Developmental Association for Human Advancement

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Developmental Association for Human Advancement commonly knowns as DEHAT-Because every child matters is a Non-Profit-Organization in India that strives to restore the rights of children who are either forgotten or facing disability and vulnerability across the underprivileged demographics in India.The organization partners with grass-roots Non-Governmental Organizations & Government stake holders to uplift thousands of Indian children who're denied of their basic children's rights. Meanwhile, DEHAT believes that beneficiaries itself, can play massive role in their monitoring process and scaling up their impact more efficiently, they use to form, enable, empower and educate Community Based Organizations(CBOs) for the same. DEHAT's efforts are best defined and lies in 4 basic rights of children i.e. Survival, Development, Protection and Participation which were defined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), an international human rights treaty which has been ratified by 192 countries.[1]


DEHAT was founded in 1989 by a group of young activists from the district of Bahraich in Uttar Pradesh. The Planning Commission of India has identified Bahraich as one of the 100 most backwards districts in India. For ten years since its foundation, DEHAT served as a school for “Tharu” tribal villagers and forest children, until being registered under the Society Registration Act 1860 on August 21, 2000.

And ever since, DEHAT has worked with partners worldwide to empower and advocate for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged among us. It believe that sustainable development can only take place when all children are assured of their survival, protection, and have full scope of participation in the development process. A child is first and foremost affected by his or her direct surroundings. Family, neighborhood, school, and friends help shape a child’s life. With this in mind, DEHAT brings together education, maternal and child health, female literacy and women empowerment, human trafficking protection, sustainable livelihood options, and community organization into a unified movement for children in our communities.


Developmental Association for Human Advancement (DEHAT) started with a belief that no society can hope for sustainable development unless its children are assured of their survival, protection and participation in the development process. It also believe that sustainable development can only take place when the rural masses are mobilized to play an active part in their own development. Thus, children remain the nucleus of the work of the organization. DEHAT’s work is spread across the rural regions which are counted in the most backward districts of India.

Strategies (Problems & Commitments)

Changing Community's Behavior
Communities in hard to reach areas are deprived of quality information, education, training and exposure. Due to limited awareness opportunities, they follow many traditional practices which can be harmful for their quality of life. DEHAT, is committed to helping a community changes & its behavior in a way that improves the people’s quality of life.

Demanding Govt. Action
Numerous government programs, schemes and acts are in place, but due to lack of awareness they are still out of reach to the eligible communities, especially marginalized peoples. DEHAT is committed to make sure that everyone in our its communities is aware of the government’s actions which might improve their quality of life or infringe upon their basic rights.

System Strengthening
DEHAT feels that some govt. programs are not able to completely benefit the target groups because the community support is weak. Further, govt. programs may have poor results due to lack of knowledge about them. DEHAT is committed to strengthen the govt. systems working for the welfare and development of its communities through generating community support, capacity building, and awareness campaigns about programs, schemes and acts.

Providing Services
DEHAT believes that any organization cannot be an alternate to the government, and as a welfare state system the government is responsible for all kind of services. Due to this belief, DEHAT always empower communities to raise demands of their needs. DEHAT observes in some cases that government support for suffering communities is taking too long. Parallel to the demands, DEHAT is committed to providing its services to the community until the realization of government support.

DEHAT's Work

DEHAT’s spirit is United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). It strive to make comprehensive children’s rights a reality, for the wellbeing of children today and for the future of Indian civil society.
Despite India’s government’s promise to ensure certain rights for all children, huge challenges remain before the promises are realized. DEHAT firmly believe that sustainable development can only succeed when all children are assured of their survival, protection, and full participation in the development process. Through its work, DEHAT hope to move towards a world where children enjoy the full range of their rights and opportunities. Below is a summary of how DEHAT approaches this issue and how it is helping children in India and slowly achieving a child-friendly and youth-enabling society.

DEHAT's Rights Based Approach

DEHAT has developed various rights-based key initiatives meant to ensure the realization of the following rights in a sustainable manner starting from a grassroots level.
Right To Survival
All children have the right to life, and to living conditions, health care, nutrition, and shelter to protect that life.

