In Outreach Projects
APSA’s community development programs are based on the principles of people’s right to Information, Empowerment (economic & political) and Participation. Towards achieving this, APSA works with community based organizations (CBOs) such as women’s SHGs and Federations, youth groups and children’s collectives on obtaining basic rights and services such as child health, land and housing, drinking water and sanitation, and identity and social security cards. APSA’s development programs in Bangalore and Hyderabad have touched the lives of an estimated 200,000 community members and more than 30,000 children.
Slum outreach work includes the following activities:
- Anganwadi program: APSA believes that all children, irrespective of caste or class have the right to enjoy good health. Through the government anganwadis, APSA raises awareness among community families on healthy lifestyles, nutrition, importance of immunization and schooling for children and visits homes to encourage families to enrol their children in the anganwadi. Periodic health camps are organized specially for women and any major health concerns or illnesses referred to government hospitals for free or subsidized treatment.
- Lobby on Community Issues: APSA’s outreach program within its working areas collectivizes and empowers local community into lobbying local duty-bearers on issues of safe drinking water and water privatization, sanitation, and land and housing rights. Through public protests and mass awareness campaigns, APSA has protested the government’s move to privatize water, demolish slums and evict slum communities to areas with little or no facilities for living and employment. Through lobby with the Karnataka Slum Development Board, around 3,000 families have obtained housing facilities.
- Domestic Workers’ Collectives: APSA works closely with nearly 1,200 women from its working areas employed as domestic workers in homes and apartments. Very often, domestic workers are subjected to inhuman treatment, work long hours with inadequate pay and are not given weekly holidays or other incentives. Gender-based violence arising from alcoholism in the homes of community members is also a growing cause for concern. Through the Collectives, APSA educates domestic workers on their rights and entitlements, addressing issues of workplace harassment and gender-based violence, as well as the importance and power of collective action. During regular monthly meetings, domestic workers are also given inputs on child rights, gender rights, basic financial management, communication and conflict management, and legal protection structures for women. Members are supported to obtain ID cards as well as government benefits related to scholarship for children, social security (ration card, pension schemes) and health insurance cover.
- Construction Workers’ Collectives: Unorganized workers working for wage labour at construction sites are usually hard hit economically, socially and physically as they sometimes do not have access to even the basic necessities of shelter, protection and education for their children. They work in a sector with little safeguards and no social security. Since 2008, APSA has been working with unorganized migrant construction workers in its working communities, enabling almost 1000 members to collectivize and register with the Construction Worker’s Welfare Board, entitling them to government welfare provisions and benefits. APSA-facilitated construction workers’ meetings are used as a platform for empowering members on Union procedures and benefits of registration, government schemes, information on basic banking procedures, and process of obtaining essential documentation (such as age proof or caste & income certificates). Children of migrant construction workers are also followed up with for enrolment in schools, provision of scholarships and nutrition through midday meals.