Child Protection and Development
HBT believes that children cannot become empowered change agents to improve their own lives and that of their families and communities if they are not safeguarded from abuse, discrimination and harm of any kind, be it physical, sexual, emotional, or neglect. Child protection is crucial to ensure that children have the rights, confidence and environment in which they can make choices, express their views and communicate effectively with other children and adults. Hence, it is very important to create a space where children feel free and are able to speak about abuse, are free from abusers and are empowered to become actors in their own protection without further discrimination or shame.
Skilling and Enterprise Development
Women face multiple disadvantages due to poverty, gender discrimination, and lack of access to higher education, early marriage and limited opportunities to earn their livelihood. Lack of safety and cultural practices restricts them within the boundaries of domestic life and increases vulnerability to violence denying them opportunities to break through the cycle of poverty and oppression and become independent, confident and productive members of the communities. The slums are known as “villages in the city”. The migrant women residing in slums live no different life than women from villages. Migrants from various rural parts of the country migrate to cities looking for opportunities of livelihood and settling in urban slums. There are possibilities for income for migrants that too largely in the informal economy which does not necessarily improve their standard of living. On the other hand, migration exposes them to new risks and vulnerabilities. The growing rural and urban poverty and disparity have adverse impact on lives of women. To address the above challenges that the women face, HBT endeavours to empower young women living in poverty by providing them with an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and discrimination. This is done through employability skills training, imparting critical life skills and linking them to jobs leading to financial independence and greater control over their own lives.
Women play a very crucial role in the development of a family and society. Women are treated as second class citizen in every sphere of life and are subjected to discrimination in all forms. Lack of safety and cultural practices restricts them within the boundaries of domestic life and increases vulnerability to violence denying them opportunities to break through the cycle of poverty and oppression and take independent decisions. It is important for women to identify themselves with self-confidence & esteem. The main aspect of empowerment is to give a sense of internal strength to them – to control their lives. In order to facilitate women to break this cycle of poverty, HBT has various interventions such as life skills training, awareness campaigns and employability skills training, enterprise development support and job placements etc. HBT strongly believes that one of the ways of empowering the women is by making them aware of their rights and making them self-confident.
Education is one of the fundamental factors of development. Education raises people’s productivity and creativity and promotes entrepreneurship and technological advances. In addition, it plays a very crucial role in securing economic and social progress and improving income distribution. HBT is involved in various measures to enhance the access of education and skill development among marginalized youth of the society. While working with the youth, HBT has realised that many young people, particularly those from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds, struggle to find stable employment because they lack guidance and information on the demands of the market. One of the ways to improve the labor market outcomes for young people is to provide them with career guidance and support for higher education. Career guidance helps them attain the knowledge, information, skills, competences and experience necessary to identify career options, and narrow them down to make one career decision.
Urban Governance and Advocacy
The underprivileged in India continue to have poor access to basic amenities. Families living in urban poor areas lack access to essentials such as water and sanitation, health services, quality education and income generation opportunities. There are various schemes and programs by the government to address the same however due to lack of community awareness, community demand for services and systemic gaps, the programs developed and implemented often are not able to reach the end beneficiaries. HBT is advocating for inclusive, liveable and child friendly smart cities which provides safe and healthy conditions for the children living in urban poverty. It works with young and adolescent girls and boys and women to create a built environment, public-civic engagements with participation of all stakeholders in urban governance. The approach is to involve the children in the process so that they are able to identify their issues, prioritize them and propose solutions to address the same before appropriate authorities. The aim of involving the children is to strengthen the position of children in cities, promote and protect their rights and give them space and opportunities to play and enjoy their own social and cultural lives. To enable children, youth and women actively participate in urban governance and planning as well as to empower them, the focus is on sensitising the community and create leaders among children, youth and the women who in turn advocate for the services. Besides creation of leaders and their capacity building, the focus is also on improving the access of resources and services to the urban poor by establishing linkages of the community with social security schemes of government. HBT also facilitates evidence-based research studies in order to present scientific analysis of the situation along with probable solutions before appropriate authorities for advocating for changes in policies.
Environment and Climate Change
Sanitation, a global challenge is one of the key focus areas of work of HumaraBachpan Trust. Aligned to the sustainable development goals of ‘Clean Water and Sanitation’ (SDG 6), HBT has been advocating for improving the sanitation situation in the city of Bhubaneshwar since last five years under its ‘Clean and Green neighbourhood’ initiative, an initiative to ensure a clean and disease-free neighbourhood for all.