Celebrating Budhpura!

On Sunday the 24th March, something momentous and joyous happened in the village of Budhpura, Rajasthan, India. To understand why the 24th March was such a momentous day though we need to understand the history of this semi-rural village, tucked away in the back waters of Rajasthan.

85% of the worlds Sandstone is quarried in Rajasthan and the Bundi highway cuts through this stone quarrying region like a knife. There is a stretch of this highway where for 20km all you can see in every direction are quarries and mining activity!

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Looking Towards The Future

No Child Left Behind: A Retrospective Series on the Progress Made and What’s To Come

In this four-part series, we’ll take a look back at the No Child Left Behind program, the progress that’s been made, and also explore what’s on the horizon.

Part 4: Looking Towards the Future

Now that the No Child Left Behind programme has some established successes, it’s time to begin looking towards the future. In this case, that means expanding much of the work towards also helping the broader community, and in particular addressing the standards in the yards and mines.

The mines are a long way from civilisation. Achieving any change here will be an enormous challenge.

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The Situation Now

No Child Left Behind: A Retrospective Series on the Progress Made and what’s To Come

In this four-part series, we’ll take a look back at the No Child Left Behind program, the progress that’s been made, and also explore what’s on the horizon.

Part 3: The Work Pays Off

Since the beginning of No Child Left Behind, tremendous progress has been made in getting children out of work and back into schools. In fact, according to the report “Stop Child Labour – Out of Work Programme – End Term Evaluation” from the Stop Child Labour Coalition, 361 children were prevented from child labour and an additional 593 were withdrawn from child labour, out of a total 1,019 children who were initially identified as “out of school.” In addition, seven schools (including six primary and one secondary) are now fully functional compared with only one before. There are also eight pre-school centers (Anganwadis), which were non-existent before. Additional teachers are also expected to be appointed, as a result of the ongoing lobbying of the state government.

The project has delivered real and tangible results, getting children back into education

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On The Ground

No Child Left Behind: A Retrospective Series on the Progress Made and what’s To Come

In this four-part series, we’ll take a look back at the No Child Left Behind program, the progress that’s been made, and also explore what’s on the horizon.

Part 2: The Project Begins to Take Shape

In a project such as No Child Left Behind, ensuring its long-term success is a complicated proposition. While organisations outside the region may sometimes be tempted to take control of the various aspects of the project from abroad, the reality is that this type of remote management has serious limitations. In order for a project like this to be successful, it must be run by a competent team of professionals on the ground who have a deep knowledge of the community they’re serving as well as an understanding of the type of bureaucracy and general challenges they will be facing.

For the No Child Left Behind program, it was the local team from Manjari based in Budhpura who made the difference. Their team, which included a number of individuals from Budhpura, was more prepared to tackle the challenges of child labor due to their insight into the area and the unique issues facing the community. But it wasn’t always easy – a lot of training was needed initially to make sure all of the staff members were up to speed on the work.

The Manjari team after a multi stakeholder meeting
The Manjari team after a multi stakeholder meeting

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The Beginning

No Child Left Behind: A Retrospective Series on the Progress Made and What’s To Come

In this four-part series, we’ll take a look back at the No Child Left Behind program, the progress that’s been made, and also explore what’s on the horizon.

Part 1: A Beginning Filled with Hope and Uncertainty

To begin a project like No Child Left Behind was a daunting proposition. It meant walking into Budhpura, a village rife with challenges and steeped in tradition, with the goal of creating significant change. For the team involved in getting the project off the ground, there was no shortage of emotion – from hope to fear and everything in between.

Budhpura. A semi rural Indian village highly vulnerable to Child Labour.

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