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Über dieses Buch

This book presents the outcomes of a field action project at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). Project Chunauti (English translation: Project Challenge) focused on a group of intellectually disabled, orphan children who were survivors of abuse, exploitation and neglect, and describes their journey toward empowerment. It offers a vision and a reproducible, adaptable model for rehabilitation that can foster the social re-integration of intellectually disabled orphans at institutions. As the implementation of laws is especially important for vulnerable groups, the book also outlines a socio-legal approach that not only impacts the children directly, but can also bring about policy level reforms.

Project Chunauti was born out of the need to explore options for these children and to set standards for their care, protection, rehabilitation and social re-integration. The core objectives of the project were to provide support and services, including counseling, education, life skills and vocational skills training, as well as medical and psychiatric support to help them overcome the trauma of abuse and exploitation. Its further goal was to train the staff of state-run homes and state authorities, helping them prepare and implement care plans and rehabilitation, combat child sexual abuse and malnutrition, employ positive disciplining, and better understand disabilities. The book also draws on the Project team’s experiences of rolling out the replication process in Maharashtra.

This book highlights the role of the courts, media and other stakeholders in the journey towards empowerment and justice. It is a combination of social-work methods, application and implementation of law and legal advocacy, as well as best practices for protecting children’s rights and developing rehabilitation and re-integration projects for intellectually disabled, orphaned children in India. The interventions detailed here provide a reproducible, adaptable model of intervention for children in institutional care across the country.



Chapter 1. The Beginnings—The Abuse and Exploitation

On August 24, 2010, Mumbai Mirror (It is a local newspaper in the city of Mumbai, by the Times Group, the publishers of The Times of India newspaper). reported the death of 5 intellectually disabled orphan children. The deaths were a result of the malnutrition, neglect, and abuse they endured at a government recognized and aided home near Mumbai. This chapter describes the Mumbai High Court suo motu intervention and the major findings of a study conducted on the Intellectually disabled Homes throughout Maharashtra. The findings revealed a very sorry state of affairs in the MDC Homes in Maharashtra.
Asha Bajpai

Chapter 2. Working with Partners, Stakeholders and Systems

To provide justice to the children, a great amount of advocacy and interventions had to be taken up at various administrative, legal, and governance systems. A child rights-based, multi-stakeholder approach was used for this. The major working concepts used during the journey towards justice are also explained in the chapter. The domestic application of international instruments relating to disability in India is also considered. The Courts passed several directions for protecting the children and in their best interest. The Media played a very proactive and positive role. The role of Courts and Media has been described in detail.
Asha Bajpai

Chapter 3. Working with Children: The Processes and the Model and Its Replication

Following the rescue of children from gross abuse, neglect, and exploitation, Project Chunauti initiated a rehabilitation program in 2012. Interventions were designed and implemented based on the needs of the children. The project aimed at making children as independent as possible. A replicable, adaptable socio-legal model of intervention emerged. The Hon’ Mumbai High Court directed the State Government to replicate the project in all the 19 Homes for the intellectually disabled. It is currently being replicated across Maharashtra.
Asha Bajpai

Chapter 4. Towards Empowerment: Changing World and Changing Mind-Set

Provisions of the Constitution of India, national and international laws and case laws relating to legal capacity, rehabilitation, reintegration, de institutionalization and independent living have been discussed. The jurisprudence emerging from Supreme and High Courts in India and European Courts on Human Rights leading to empowerment of children and persons with disability are analyzed in this chapter.
Asha Bajpai


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