CAMPAIGN FOR WOMEN AND CHILD RIGHTS
Vikas Sansthan is a voluntary social organization, registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. It has all along engaged itself with the holistic development of the hitherto downtrodden, exploited and disadvantages sections of society. Understanding an organization calls for a glimpse into its background that enshrines its purpose.
It was 1991 when Dilip Sevarthi, a young post graduate, started a movement against child slavery and started holding meetings with adult laborers for their awakening to overthrow the exploitative system. He made a clarion call for eradication of child slavery and later on brought into his fold friends of his student life to this Movement. His heart went for the plight of child labour. He nurtured deep anguish mixed with anger in his heart at the condition of child labour. He started writing in newspapers for the awakening of the public on the theme of removing the scourge that child labour is on the face of society.
After this, Sevarthi set up his organization and began cycle rallies, corner meetings, meeting the intelligentsia and religious leaders in glass industry of Firozabad. In his meetings he would delineate a true picture of the present condition of child labour and copiously referred to the Act of 1986 for the elimination of child labour as also sections 39,41,19,24 etc. of the Constitution. He told that the labour extracted from children was against the law. Meanwhile, Sevarthi opened two schools with his own efforts and help from his associates. He opened one school at Navada in Makkhanpur and the other at village Bajhera Khurd. These schools were set up exclusively for the children liberated from child labour. Sevarthi had taken monetary help from his companions to set up these schools and started charging Rs.20/- per child. Thus these schools were started and the number of children swelled up by and by, but in beginning, only 20 or 30 children joined this school. He got the moral support of Bonded Labour Liberation Front but no money. At last the school opened by Dilip Sevarthi was handed over to Vikas Sansthan, a voluntary organization of which Sevarthi is now the Chairperson.
After this Sevarthi began to organize the people to the best of his efforts and started multi pronged activities with the idea of eliminating child slavery. The first was to awaken the guardians of child laborers and the second was to create among the children attraction towards education, the third was to observe Dharna and Corner Meetings at the gates of factory owners and started awakening the masses through rallies. The third was to make a well coordinated protest against the District Administration and Labour Department representing both the state and central governments and by organizing Dharna and Gherao at the offices of District Magistrate and Labour Department.
The fourth was to move the intellectuals through meetings and dialogues and to inform them about the exploitation of their children and asked them to make efforts for their freedom. He called upon the leaders of political parties to speak up on this subject of child slavery in their election meetings.
In the meantime, the government also began to pay attention to child laborers plight as a result of these efforts made by Sevarthi in collaboration with along with several like-minded social organizations. The factories where child laborers worked were raided many a time by Administrative officers and the Department in which child laborers were found. This caused a great fear among the factory owners.
Along with this in awakening was spread from time to time in Firozabad glass and bangle industry circle. Gherao of all the officers from the commissioner’s office and District officer concerned was resorted to for making the authorities realize that any slackness from their side would only throw the concerted effort of Sevarthi into oblivion.
In the meanwhile, in December 1996 the honorable Supreme Court of India ordered in M.C. Mehta vs. Tamil Nadu Government case that the children should be at once removed from dangerous work situations and where such children are found working, then 20 thousand rupees per child be recovered as penalty from factory owners and Rupees 5 thousand per head from the government in order to make a “child fund” in which such money should be deposited. This should be spent on the education of children and an atmosphere for their education should be created. Even after this decision, Firozabad administration was not active and it did not take any action. Then Sevarthi started his fast unto death at the office of the District Magistrate on 18th Feb., 1997 and this information was given to all the departments that the government functionaries were not complying with the Judgment of the honorable Supreme Court and until the Judgment of the court is put into action, Sevarthi will go on fast unto death. On the 30th January Sevarthi was honored with the prestigious National Red & White Bravery award of 1996. This brought him to limelight and fame in society.
