Mission Convergence: Ensuring services and entitlements to urban poor communities

CFAR has been working with issues concerning the urban poor since 2005 and it was the sharing of experiences and evidences from the ground with the Delhi government that led to the introduction of the Mission Convergence program in which the government redefined the criteria for identification of the urban poor and brought nine line departments and 45 social assistance schemes under a “single window” scheme, at the district level. The aim being to provide easier access to social welfare schemes and entitlements to people below poverty line, single women headed households and children in urban poor settlements of Delhi.

Two mechanisms were also created to ensure access to entitlements and empower urban communities District Resource Centres (DRCs) based in the Deputy Commissioners Office to serve as the single window at the district level and the Gender Resource Centres (GRCs)  which serve as the first point of contact  for community. Besides assisting in availing entitlements, the GRCs also work for the social, economic and legal empowerment of women through various local interventions.

The survey

Prior to the commencement of the program a two phase survey, one of the largest of its kind, was conducted in Delhi in August 2008, to develop a database of the urban poor who would be entitled to the social schemes generated by the Government of Delhi. 

It began with a base line sample survey that was conducted in district South under the supervision of the DRC. 4,200 forms were filled by 21 GRCs and field visits were conducted by the DRC for the monitoring of the WASH survey.

45 GRCs and NGOs were involved in conducting the actual survey. CFAR, as the District Coordination Unit (DCU) for the South and South-West districts, supervised and monitored the survey process, assisted in data management and as data entry centre for the two districts. It also supervised 13 GRCs:  8 in South Delhi and 5 in South-west Delhi.

Under the first phase survey in South and South West Delhi, 2008-09,  1,44,620 households were covered with a population of 6,82,073 in 268 settlements.

The second phase of the survey of Samajik Suvidha Sangam was initiated in March 2009 where CFAR played a key role in administering the survey schedule in North East Delhi. The main objective of the survey was to cover the vulnerable families in the community and help them to get pension schemes and financial assistance schemes such as widow pension, old age pension, TB treatment, handicapped and other financial assistance schemes through the single window system. In June 2009, CFAR completed a survey of 10,001 households in the 2nd phase. In second phase of the survey, 51 slum settlements in South and South West Delhi were covered.

The GRC in North East Delhi covered 26 settlements, with 10,151 households with an approximate population size of 50,000.

The survey carried out in the South district served as baseline evidence and became a tracking tool.

  1. Of the 1, 55,320 households covered in the two phases of the survey, 15 GRCs in the district reached out to 99,099 households during July 2009 – March 2010.
  1. 6,116 application forms were filled for various schemes. Of them 4,543 application forms were received at the DRC and forwarded to the department. 1,914 application forms were sanctioned by the department and 218 beneficiaries received the actual benefits of the schemes.

In the words of Mr. Rakesh Mehta, the pioneer of Mission Convergence in Delhi, the Mission was initiated to serve the “entitlement holders” rather than enrolling “beneficiaries” for the various welfare schemes.

Facilitating the process

In December 2008, CFAR set up a District Resource Centre (DRC) to oversee the implementation of this ambitious project in South District in alignment with the District Commissioner’s office. CFAR’s role was to ensure that the government-community convergence was facilitated and outreach with the community was supported.

Consequent to this, in 2009 a Gender Resource Centre (GRC) was set up in North East Delhi to link poor households and the DRC with CFAR reporting to the Society for Service to Voluntary Agencies (SOSVA), the Mother NGO for the District.

Alongside, monthly meetings to strengthen the District Convergence Forum and 11 District Convergence Forum meetings were held by the District Commissioner conducted in 2009; thereby ensuring that the program received timely guidance, support, direction and command. These Forums functioned like a programme review mechanism and served as a platform to strengthen dialogue and exchange between the government, the community and civil society structures.

"The Gender Resource Centre-Suvidha Kendras set up by the Samajik Suvidha Sangam across Delhi, is a unique model that combines social assistance and social protection measures with community development. Today a network of 100 centres have been set up to provide services to the community with focus on women," according to Ms. Rashmi Singh, Former Mission Director.

Gender Resource Centre

In the initial phase of 2009, the main activities of the GRC was that of identify vulnerable pockets in the catchment area, verification of vulnerable pockets and mapping and survey.

Presently, the GRC is working to empower women through social development, skill development training and financial inclusion activities and also assisting vulnerable families and entitlement holders through various service delivery and cash entitlement schemes of the State and Central Governments.

Till date 75,434 beneficiaries reached out to through various components and schemes of GRC-CFAR.

Key intervention areas of GRC programme activities –

  • Health Services through health clinics and health camps.
  • Functional literacy through Non Formal Education courses.
  • Legal awareness and legal aid through awareness camps.
  • Awareness about low cost nutrition demonstrations and awareness camps.
  • Creation of health champions/groups through Water Sanitation and Hygiene awareness programs.
  • Formation of groups to raise voices on all forms of violence against women through the Awaz Uthao Campaign program etc.
  • Skill development through vocational training courses.
  • Social Empowerment through Self Help Groups, micro credit and micro finance information dissemination and facilitation through the GRC Help Desk Centre

Health Clinic/OPD:

The key intervention areas are reproductive and Maternal Health and issues of RTI/UTI and STI among women’s and adolescent girls. 7319 beneficiaries were reached through this program

Outcomes

  • The DRC survey of South District covered 2,18,000 households. Of this, 1,00,000 were identified as vulnerable households and schemes were delivered to them on a priority basis.
  • 14,000 people got their ration card.
  • Under Annashree Yojna, 499 people were benefitted.
  • Under the Swarn Jayanti Rozgar Yojna, 3,000 young people were reached in the period 2012-2014.
  • As part of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna, 420 accounts were opened in August 2014.
  • On an average, one lak
  • 21 kinds of identity documents were approved in 2009.
  • h people approach the GRCs and DRC in a year.

