Activity Report 2018-2019

FROM LOCAL TO GLOBAL
EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES – TRANSFORMING SOCIETY

‘Activity REPORT OF COVA’
FROM 1ST APRIL 2018 TO 31ST MARCH 2019

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Star Innovation of the Year:

#CHECKIT Program – An Initiative to Delegitimise Fake News. Read More

Part I: Success of Initiatives for Policy Transformations and International Peace.Read More

  1. HRD Ministry Accepts COVA’s Recommendations for Entrepreneurship in Syllabus of Colleges. Technical and Professional Institutions Read More
  2. Facilitating Access to Pre Matric Scholarships for BC, SC and ST Students in Telangana State.Read More
  3. Advocacy on Extension of the last date for online uploading of Scholarship Forms and Representation to change the OTP Code Pattern.Read More
  4. COVA’s Initiative for 25% Free Admissions to Poor Students in Private Schools-Right to Education.Read More

International Peace: Read More

  1. The Peace Wall Read More
  2. Jai Jagat Campaign Facilitation Read More
  3. Live cast of Asthi Visarjan of Kuldip Nayar in Lahore Read More
  4. Celebrating Madeeha Gowhar Read More

Part II: 3rd Generation Philanthropy and Responsible Activism. Read More

  1. 3rd Generation Philanthropy: Overview and Impact Read More
  2. Citizens Entitlements Campaign Read More
  3. Accessing Pre Matric Scholarships Read More
  4. Financial Inclusion through Bank Loans Read More

 

Compassionate Citizenship and Responsible Activism Program for Students and Youth: Read More

  1. Project Works on Social Issues Read More
  2. Engagement with Peace: SAMBANDH Competitions Read More
  3. Lecture on Social Issues Read More

Collaboration Programs: Read More

  1. Painting And Rangoli Competition Read More
  2. Gandhi Jayanthi Celebrations Read More

International in the Local Read More

  1. Refugee Facilitations Programs: Subsistence Support- Education- Recreation-Health- Livelihoods Read More

Part III: National, State and Local Networking for Empowering Communities and Strengthening Democracy Read More

  1. Citizens’ Review on 4 years of NDA Government: Promises & Reality Read More
  2. Silent Protest: Justice for Asifa Read More
  3. Condemning the attack on Swamy Agnivesh Read More
  4. Lectures By Prof. Khuduri Of University Of Le Havre France Read More
  5. Watch on Elections Read More
  6. Civic Sense: Campaigns for Sensitizing Communities to Sanitation and Water Usage Read More
  7. Grooming Future Citizens Through Volunteerism and Summer Activism Programs Read More

‘Activity REPORT OF COVA’ for 2018-19

THE STAR INNOVATION FOR THE YEAR

#CHECKIT Program

An Initiative to Delegitimise Fake News

During 2018-19, COVA started a new Project titled ‘#CHECKIT’ to address and counter Fake News. The program aims to sensitize and educate people to delink the perceived legitimacy of all printed word and broadcasted messages and properly verify the veracity before accepting and more importantly forwarding it to others, especially on social media platforms.

COVA’s unique approach for the #CHECKIT Program is to partner with Faith Groups, Educational Institutions, Newspapers, TV Channels and organizations working with communities to leverage their outreach to thousands of people on a regular basis to propagate about the phenomenon and dangers of Fake News. These Partners are being encouraged to speak and publicize about the decoded statements, photos, videos, etc- that are shared with them by the #CHECKIT Team – to expose Fake News at a mass level and prevent its continued circulation.

Though Groups dedicated to fact check and debunking fake news decode thousands of fake news items on a regular basis, they do not have an adequate mechanism for mass propagation of the debunked material. As a result, members of the public are not aware of the decoded Fake News Items and so continue to believe in and propagate the Fake News received. COVA is seeking to address this gap.

Click here for the Concept Note of #CHECKIT Program.

As part of the #CHECKIT Program COVA, with support from the British Deputy High Commission, Hyderabad organized One-Day Training Programs under the title #CHECKIT TechCamps on 24th and 25th November 2018 in Hyderabad and Mahabubnagar districts of Telangana State respectively.

The one-day training program has 10 sessions in total with theoretical, practical and interactive discussions. The diverse trainers include professional debunkers, research scholars, IT professionals and professional psychologists.

Fifty-Seven selected participants from both places were trained in identifying, harvesting and decoding Fake News. The participants were from different occupational backgrounds like Faith Leaders, IT Professionals, Social Activist, Media professionals, students, and concerned citizens. The theme for the training program was “Enabling Youth to Recognizes and Counter Fake News’.