On 18th Feb. thousands of children, men and women seated with Sevarthi on the stage for fast after garlanding and assuring him of full co-operation. No person from the administration came. All of a sudden in the night of 19th February a fatal attack was made on the life of Sevarthi, Child labour and their guardians in which Sevarthi was badly injured. This attack was made by the Police Force at the instance of Mr. N.K. Paliwal, the then the A.D.M. of Firozabad. In this case, National Human Rights Commission in its inquiry found that in the case of Sevarthi, senior officers of the District Mr. B.K. Gupta, the District magistrate, C.M.O. and superintendent of Police were involved. After this a report against Sevarthi was registered under section 147, 332, 323, 352, 504 etc. for this reason Sevarthi had to live in Jail for a week and later on Sevarthi was released on bail with the help of his well-wishers. Along with Sevarthi several workers were also hurt.
As soon as Sevarthi came out of the Jail he was given a grand welcome with flowers and garlands by the parents of labourers, children and workers of other social organizations promised him their full cooperation. Moral support to Sevarthi was spectacular which enabled him to fight for the cause he had espoused.
On 10th March, Sevarthi came to Firozabad where he called upon the adult laborers to completely close down the factories of Firozabad and decided to observe Dharna again at the office of the District Magistrate. At that time there was no safety for his life. He was between the devil and the deep sea; both factory owners and the District Administration were hell bent to harass him.
Upon the call of Sevarthi all the factory workers joined him and all the factories were closed for the day on 10th March. The market was also partly closed and thousands of child laborers, their guardians and adult laborers gathered around the office of the District Magistrate, in spite of the huge district police posted by the District Magistrate, the public down the barricading near the office. In the end, Sevarthi, in his address to the people advised then to keep restraint. At the end of the day a memorandum was sent to the Prime Minister on the entire episode of joining of vested interests to suppress a rightful demand for protection of child rights.
Witnessing the existing conditions and pathetic situation of child labour in Firozabad and Agra districts, Sevarthi came forward to establish the organization, which might work for the betterment of child labour in a professional yet committed manner to restore their dignity as the citizens of the country. This is how the organization came into existence.
Vision of Vikas Sansthan
We envision “a society free from exploitation, where the people, especially women and children are not discriminated on the basis of their sex, caste, creed and religion.
Mission of Vikas Sansthan
To strive for a society where the poor and marginalized, disadvantaged sections can progress towards socio-economic development by reducing poverty through eradication and rehabilitation of Child Labour, empowerment of women, and better access to health care and educational opportunities for the community.
Objectives of Vikas Sansthan
- To work towards the uplift of socio-economic Status of women.
- To ensure and protect the right of children and women.
- To liberate the children from servitude and bondage.
- To rehabilitate the liberated children from servitude and bondage
- To work towards promotion of gender equity in society,
- To conduct seminars and workshops to educate the community for environment protection,
- To ensure elementary education for women and providing them with skills training for self-employment
5. Operational Area of Vikas Sansthan
The organization works with the people living in the carpet industry of Agra district and slum areas of glass and bangle industry of Firozabad. It covers around 80 villages in Uttar Pradesh.
6. Activities of Vikas Sansthan
Vikas Sansthan works voluntarily with the down-trodden, oppressed weaker sections of people, child labourers, bonded child labour for their release, mainstreaming their education, spreading awareness about their health hazards and empower the mothers of these children in socio-economic, educational and political sense.
To make community organizations of the down-trodden, oppressed and weaker sections of people; to strengthen these organizations and to spread amongst them collective awareness about education and health; to mobilize the community on their human rights as also right of children and to make all-out efforts both at individual and community level to root out gender discrimination of any kind between boys and girls as also between men and women.
Vikas Sansthan also works for eliminating social evils among the down-trodden, oppressed, weaker sections of society, women and minorities through organizing effective campaigns.
Protection of child rights extend in the most humane way to the protection and promotion of physically disabled and mentally retarded children, who are doubly disadvantaged. Our activities in this sphere include rehabilitating them by providing expert rehabilitation, counselling and economically empowering their parents.
7. Policies and Rules of Vikas Sansthan
Vikas Sansthan has prepared this Manual which is based on the following policies and rules. It has been given effect to after it was passed by the General Body and approved by the Executive Committee. The manual contains such policies and rules as are conducive to the strengthening of the poor, disabled. Dalits and women by means of democratic and transparent implementation.