  • Community initiatives to strengthen existing government health care systems.
  • Community education on maternal and child health.
  • Epidemic control and vaccination promotion.
  • Promotion of sanitation practices (also includes bamboo ).
  • Nutritional counseling and education.

Right To Development
All children have the right to the education, freedom, family, and social environment that will allow them to reach their fullest possible development.

  • Establishment of alternative education centers for school dropouts and non-attendees, especially girls.
  • Enrollment campaigns to mainstream children in government schools.
  • Building entrepreneurial spirit in youths and students.
  • Promotion of agricultural practices to ensure food security for the family.
  • Manufacturing Centers of Tharu-Tribe's craft (also includes bamboo crafts) to uplift their livelihoods.

Right To Protection
Children must be protected against all forms of violence, child labor, trafficking, and exploitation. Victims have the right to rehabilitation that restores their health, self-respect, and dignity.

  • Tracking of missing children through Childline hotline across India and Nepal.
  • Rescue, Restoration, Repatriation & Rehabilitation of children found missing and in vulnerable condition.
  • Missing Children Alert booths in specified zones.
  • Community education to prevent human trafficking and domestic violence.
  • Formation of Community Based Organizations like “Van Gram Adhikar Manch”(Forest Village Rights Forum) and Lok Adhikar Manch (People's Rights Forum).

Right To Participation
Children have the right to be active participants in their development, and to engage in decisions that affect their life and their future.

  • Formation of Children’s Groups like “Bal Adhikar Manch” (Children's Rights Forum).
  • Ensuring participation of elected child leaders in community meetings.
  • Organization of folk art and theater performances by children for the benefit of their own communities.
  • Teaching process through trained Girl-Child Student Teachers.

DEHAT's Vision

A child-centered society in which all children enjoy the fullest scope of their rights.

DEHAT's Mission

To empower the deprived and underprivileged sections of society, in order to ensure the basic rights of children.

DEHAT's Theory of Change

If children are assured of their survival, protection and participation in the development process, only then can a society achieve sustainable development. That’s their theory and proposition for change in the society that children are raised in.

Areas of Efforts(Sequence represents DEHAT's delivery model as well)

Secure & Sustainable Livelihood/Food Security
Even as India continues to record impressive economic growth rates, poverty remains widespread and disparities deeply entrenched. Recently, the Government of India estimates suggest 37 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. DEHAT works in partnership with civil society organizations and community based organizations to enhance the effectiveness of national poverty reduction and livelihood programmes, and to build partnerships that enable disadvantaged communities to improve skills and diversify agriculture and non-agricultural activities. It believe that each family in the state should be out of poverty and enjoy:

  • Life with dignity
  • Equity within the family
  • Freedom from hunger
  • Decent Income: Rs. 1 Lakh p.a., 3 – 4 sources
  • Risks managed – life, health, assets and incomes
  • Shelter, education, health and fulfillment of the basic rights of their children.

Safe Health
In India, 9 hundred thousand newborn infants are dying each year. This means more than one child is dying every minute. Over 55% of children under the age of two do not receive comprehensive routine immunization in India. Approximately 2.7 million children under the age of five receive no treatment for diarrhea, one of the major causes of childhood mortality. Of 25 developing countries, India has the highest number of children who do not receive even the most basic of healthcare services. Under-nutrition, respiratory infections, lack of immunization and poor healthcare facilities are the underlying causes of these newborn deaths.

DEHAT believe that most of these deaths are preventable if you choose to support them in their efforts to ensure that every child born gets the best start in life. After all, life is the most beautiful gift we can give to a child. That’s why we DEHAT is committed to provide robust health and nutrition programs that save most lives of the children and ensure they grow up healthy. DEHAT works to improve health and nutrition of mothers, newborn babies and children, with special attention to poor and vulnerable communities such as adolescent girls. It reaches hard to reach and impoverished communities, as well as with families hard hit by natural disasters and conflict.

