 government and 13,556 NGO workers on health, nutrition, education and protection issues – with indirect benefits for hundreds of thousands of poor mothers and children
  • Providing emergency relief and rehabilitation to 654,996 people affected by floods, storms and other disasters

Changes to how CINI is helping families affected by severe malnutrition

CINI’s supporters in the UK have played a key role in helping families affected by severe malnutrition through support for the charity’s residential Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre.  Thanks to improvements in government services this work has now been made much more sustainable and we now focus on day-care support for families affected by severe or moderate malnutrition as well as undertaking preventative work in the community.

In order to avoid duplicating services the most extreme cases are now referred to local hospitals where health staff, often trained by CINI, are able to give them the necessary help to nurse their children back to health.  However, that is not the end of the story; follow up by CINI trained self-help group members or health-workers remains crucial to the sustainability of the benefits brought about.  Unfortunately the government is not yet set up to provide this input and there remains a need to push for improvements in this area.


Biswajit’s story

Debola, a 20 year old mother, arrived at CINI’s under-five clinic in Pailan with her child Biswajit, who was suffering with fever. Biswajit was diagnosed as severely underweight and referred to CINI’s Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre.
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From birth, Biswajit had been solely breastfed until his first visit to the Centre, despite the fact that given his age he should have been receiving supplementary solid foods for several months. The mother expressed her concern that she did not know how to provide proper nutritious meals for Biswajit.  Debola was trained on types, frequency and amounts of food to feed her child to improve his nutritional status.  She also received medication for his fever and micro-nutrient supplements as advised by the doctor from the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre.


Biswajit

Biswajit on arrival at the Center.

Biswajit

Biswajit being cared for at the Centre.
His weight gain is clear to see, as is his
mother’s happiness to see her child getting
treatment.

 

 

Addressing quality issues in education

Although access to education has improved markedly in recent years there remain major concerns about the quality of teaching offered which is affected by a combination of inadequate facilities and poorly trained and motivated teachers.  The Child Friendly Schools initiative is a growing part of CINI’s work: ensuring children are safe, happy and have what they need in order to learn effectively once enrolled in school. 

Groups of children, teachers and parents are set up to identify the priorities in their school and CINI then works with them to bring about the necessary changes.  Common areas for improvement include making the classroom safe and colourful, building toilet blocks and making training available for teachers in creative and fun teaching methods.

These changes can have a transformative effect on children’s willingness to attend and get an education.  For example providing toilets in schools can enable young girls to stay in education – as a lack of facilities, particularly as they entered adolescence, has been causing many to drop out because of the embarrassment and exposure to sexual harassment related to having to relieve themselves without privacy.

Action on child trafficking

Children and teenagers are often trafficked to work in factories, as domestic labourer, beggars, or child prostitutes and in response to a lack of girls, in some parts of the country, for forced marriage.  A shocking 19,000 children were officially missing in West Bengal in 2012 and these figures are believed to be just tip of the iceberg as countless numbers of cases go unreported  The picture is complicated further when you consider children passing through the porous borders with Bangladesh and Nepal.

Action on trafficking is a key and growing element of CINI’s protection work.  Increasing awareness of some of the common ploys used by traffickers, such as promising jobs far from home in beauty parlours or factories, is vital.  Money is frequently promised to parents which never materialises.  It is crucial to discourage these offers from being accepted and encourage families to sound the alarm if they think their family has been targeted.  It is even fairly common for traffickers to stoop to make proposals of marriage to young girls, which they do not honour, and the girls subsequently disappear.

CINI is helping children and parents more readily spot the danger signs, is undertaking rescue missions, and helping children reintegrate into their communities and readjust after this difficult period in their lives.


At least 41% of women in West Bengal affected by domestic violence

The Indian government’s National Family Health Survey recently found 51% of Indian men and 54% of Indian women found it justifiable for a man to beat his wife. Around 37% of Indian women have been found to have experienced some form of abuse by their husbands – pushing, slapping, hair pulling, punching, kicking or choking. The highest rates of abuse were recorded in West Bengal where over 40% of women have experienced spousal violence.

CINI is working with adolescent girls and boys and conducting public rallies and education activities to change attitudes and to educate them about women’s rights and legislation in this area.  It is not something that is going to happen overnight, but talking to young people it is clear that change is in the air and that the days when violence could be accepted as ‘an expression of love’ are not set to continue in perpetuity.

 

 

Registered Address
The Old Free Kirk
Baldernock
Milngavie
Glasgow
East Dunbartonshire
G62 6HA

 

Phone
+44 7951345070

Email
freya@cini.org.uk

 

Charity number 
SC029591

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We have a vision of an India in which children are able to reach their full potential, regardless of their gender, caste, class or ethnicity.