Vikas Sansthan has brought out this manual which adequately covers various aspects of service such as appointment, promotion and discharge of the staff, officers, etc., purchase and sale of consumable items and fixed assets, preparing new projects, implementing them, preparing and accepting projects, making project progress reports or financial reports, arranging internal and statutory audit of the assets and accounts and monitoring of the various activities.
A. Staff Recruitment and Discharge Rules
Vikas Sansthan will have an Executive Director for whose appointment an Interview Board will be formed. The Board will be composed of the Secretary/ President of Vikas Sansthan, one person from a voluntary organization or community based organization and onewoman voluntary worker well-versed in voluntary social services. Thus the authority of selecting the highest officer of the Sansthan vests in the above-mentioned four persons. In case a contender for the post of the Executive Director is one of the four members of the Board, then in lieu of this member any other member of the Executive Committee will be inducted to the Board. The Board comprises of four members viz, the Secretary and the President and two members decided by the Sansthan Officials, but in case of any controversy the approval of the name(s) may be taken from the Executive Committee of Vikas Sansthan. Officers other than the Executive Director will be appointed by the Board comprising of the Secretary of the Sansthan, the Executive Director and a woman representing the voluntary sector. These three members of the Board will appoint all the employees except the Executive Director. The appointments will be in accordance with the term or period of the project. Services of such appointees will automatically cease with the cessation of the project. There is no room for any appeal against this rule.
The minimum emoluments of the Executive director will depend on the resources available with the Sansthan, but the maximum will not be more than Rs. 45000 per month.
B. Discharge from Service
The Secretary of the Sansthan is vested with the power to punish, suspend and terminate the services of the Executive Director. If the Executive Director is not satisfied with the decision, an appeal may be made to the Executive Committee, whose decision will be final and binding.
The power to punish, suspend and terminate the services of employees lies with the Executive Director. If an employee is not satisfied with the order of the Executive Director then an appeal may be made to the Secretary / President in which case the Secretary / President may advise the Executive Director to give a second thought or relook to the earlier order. In the event of a controversy, the Secretary, President and the Executive Director – all three together – may take a transparent, sincere and democratic decision.
C. Determination of the Salary of Other Employees
As a voluntary organization Vikas Sansthan is committed to ameliorate the living conditions for the disadvantaged and weaker sections of the society, it continues to perform project based activities. It is for this reason that the salary structure of all employees starting from the Executive Director to other salaried employees has to be in terms of the project which will be certified by the Secretary of the Sansthan.
D. Rules for Purchasing and selling consumable and Fixed Assets
A three-member committee will look after whatever is to be purchased for Vikas Sansthan, comprising of the Secretary, Executive Director and the Accountant. This three- member committee will purchase any kind of temporary / permanent material or good. But the sanction of the goods / materials will emanate from the sanction of the same in the project. Since no project is implemented without the prior sanction from the Management Committee the above-mentioned committee will be an authorized committee to purchase all kinds of temporary / permanent goods or services. But nothing will be purchased without obtaining more than one quotations. In other words the Sansthan will purchase from the source which supplies the cheapest and the best in quality while selling the Sansthan will sell at the highest possible price. Therefore neither purchase nor sale of any goods/ materials or services will be done without obtaining more than one quotations.
E. Rules for the Conduct of Internal/ External Audit of the Resources, Properties / Assets of the Sansthan
The Secretary, President and the Accountant will conduct internal audit of the resources, properties and assets of Vikas Sansthan. But it is a must to get the external audit of accounts as at the close of transactions on the last working day of the month of March every year, by a Chartered Accountant and to place the audited accounts before the Executive Committee for its approval.
F. Rules regarding Preparing & Implementing New Projects
In line with the vision and mission, Vikas Sansthan will get new projects prepared with a view to achieving its aims and objectives, get them implemented upon sanction. This function will be the responsibility of the Secretary and the Executive Director. These two officers will get new projects prepared after getting the approval for the same from the Executive Committee and get the sanctioned projects implemented.