DEHAT's initiatives bring the following six areas under one platform:

  • Maternal and Reproductive Health
  • Newborn Health
  • Adolescent Health
  • Child Survival
  • Nutrition
  • Health and Nutrition services in Emergencies

Excellent Education to Make Sure Children's Participation in the Development Process
In India today, 4% of our children never start their elementary Education, 58% don’t complete their primary schools and over 90% don’t even complete their schooling. At DEHAT, the fact that only 10% of the targeted children are able to go to the college both saddens and oblige us to pull hard for them.
DEHAT, exists because of a deep belief that:

  • Every child can and must obtain an extraordinary education.
  • No child’s demographics can determine his or her destiny.

To DEHAT, the end of educational inequity is the freedom for all children to have the opportunity to reach their potential. And the day that all children reach their potential is the day that India reaches its potential. DEHAT believes that day will come in our lifetime and furthermore this will take a movement of leaders from the communities all around the globe with the idealism, belief, skills and commitment to actualize this vision. Henceforth, DEHAT is committed to find, develop and support India’s brightest and most promising leaders for this to happen.

Child Protection
Out of 440 million children in India, over 176 million are in urgent need of care & protection. The protection of children is the primary goal of DEHAT, so they divided efforts into three areas: preventing violations of children’s rights, implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and other relevant legal means of protecting children.At DEHAT, it believe that the most vulnerable children are those who are not safe in their own homes. Substance abuse, domestic violence, child marriage and criminal activities are some common examples of destructive forces throughout childhood. Most children we work with have undergone severe trauma & abuse at different stages in their life but do not have sufficient, if any, access to counselling that would help them with recovery and rehabilitation. We believe that protection against trafficking and other forms of violence can only be achieved when the following are in place: 1.Personal Safety – Safe home environment. 2.Educational Rights – Access to quality education. 3.Financial Stability – Access to all financial instruments by children’s parents. 4.Freedom from Exploitation- To give children the ability to fight against exploitative elements.

Henceforth, DEHAT sometimes interlink all of its programmes to change individual's live comprehensively.

Financial information

The primary source of revenue for the services DEHAT serve is through donations by individuals, institutional & corporate organizations. In the financial year 2014-15, its income through donations & grants was around 13,271,998.80 crores.92% of DEHAT's total fund utilization went towards execution of its 5 major categories which includes Livelihood, Health, Education, Adolescent Girls & Women Empowerment and child protection .DEHAT's funds goes significantly in its programmes to increase quality of impact and the scale of its operations within their service areas. DEHAT make sure that all the fund investment goes in a way that can impact effectively as well as efficiently at ground. The complete audited financial statements are available on its website. Meanwhile, Corporate and Institutional funding continued to remain its hugest source of funds with contributions of 47% and 52% respectively.

Awards & Recognitions

DEHAT's work in the very hard-to-reach areas in India has been recognized by eminent people around the world, including Global NGO Awards by The Resource Alliance, UK who’d shortlisted DEHAT as first runner-up among the top 5 organizations from all around the world. It have also consistently won awards for excellence, including: 2015-FifthState Award for innovating the best agricultural practices and providing food security to vulnerable and disadvantages community among us.

  • 2014-First Runner-up in the education category of The Dasra Girls Power Award organized by Dasra-Catalyst for Social Change and awarded by Kavita Nandini Ramdas (Asia Representative of Ford Foundation & Former CEO & President of Global Fund for Women)
  • 2011-First Runner-up at The Global NGO Award organized by The Resource Alliance, UK. These organizations were selected from the national winners of NGO Awards (NGO of the year) from around the world.
  • 2012-Sony Entertainment Network's CID Veerta Award.
  • 2010-Winner in the best Small Category NGO in The India NGO Award organized by The Resource Alliance, UK in association with The Rockefeller Foundation. This award is given to DEHAT for the best practices used in resource mobilization, accountability, and transparency.
  • 2009-Winner of The Manjunath Shanmugam Integrity Award organized by the international alumni of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and awarded by Mrs.Aruna Roy (Magsaysay Award Winner) & Mr.S.Gopalakrishnan (Founder-Infosys).


Further reading

External links