Click Here for the Report of the #CHECKIT TechCamps, Training Agenda, and Resource Material

Feedback from Participants:

‘Hands Down the Best TechCamp I have ever attended.’
Aymen Naseer, MBBS Student, Mahabubnagar TechCamp.

“It was a phenomenal session”.
Sai Sagar, Student, Bhavan’s Vivekananda Junior College.

“I will practically show to the communities as to what is real and what is fake, about the news they receive.”
Raja Naik, ECO Club, Mahabubnagar TechCamp.

#CHECKIT WhatsApp Group:

As part of the program, a WhatsApp group named ‘#CHECKIT Partners’ has been created by #CHECKIT team. Currently, the group consists of 84 participants and trainers from the TechCamps at Hyderabad and Mahabubnagar.

  • The members of this Group are encouraged to share any Suspect News they come across from any groups or platforms in social media.
  • The #CHECKIT team forwards all such posts received for decoding to recognized fake news decoders who have agreed to partner with COVA.
  • The experts then involve in the process of decoding, and after checking its veracity, they share back the news. Some of the participants of the CHECK IT TechCamps have themselves become experts in decoding and share the items they decode with the Group for larger propagation.
  • Finally, the decoded versions of the news are shared with the members of the Groups for onward propagations and also with Faith Leaders for larger propagation through online and offline platforms including religious congregations, educational institutions, community networks, etc., thereby achieving the core objective of the #CHECKIT Program.

Here are the Screenshots of some content posted in the WhatsApp group:

Pledge by Participants of #CHECKIT TechCamps’ 2018 in Hyderabad and Mahbubnagar:

At the end of the #CHECKIT TechCamp in Hyderabad and Mahbubnagar, the participants signed the pledge form agreeing to transform the attitude of people on Fake News, endeavor to increase public awareness and harvest suspect news proactively and check its veracity. All the pledge points try to prevent deliberate use of social media to spread antagonism, hate, and violence in society and secure cyberspace for peace.

Dedicated Google Group

Along with the WhatsApp group, a Google group has been created and both are being used for dissemination of various kinds of information related to the program. A Facebook page named ‘#CHECKIT COVA’ is also created. This Facebook page will provide a platform where the partners can post or share anything related to Fake news and also the decoded versions.

Case Study
Topic: Fake News
Syed Abdul Muqtadir Quadri and Syed Mohd Najam, Uddin Quadri
MS Creative School for Boys

While almost all the teams from different schools had done a wonderful job of understanding Fake News, its types, how it was being spread and steps to counter fake news, Syed Abdul Muqtadir Quadri and Syed Mohd Najam Uddin Quadri from the MS Creative School went an extra mile to find out some of the incidents of Fake News and fraudulent messages being spread in their locality and bust them.

  1. When they came across a WhatsApp forward from a group named “Zebra” about a child Mir Ashraf Ali being kidnapped from ‘Talabkatta’, they went on to find the source of the original message, and found out the address of the alleged victim after 5 hours of search, visited his house, only to find the child at home having a whale of time with his family. When students told Mir Meraj Ali the father of the child and his family about the fake news, they reported this to the police.
  2. When the boys came across the fake news of cracks being seen on the newly constructed Metro rail pillar, they personally spent many hours to check each and every pillar to bust the hoax.

 

Media Coverage of #CHECKIT TechCamp 2018

SUCCESS IN ADVOCACY AND POLICY INTERVENTIONS

A Brief Overview of Research, Advocacy and Policy Transformation Initiatives of COVA

Some of the important Research and Advocacy programs undertaken by COVA during the past two decades include

  1. Socio-Economic Survey of the Old City of Hyderabad for Rajiv Gandhi Foundation,
  2. Study on the Socio, Economic, Educational, & Political condition of Minorities in Andhra Pradesh
  3. Action Research Project on the Empowerment of Elected Women Representatives in Andhra Pradesh,
  4. International Study on “Philanthropic Practices in Muslim Societies”, A Case Study in Peace Building in the City of Hyderabad during the past 1000 years,
  5. Initiated the concept and process for Peace and Equity Audit in Development Planning. Proposal submitted to the Planning Commission, Government of India,
  6. Study on promises made in the Common Minimum Program and performance by the Government of Andhra Pradesh,
  7. Advocacy Campaign with Parliamentarians for reforms in Tax Regime through the increase in direct taxes and laws to check tax evasion through Double Taxation Treaties,
  8. Critical review of the Status of Millennium Development Goals in Andhra Pradesh and revision of strategies for their attainment
  9. RTE Campaign for Implementation of 25% Free Admissions in Non-Minority Private Schools in Telangana State As Per RTE Act 2009

 

Some Research and Advocacy initiatives that led to Policy Transformation by the Governments and benefitting lakhs of people are:

