The project “Combating child trafficking through sustainable livelihood development in Udaipur, Rajasthan“ is being implemented by ChildFund India and is supported by ChildFund Deutschland. SOCEO, as consulting partner, is involved in supporting a score of activities such as undertaking the “situation analysis”, training (ToT) and guiding the project team in agro-pastoral and market opportunity based entrepreneurship trainings and monitoring the progress and quality of the livelihod related activities of the initiative.
Udaipur, formerly the capital of the Mewar Kingdom, is a city and district in the state of Rajasthan, located in the west of India. Founded by Maharana Udai Singh II in 1559, it’s set around a series of artificial lakes and is known for its royal residences. Nevertheless, Udaipur was named one of the country’s 250 most backward districts by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj in 2006. It is one of the twelve districts in Rajasthan currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grand Fund Programme (BRGF).
Amongst the most pressing problems in Udaipur district is poverty-driven migration of the rural population especially from the Jhadol and Kotra blocks to the neighbouring state of Gujarat. A significant proportion of the migration takes the form of child trafficking, with children being trafficked largely into BT cotton (genetically modified cotton variety) farms, tomato fields, brick kilns and other activities in the neighbouring state of Gujarat. The trafficked female children, who make up almost half of the trafficked children, face much higher percentage of abuse while being transported and at the work place.
SLDP in Udaipur
Sustainable Livelihood Development Program (SLDP) is being implemented in Udaipur since 2016. In the context of this project SLDP has been adapted to the specific need of the target group. Therefore, Agro Pastoral trainings have been included and the focus of the trainings is duly spread in the areas of agriculture and entrepreneurship. The farmers learn to perceive their agricultural activity as a business, chooses strategy that offers viability to sustain their household needs.
One of the beneficiary farmers of the project in Udaipur is Prema Ram, who reported that he is very satisfied with his crop this year. Therefore, he is planning to sell parts of it in Udaipur city to earn some additional money. He also said that he wouldn’t migrate anywhere this summer in search for a job, since he earns enough money to sustain his family here.
Surajit Mondal offers supervision of SOCEO’s activities for this project. Surajit has pursued his Master degree in Geography from Vidyasagar University in West Bengal, India and has spent time earlier in teaching.