 

Health Camp:

The objective of health camps is to provide general health checkups, with the focus on screening of RTI/UTI STI and related issues among women.  7132 people were reached out to through these health camps.

Skill Development and Vocational Training component:

The main focus of this component is to provide training and skills to learners to better their livelihood and income generation activities and lead to gainful and successful employment. The key target population is women and girls above 18 years old and priority is given to the families those who are in the category of vulnerable and most vulnerable as Mission Convergence survey.

So far a total of 1372 learners have completed courses in Fashion Designing, Stitching and Beauty Culture. Of them 905 learners have been linked to the Step Up advance course under SJSRY 

Non Formal Literacy (NFE):

Key intervention areas are to raise functional literacy among community particularly women and girls above 16 years of age, school going children and drop out children etc.   

So far 641 learners have pass the certification course, 155 learners have been mainstreamed in schools and NIOS through GRC Non Formal Courses.

Nutrition Camp:

Main focus of the nutrition camp is to sensitize the women and their family regarding their nutritional needs and inculcate eating habits through easy to cook, tasty and affordable recipes.  Address the problem of malnutrition and provide supplementary nutrition particularly among pregnant women, lactating mother, adolescent girls, elderly women and children.

 2737 persons were reached through these camps.

Legal Counseling:

Main objective of the legal awareness camp and individual counseling is to create awareness among women about their legal rights and provide them free legal aid on Domestic Violence, Crime against Women, Rights of Women, Child rights, Right to Education, Right to Information etc. And also to motivate the women to come out from their home and report such cases. DALSA (Delhi Legal Service Authority) is the key stakeholder of GRC under this programme.

GRC-CFAR reached out to 5127 beneficiaries through individual and group legal counseling and resolved 94 cases.

Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WATSAN) component:

Basic objective of WATSAN is to create awareness about personal and household hygiene among women and children in the community and the formation of groups of key health champions who will promote basic sanitation and hygiene practices in the community.  The key role of GRC is to implement WATSAN activities at prevention the level by networking with the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) such as- MCD, DJB, CBOs etc. to facilitate and address the issue. The final outcome being to bring behavioral changes in target groups which will be identify in the community such as – SHG groups, Community Children’s, School Children’s, Women’s Forum.

This is being done by identifying and building the capacity of identified key health champions, celebration of Important Days including Mass Cleanliness Drive etc.

The program has:

  • Reached out to 2076 people through awareness sessions.
  • Trained and capacitated 7 groups of 194 key health champions on WATSAN.
  • Reached out to 695 people through celebration of Important Days.
  • Reached out to 703 through Mass cleanliness Drive.

Awaz Uthao Campaign:

The core objective under Awaz Uthao Campaign, is for the GRCs collective Coordinator is to take up issues concerning all forms of violence against women with the support of networking partners and stakeholders such as Delhi Police, DTC, RWAs, local pradhans, Anganwadi workers and NGOs

Reached out to 1960 people through 52 community meetings to enhance women safety issues

Reached out to 1862 persons through public events held in March 2013, January 15, 2014 and December 31, 2015 with support of Delhi Police, Civil Defense and RWAs etc.

Reached out to 85 women/girls through Self Defense Training held from March 3 to March 22, 2014 and September 22 to October 20, 2014 

Reached out to 199 collective members /community people through 7 interface meetings held with Delhi Police in December 2014 

Financial Inclusion through SHG and Micro Finance:

The main focus is to form Self Help Groups and capacitate them in micro finance thrift activities and motivate / upgrade them for livelihood income generation activities.

There are 30 SHGs having 494 members and linkages with bank and doing inter-loaning. 

Help Desk Centre:

Main role of the Counselor at the Help Desk Centre is to provide relevant information regarding welfare schemes and assist the beneficiaries to fill up applications and forms. Target community is vulnerable /most vulnerable and general population

29,797 persons have received information dissemination and counseling through the Help Desk Centre. 

Other Activities/Services which were facilitated through GRC centre -

National Food Security: - Reached out to 667 beneficiaries through on line forms submission and physical verification for Ration card.

Dilli Anna Shree Yojna: - Reached out 1369 beneficiaries who are not covered under PDS system to provide cash subsidy of Rs. 600/-

Distribution of Sanitary Napkins: - Provided sanitary napkins to 3700 women/girls at subsidized rate.

UID Enrollment: - Reached out to 7583 beneficiaries through UID enrollment.

RSBY enrollment – Reached out to 2599 beneficiaries through National Health Insurance Scheme

SJSRY (Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rojgar Yojna) – Facilitated 905 application forms under SJSRY scheme. The identified learners linked up with Programme Implementing agency (PIA) for advance course training under SJSRY in housekeeping, basic computer etc. 96 others received loan through USEP loan component under SJSRY

Livelihood

During 2011-12, Mission Convergence focused on livelihood programs for community empowerment. Under the Department of Urban Development Scheme, Swarn Jayanti Shahri Rojgar Yojana, Mission Convergence tied up with CAP Foundation and Society for Self Employment (SSE) to provide courses to girls and boys in the 18‐35 age group from vulnerable and BPL families. These included courses on retail and marketing, PC technician, security services and fire safety, computer aided teacher training, health fitness trainer, crane operator, backhoe loader and cutting and tailoring.

Three Career melas were organised to counsel the candidates from the community regarding these courses and help them select. 498 candidates registered themselves in the different courses.

Under SJSRY, out of 134 individual loan applications received by the district South, 27 candidates were recommended for loan.