  • Signature Campaign for Improvement of Government Schools leading to sanction of Rs.5 crores by the Government of Andhra Pradesh to schools in Hyderabad.
  • After the bomb blasts in Mecca Masjid COVA participated in the Enquiry Committee of the State Minorities Commission, instituted by the Government of A.P. that led to the release of 100 youth of the old city areas of Hyderabad who were falsely implicated by the police in the bomb blasts.
  • Appealed in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh against assigning census work to school teachers during school hours and obtained a favorable order from the High Court.
  • Undertaken a Study titled “Critical Review of Financial Inclusion in G 20 Countries with Focus on India” that was published in October 2013 with support from VANI and Heinrich Boll Stiftung. Consequently, eight of the twelve administrative and policy recommendations have been considered and are being incorporated by the Government of India in different policy formulations.

For more information please visit: http://www.covanetwork.org/about-us/major-milestones/

Success in Advocacy during 2018-19

HRD Ministry Accepts Three Strategic Recommendations of COVA to Promote Orientation and Entrepreneurship

As part of the BRICS Summit, COVA had undertaken a Study on “Status of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in BRICS Economies: Review and Recommendations for Advancement” in October 2016. The Study proposed Three Paradigm Shifts along with 12 Strategic Recommendations for promotion, sustenance, and growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in BRICS Economies. The Recommendations were presented at the International Civil BRICS Meeting on 3-4 October 2016 organized by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and FIDC as part of the Processes towards the BRICS Summit in Goa, India on 15-16 October 2016.

COVA is happy to share a landmark development: In April 2018- Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD) has accepted three Strategic Recommendations made by COVA for the introduction of orientation courses on business and entrepreneurship in school and college curricula. This could help millions of youth to consider self-employment and entrepreneurship as career options. Other nine recommendations made by COVA as part of a Study on MSMEs in BRICS Economies are being pursued with Ministries of Finance, Commerce and MSMEs.

Advocacy Initiatives for Pre-Matric Scholarships for SC, ST and BC Students

Representation to Principal Secretaries to Ease the Application Process

Pre Metric Scholarship Scheme by Central and State Governments have large budget allocations. In 2018-19, Rs.8,179/- Crores were allocated for scholarships by the Central Government alone; however, the scheme remains grossly underutilized by students from economically disadvantaged sections.

In Telangana State the total number of students enrolled in 2016-17 was 60,00,526, out of this total number, 20,16,593 belong to BC community, 10,09,740 belong to SC community and 6,74,794 belong to ST community.

Whereas in Hyderabad the total number of enrolled students in 2016-17 was 8,49,549, and out of this total number, 2,38,061 belong to BC community, 48,111 belong to SC community and 19,034 belong to ST community.

As per the records obtained from the BC Welfare Department, in the academic year 2016-17, only 3,678 students in Telangana applied for BC Scholarship and a negligible number of 75 students from Hyderabad could obtain Pre Metric Scholarships despite Lakhs of students studying throughout the State. The total amount sanctioned for BC Scholarship for the year 2016-17 was Rs. 2.13 Cr, which remained grossly underutilized.

This is largely because of the difficulties being encountered by the students in obtaining the required certificates and for applying online. In some cases, it is reported that amounts ranging from Rs. 1000 to Rs. 3000 are being charged by middlemen to facilitate with the processes that are proving to be the biggest impediment for most of the students.

In order to address this situation of extreme concern, COVA started making representations to Principal Secretaries and Hyderabad collector to ease the application process for SC, ST, BC and OBC Students from June 2018.

The following are the Action Recommendations submitted by COVA to the Authorities:

  1. Income Certificate should be removed as a criterion for applying for scholarships for all students of Government schools. Only the poor are sending their children to Government Schools.
  2. Special Help Desks to be established in different locations – preferable in the schools themselves for a day or two to enable the processes for different certificates required. COVA can help enlist NGOs to help with the process and assist the officials if required.
  3. Banks can be approached to facilitate Help Desks to expedite the opening of bank accounts for students. COVA has already approached SBI and Syndicate Banks. A coordinated approach between the government and the banks could be most beneficial.
  4. Extend the Application submission date till 31st December every year.
  5. Increase the scholarships amount from existing Rs. 1000/ per annum to at least Rs. 3000/- as Rs. 1000 Rupees is very less for one schooling year.

Because of the 2019 state elections in Telangana and national general elections in India, the representations were deferred and we have plans to pursue after the general elections are completed in May 2019 and hope to get the recommendations operationalised for the coming academic year from June 2019, This could benefit lakhs of students for years to come.