G. Rules for the Routine & Project Related Operations
The Executive Director has the right as well as the responsibility to look after the routine, day to day functioning as also work related to the projects. Through leadership he/she will look after entire working of the Sansthan with the support of the subordinate staff under his/her jurisdiction.
H. Rules on Approving/ Disapproving the Financial and Progress Report
The right to approve or disapprove the financial and progress report lies with the Executive Committee. Once in a year the progress report and the financial report will be placed before the Executive Committee who may accept or reject it. The audit report will be placed before the Executive Committee by the Secretary of the Sansthan
I. Rules Regarding Maintenance of the Properties / Vehicles of the Sansthan
Look after and maintenance of the properties and vehicles are the responsibilities of the Secretary and the Executive Director of the Sansthan who will make sub-rules in regard to saving them from destruction and harm.
J. Rules Regarding Management and Maintenance of Books of Accounts
Income and Expenditure Accounts of all the projects of the Sansthan will be maintained by the Accountant in separate books. The responsibility as to treasury will lie with the Secretary, the Executive Director and the Accountant -all three jointly while sll three will be responsible for it, but the Secretary will act as the chief officer in regard to the treasury function.
Disciplined workers have a distinct identity in an organization. They represent the social or national heritage. It is discipline which motivates employees to work in peace and with devotion. When a person breaks discipline, he/she is liable to receive verbal or written warning, monetary penalty may be imposed, promotion may be denied or deferred or may be removed from the post/designation. If an employee fails to work in terms of the targets set by the organization or does not cooperate in the team spirit and does not respect his/her seniors and shows dereliction in duty and procrastinates work with no reason and indulges in partisan groupism or unhealthy unionism then administrative level action may be taken against him/her.
He/she may be removed from his post/designation. The committee will take appropriate decision depending on its considerate judgement. All the employees are duty bound to take utmost care of all temporary and permanent goods such as books, vehicles and should not remove them from one place to another without the permission of the Executive Director.
All employees are to work with devotion, sincerity and honesty. All employees have to behave with their juniors, seniors and colleagues with politeness and pleasing manner, refraining from conflict and violence. Intoxication like drinking or taking a drug during the duty hours within and outside the work place is forbidden.
L. Transfer Policy
Human resources are indispensable in organizations. Vikas Sansthan believes in making utmost use of human resources both for their as well as the organizational growth. It is therefore free to transfer any employee from a village or block to another village or block or from a Tehsil or district to another Tehsil or district. All employees have to appreciate the underlying spirit of transfer without a question and abide by it without obstructing. Non- compliance of transfer order may lead to removal from service. But decision would rest on the considerate judgement and conscience of the Executive Director.
M. Resignation Policy
Employees are free to work as long as they wish to but before leaving the service one month prior notice to the effect that resignation is intended, is required. The information regarding the resignation is to be given to the senior officer concerned so that another employee may be found to replace the outgoing employee. If an employee fails to do so then he/she would not get salary for one month or part thereof for the work done in past. On the contrary is an employee tenders resignation voluntarily in accordance with the above rules then he will be bid goodbye and issued Experience Letter with due regard to his work and association.
N. Promotion, Salary and Increment
Promotion will be offered according to the organization’s necessity, Increase in salary or promotion is not to be taken as the right of an employee. Promotion depends on factors like the achievements made, efficiency, and dedication to duty of the employee. After one year or more of satisfactory performance, an employee is entitled to increase in salary. The employee who does excellent work or willingly shoulders additional responsibilities to the satisfaction of the management then he/she may qualify for increase in salary during the year even. But this increase in salary depends on transfer to another project or addition to existing responsibilities. Salary will be disbursed between the 10th to 15th day after the month for which the salary is due. The Executive Director is vested with the power to take a decision on such matters.
O. Secrecy of Records
It is incumbent for all employees to be loyal and maintain secrecy of records. If an employee parts with the organization’s records or reports or passes on secret information about the organization then he may be subjected to disciplinary action and removed from his/her post.
