About Bal Mitra Gram™ (Child Friendly Village™)

Bal Mitra Gram™ (BMG™) or Child Friendly Village is an innovative and transformative grassroots solution for complex problems which adversely affect the protection and well-being of children. This model promotes their best interests through child-centric community development. It empowers children to take democratic action to secure their rights, and enables all stakeholders to work towards building resilient and protective communities that safeguard children from all forms of abuse and exploitation. The model emphasizes on free and quality education for all children.

The Bal Panchayats are supported by youth groups and women groups that discuss pertinent issues such as nutrition, health and well being of young children.

Developed over 18 years of grassroots interventions the BMG™ model is highly cost-effective and sustainable. Today, the model has successfully created 540 BMG™s across six states in India and in Nepal and Uganda through civil society partners Global March and BASE.

OUR IMPACT (2007-2021)

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CHILD FRIENDLY VILLAGES CREATED
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POPULATION REACHED
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CHILDREN PROTECTED FROM EXPLOITATION
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CHILDREN WITHDRAWN FROM LABOUR
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CHILD MARRIAGES STOPPED
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CHILDREN ENROLLED IN SCHOOL
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CHILDREN COUNCILS FORMED
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INDIVIDUAL HOUSEHOLDS LINKED WITH SOCIAL SECURITY PROGRAMMES
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ACTIVE STAKEHOLDER GROUPS OF WOMEN/YOUTH/INFLUENTIAL LEADERS
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COMMUNITY MEMBERS EMPOWERED THROUGH MEMBERSHIP IN STAKEHOLDER GROUPS
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CHILD LEADERS EMPOWERED


Bal Mitra Gram™ (BMG™)Model for change

Over the course of three years, a BMG™ is guided through a process of empowerment and it becomes self-reliant in resolving issues of protection, education, health and development for all children. The attitude change and behavioural shift that happens through the BMG™ builds protective communities for future generations.


OUR JOURNEY

2005

Aveda initiated research to understand the issue of child labour in mica used in cosmetics. This was followed by the first All India Mica conference.

2005

Initiated 9 non-formal education centres in the 9 villages of Bihar and Jharkhand. Out of 9 schools, 7 schools were handed over to the government for administration.

2007

Bal Mitra Gram™ solution is activated for the elimination of child labour in 9 villages of the mica mining districts of Jharkhand and Bihar.

2010

Bal Mitra Gram™ program expanded to 30 villages.




2013

Delhi University’s School of Social Work recommends that the Bal Mitra Gram™ concept should be launched nationally and internationally as it is an ideal “participatory model for children.

2014

School enrolment in the mica mining area increases by over 80%.

2018

KSCF signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Jharkhand to eliminate child labour in mica mines of the state within the next five years.

2019

Child leader Manan Ansari participates in a panel discussion on ‘Building a Child Labour-Free Mica Industry across India: The Role of Governments, Businesses, NGOs and Communities’ at the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, Geneva.

2019

Child leader Champa Kumari received the Diana Award.

2020

Expanded Bal Mitra Gram™s to over 220 villages.

2020

Child leader Neeraj Murmu received the Diana Award

2021

Scaled Bal Mitra Gram™s into 250 new villages with the help of Giridih and Koderma district administration by providing technical and knowledge assistance.



Water Programme

KSCF has been working in the remotest mica mining belts of Bihar and Jharkhand in India for over a decade to implement a community-owned child protection program, the Bal Mitra Gram™ (BMG™) initiative.

While working with these communities, scarcity of drinking water emerged as a crucial impediment to ensuring education for children, especially girls. Due to the acute shortage of water, children are forced to drop out of school as they had to travel long distances to fetch water. In the case of Jharkhand, mica mining in rural villages has contaminated the water sources with fluoride, a harmful mineral that affects the health of villagers. In the monsoon season, water in wells gets contaminated leading to health problems for the entire community.



KSCF launched an initiative to develop existing water sources and create new infrastructure to ensure access to clean drinking water while working to create BMGs™.

Awareness creation and strengthening of communities to advocate with the local administration was an important aspect of this project. This has helped to improve access to potable drinking water in the region and has helped to solve the drinking water problems in the villages to a great extent.


COVID-19 Relief Work


The national lockdown in India, from 24th March 2020 to 31st May 2020 owing to the global pandemic was an unprecedented crisis. Lack of livelihoods and basic essentials made families especially young children vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Amidst this crisis, Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation (KSCF) started relief work in the mica mining region of Bihar and Jharkhand.


Mr Brahamdev Sharma, Mukhiya, Gadar panchayat, block Gawan, District Giridih talking about KSCF's COVID-19 relief efforts


Key Highlights




Child Protection: Our priority

  • • We actively liaised with government officials and village leaders to ensure children were safe.
  • 16,000 vulnerable families including 42,000 children in 180 villages were monitored by our field teams.
  • • We leveraged technology for knowledge sharing and creating awareness on COVID-19 and government schemes for vulnerable communities in the region.
  • Our stakeholders' constant vigil ensured that children did not fall prey to trafficking, child marriage, child labour and other forms of exploitation during the national lockdown


Food Security

  • • Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation in association with the District Administration in Koderma, Giridih and Nawada supported 2016 families were supported with immediate ration relief.
  • Mid-day meals for children: Our on-ground team ensured that children received regular access to the government-sponsored mid-day meal scheme which provided 1112 children with rice and Rs. 100 per month
  • • We supported 1113 labourers from Jharkhand in other states with food and financial support.




Our Impact

  • Champa Kumari, the President of Jharkhand State Bal Panchayat worked closely with government officials and KSCF to support 31 families in Jamdar Panchayat by providing food packets. She also held meetings, following all social distancing norms, to discuss preventative steps for COVID-19.
  • Bal Mitra Gram activist Surender Pandit used his resources to stitch 500 masks and distribute them in Tisri and Gawan blocks of Giridih
  • Our activists Surendra Tripathi, Sandeep Nayan, women and other stakeholders collectively launched the Anna Daan Abhiyan (English: Let's Donate Food) to support 7 poorest families in 20 villages of Koderma Jharakhand with ration and other supplements.

  • COVID Programme Highlights: 2021

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    PEOPLE VACCINATED
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    VACCINATION CAMPS ORGANISED
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    MEDICAL AND SANITISATION KITS HANDED OVER TO TO DISTRICT LEGAL SERVICE AUTHORITY AND DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION IN KODERMA AND GIRIDIH FOR DISTRIBUTION IN VILLAGES AND AANGANWADI CENTERS
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    QUARANTINE CENTRES OPENED IN GAWAN BLOCK, GIRIDIH

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