Birth certificate is one of the most important registration documents for the citizens. It is the authentic document establishing citizenship of individuals and hence is required for demanding service that the state should provide to its citizens. It also plays an important role in the development and welfare planning of the country. It also ensures the right of identity, which is the first right of a child. It can also play vital role in the eradication of child labour and early child marriages in the state of Rajasthan. According to UNICEF, in 2000, 44% children were registered under birth registration where as 56% could not register. The National Birth Registration Rate is 55%, some states like Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have a birth registration rate of more than 90%. But the overall national birth registration rate is pulled down by the Hindi speaking states including Rajasthan where the birth registration rate is lesser than 50%. Due to unawareness, negligence and ill functioning of registering unit, the status of civil registration is very poor in Rajasthan. This is actually an alarming situation, requiring multi-dimensional intervention for improvement. The main objective of the project is to accelerate the rate of civil birth registration in the state of Rajasthan through awareness building, strengthening the information system, sensitization of registering unit and organizing and mobilizing people and civil societies.
The hallmark of this project is mobilization of the local community, including children, Panchayati Raj institution, media and civil societies to accelerate the rate of civil registration. Further; it empowers the registering unit to make the best utilization of present government structure for civil registration.
Launch of Universal birth registration campaign
Launch of Universal birth registration campaign was organised on 25 and 27th February, in the district of Dausa, and Alwar of Rajasthan jointly by Bal Ashram Trust (Bachpan Bachao Andolan) IIHMR, Jaipur and Plan International, India. The launch was also seen as part of the activities organized to accelerate the rate of civil registration in the state of Rajasthan through awareness building, strengthening the information system, sensitizing of registration units and organizing and mobilizing the civil societies.
The Launch kick started the UBR campaign in both the districts through wide spread advocacy and awareness building by involving the stakeholders like government officials, panchayat members, children, parents etc in the launch. The Launch helped in mobilizing the service providers on the importance of birth registration.
The objective of organizing this launch campaign was to:
- To sensitize the urban service providers on birth registration issues.
- To develop model Panchayats (one in each block) with 100% registration.
- To create awareness about birth registration and dissemination of information regarding civil registration.
- Advocacy with the government officials for giving due importance/priority to birth registration work.
- Increase in awareness at Panchayat and all levels about the role of Birth registration units, civil society’s organization and general masses on civil registration.
- Mobilize media, medical personnel and government employees to accelerate civil registration.
- Empower the local Panchayat’s and community based organization to tackle poverty related issues by making best use of available resources (including the wide range of government schemes)
The primary objective of this programme is to change the perception of parents about birth registration which would then help increase the registration rate. Then advocacy campaigns and awareness drives would be held by the BBA team with the involvement of the panchayat, self-help groups and mahila mandals. These drives would focus on informing parents on how birth registration ensures that children could be easily enrolled in schools, or how it would help him/her in the future if he/she wants to buy land for agriculture, how it deters traffickers from trafficking children and thus ensure safety of the children, etc.