P. Travel Allowance (TA) Policy
In discharge of duties, employees have to visit the field of work and elsewhere, for which money is required to be spent. Employees have to observe rules regarding travel and living expenses if and when required to travel for organizational work. When an employee makes use of a two-wheeler or four- wheeler, prior information, mentioning the precise purpose of the travel, is to be given by him/ her to the Programme Manager or the Executive Director. Upon sanction of the travel only the vehicle is to be made use of.
In regard to the vehicle of the organization, the employee concerned is responsible for routine cleaning, checking air, fuel etc. as also getting the vehicle serviced from time to time, Information regarding the vehicle becoming out of order has to be given to the senior officer so that the vehicle is brought into order and use at the earliest. For organization’ work the organization’s vehicle has to be used, which requires making entry in the vehicle’s logbook.
Date of travel with time of start of journey and return or arrival as well as the consumption of the fuel have to be well recorded in the log book. The employee who drives the vehicle must have a proper driving license and in case of a two wheeler helmet on him/her. If the employee fails to observe any of the above conditions permission to use the vehicle will not be given. Necessary sanction for favour of payment of travel bills has to be done by a senior.
For a two wheeler payment is to be made on the basis of 50 kilometers per liter and for a four wheeler 10 kilometers per liter fuel. If an employee does not make use of the organization’s vehicle, payment for the use of public or private vehicle will be made according to the rules, but only after getting it sanctioned by the senior on the prescribed application form, with a mention of the purpose of travel, payment by the accountant will be made. Such payment will be at the rate of Rupee 1 per kilometer.
When on duty, an employee other than the Executive Director, is required to travel to other centres he/she will be entitled to travel by sleeper class or second class bus/train. The Director and Assistant Director may be paid for travel AC III tier or AC Bus fare.
When an employee is required to stay outside, on duty, he/she is entitled to a payment of Rs.25 for breakfast, Rs.35 for lunch and Rs. 35 for dinner per day and for accommodation Rs.125 per day. For the Executive Director these will be Rs.75 for breakfast, Rs, 105 for lunch and dinner each and for accommodation Rs.1500 per night may be paid.
Q. Leave Policy
The Sansthan provides leave to all employees as under:
- Casual Leave – 10 days in a year
- Medical Leave- 6 days in a year,
- Festival & National Holidays- 13 days in a year,
- Restrictive Holidays- 3 days in year.
All women employees are entitled to 2 months of maternity leave per child up to the delivery of two children. All men employees can get 7 days paternity leave. Those who have utilized all leaves mentioned above can, if necessary, avail leave without pay up to 15 days maximum.
Apart from this employees may avail part-time leave on maximum 8 occasions. All kinds of leave may be requested from and will be sanctioned by the officer senior to the applicant employee, for example the Field Supervisor grants to Animators, Project Coordinator to Field Supervisor, Programme Manager to Project Coordinator and the Executive Director to Programme Manager.
Leave in regard to all office staff will be granted by the Programme Manager. Leave application by an employee should be made at least 8 days before the date of leave, keeping in mind the dates of any proposed programme leave will be granted or rejected in view of the organizational work. However this will not apply to casual and medical leave. But even in these circumstances the employee has to inform over telephone or keep the organization informed through others. In case the organization calls an employee even on a holiday for the work then the employee concerned has to work even on a holiday.
R. Hours of Work
Determination of working hours in the organization in conformity with the law and the government practices. Presently it is six days in a week spread out to 48 hours, i.e. about 8 hours per day.
S. Anti Sexual Harassment Policy
The Sansthan has formed a Committee against Sexual Harassment (CASH), comprising of two senior employees and one woman from outside the organization, representing social sector. Any woman employee who has suffered misbehavior affecting her dignity may complain to the committee. The Committee will investigate the matter and recommend appropriate action with its findings, based on which the management will take suitable corrective action.
If and when the organization needs to formulate rules further in future, the Executive Committee will do so. All such rules will be democratic and transparent.
Annexure-1: List of Festivals and National Holidays
|Sl.||Leave and Holidays||Month||Total No. of Days|
|1.||Republic day||26 January||01|
|3.||Independence Day||15 August||01|
|Raksha Bandhan||As applicable||01|
|6.||Gandhi Jayanti||2 October||01|