Karnataka State Social Welfare Advisory Board (KSSWAB)
- Parent Category: ECCD
The KSSWAB was set up in 1954 as the Karnataka state wing of the Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB). Its jurisdiction is over the whole state. The KSSWAB follows the policies laid down by the CSWB. Like the other 30 state advisory boards, the KSSWAB was set up to facilitate a system by which government funds could be channeled through the voluntary sector to serve the needs of women, children and disadvantaged groups in society.
The KSSWAB draws its funds from the CSWB, which is supported by the Department of Women and Child Development under the Ministry of Human Resources, Government of India. The programme funding and administrative expenditure is borne in partnership with the state governments.
KSSWAB provides funds to different voluntary organizations to run crèches for children upto 5 years. KSSWAB supports 489 creches run by 255 voluntary organizations all over Karnataka. Of these, 36 creches are in rural and urban Bangalore. In the area of ECCD, KSSWAB’s focus is to provide childcare to children of disadvantaged groups. It tries to reach groups that are not covered under any programme such as the ICDS. In the beginning crèches were to help take care of children of quarry workers. Now they include children of ailing mothers, agricultural workers and other working mothers belonging to low-income groups.
The crèches work from 8.30 am to 4.00 pm. Children, 0-3 years, are given preference during admission since children between 3-6 years go to the balwadi. However, if there is no balwadi, children are admitted to the crèche. The maximum strength admitted is 25, beyond which the voluntary organisation has to start another unit. KSSWAB grants a sum of Rs. 18480 per year for every crèche. Apart from the salaries of two crèche workers, the amount is utilized to provide supplementary nutrition, immunization and emergency health services.
The location of a crèche depends on the voluntary organization that runs it. Since the crèche has to cater to the needy, most of them are located in slums, semi-urban and rural areas. Of the 255 institutions running the crèches, 145 NGOs are based in rural areas while 110 are urban-based. KSSWAB’s role is in scrutinising the applications, granting funds to deserving NGOs and subsequently inspecting the crèche facilities to ensure all the services are rendered. It does not involve itself in the day to day running of the unit. Inspections are conducted once a year and sometimes twice. The inspectors ensure that the required number of 25 children is maintained, that there are at least two crèche workers and that supplementary nutrition is provided. The NGOs are responsible for providing the supplementary nutrition and coordinating with the local health centres to provide immunization and health facilities.
The KSSWAB supports NGOs to conduct a one-month training of crèche workers.
KSSWAB brings out Samaj Kalyan, a Kannada monthly periodical providing information on welfare initiatives, and stories of social interest.
KSSWAB feels that the movement for children will be strengthened if a district or taluk level federation of NGOs could be formed. The federation could provide education and training for new and small NGOs in areas such as how to maintain records, auditing, correspondence etc and would give a voice to small NGOs.