Two-thirds of the way to the 2015 finishing line for achieving the eight globally agreed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), India is at a crucial turning point with a few successes and some failures. Over 1.5 million children continue to die every year before their first birthday. Across India 74 children died before they reached the age of five for every 1,000 live births in 2005-06 as compared to 125 in 1990. At this rate India is likely to miss the target of reducing these figures to 42 for 1,000 live births by 2015. Over 46 percent of Indian children are undernourished. Health too is a major challenge -- the very survival of India’s women and children is threatened. In 2006, on average 254 women died giving birth to a child for every 100,000 live births down from 327 in 1990. India has been marginally successful in getting children into primary school, in providing access to water and in conserving environmental resources..
The Musahar community, in Northern India, is socially and economically one of the most marginalized communities in India and they are poorest amongst poor. The Musahar community falls under the category of the Scheduled Caste. People from the Musahar community are deprived of owning property, means of livelihood, and education. For their survival they work as laborers in the agricultural fields or do some other hard physical labor. The remuneration for such work is given in kind, mostly discarded food or grains. Due to this they do not have any savings that they could use during times of need.
This forces them into starvation at times when they have no regular work. In such a situation Musahar community largely depends upon the Public Distribution System (PDS) to get food grains at subsidized rate for their survival. But due to corruption in the bureaucracy and due to an almost defunct judiciary, often weaker sections of society are denied of the food grains in the villages because the PDS licensee can easily escape from their criminal offences and malpractices.
Since 2009, MSS took up the gauntlet to enhance the social and economic condition of Musahar community in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. The organization has been consistently working towards their wholistic community development with emphasis on building community leadership, outreach health services, livelihood and food security, land rights, child education and entitlements in Government schemes. Result Area 1: Targeted Musahar households / communities benefit from health, education and economic asset entitlements
Result Area 2: Musahar communities benefit from government provisions and/or bodies addressing Musahar issues / needs
Result Area 3: - Musahar communities have equal access to government development schemes/ programs
The program is currently being implemented in: 55 villages of district Maharajganj & 24 villages of district Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh State.