Advocacy on Extension of the Last Date for Online Uploading of Scholarship Forms and Representation to Change the OTP Code Pattern

COVA was able to get the last date for online uploading of scholarship forms extended from 30th September 2018 to 31st October 2018 by making representations to the Principal Secretary, Government of Telangana and Secretary, Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India who has responded quickly and positively for the extension. Lakhs of students across the country benefited from this initiative of COVA.

 

Representation was also given to State and Center Governments to change the OTP CODE pattern from the combination of numerical and alphabets to only Numerical like before. Parents of Minority students, who are largely uneducated were facing difficulties in terms of communicating the new pattern of OTP CODEs (Numericals – Alphabets, Example: i9T5g) – which they receive in their registered mobile- to the data entry operators of COVA who fill the online applications forms. The Central Government responded positively and changed to Numeric Codes that made the process easy again and helped in uploading of more forms.

 

COVA’s Initiative for 25% Free Admissions to Poor Students in Private Schools

Right to Education

COVA had facilitated the formation of a Joint Action Committee (JAC) for Implementation of Model RTE Rules in Telangana State comprising of over 25 Civil Society Organisations that have been struggling for the implementation of Free Admissions to poor and disadvantaged children in private schools for over 4 years.

If implemented properly, nearly 2 lakh children from poor and disadvantaged sections of society will be able to get free admission in private schools every year from June 2020 eventually leading to over 20 lakhs (2 million)a poor students studying free of charge in private schools across the State of Telangana at any given time from 2022 onwards.

Since the state government was not responding positively for framing of Rules, COVA along with other partner organisations have filed a PIL in the High Court. Hearings are going on in the matter and judgment is expected.

 

For more information please visit: http://www.covanetwork.org/portfolio/community-programs/

INTERNATIONAL ENGAGEMENTS

Peace Now and Forever Campaign Between Pakistan – India

About Peace Now and Forever Campaign between India & Pakistan:

The Campaign was launched on 1st July 2017 covering 60 cities and towns of India and Pakistan with the objective of addressing the steadily deteriorating relations between the two neighbors and to provide platforms to enable civil society to demand peace and condemn warmongering without feeling apologetic or guilty about their stand.

 

THE PEACE WALL: Initiated by COVA in February 2019.

A terror attack on CRPF jawans convoy in Pulwama on 14th February 2019, killed Indian paramilitary personnel and injured many. After the Pulwama attack, the India-Pakistan relations reached a new low with both the countries accusing each other. For the common citizens of the two countries, the tensions grew exponentially creating an environment of extreme hostilities. The media deliberately exploited the situation to create war hysteria to increase their TRPs.

In this vicious environment, COVA started “The Peace Wall” as a dedicated Facebook Page under the PeaceNow and Forever Campaign Between India and Pakistan.

The key objectives for The Peace Wall Initiative:

  1. A Platform for people of India and Pakistan to express themselves and post their individual messages, audios, videos, cartoons, artworks, etc. to #Say No To War and Demand Peace.
  2. A Repository of most beautiful and poignant expressions in all different forms to celebrate peace and denounce war and violence.
  3. Selected Posts on The Wall of Peace will be shared daily on different social media platforms to reach hundreds of thousands.

Click Here to Reach your Space on The Peace Wall to Inspire and Get Inspired to Counter Hate and Secure Peace…

Collaboration with the Jai Jagat 2020 Campaign

COVA is part of the Jai Jagat Campaign 2020 which has a vision of peace and justice. On the Move for Justice and Peace, thousands of marchers committed to nonviolent change all over the World will march from India, Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden, Mali, Senegal, Spain, and other countries to Geneva (Switzerland). The final meeting will take place in Geneva, the city that symbolizes peaceful coexistence. People’s Action Forum will facilitate the dialogue at Geneva city about the conflicts and issues that local people worldwide are facing as a result of a violent, inequitable economy, polarizing politics and an accelerating arms race that is making peace a distant dream.

COVA facilitated the creation of Jai Jagat WhatsApp and Google Group for South Asia to enable online interactions and discussions related to the campaign.

Here are the few programs for the individuals and organisations who want to be part of the Jai Jagat Campaign.

  • Volunteer and join an action in your country/state.
  • Share stories and cases about bottom-up nonviolent actions.
  • Advocate for policy change.
  • Join one of the marches. You can get more information by writing to: contact@jaijagat2020.org.
  • Join the Geneva action in 2020.
  • Donate to the Jai Jagat campaign.
  • Connect to other networks and social media channels.
  • Join the virtual marches.

COVA organised Google Hangout Livestreaming call for the South Asian partners about Jai Jagat 2020 Campaign on 24th February.

After the google hangout session the following action points were proposed for the Jai Jagat 2020 Campaign:

Video Call once in a month.

Creation of dedicated space on the website of Jai Jagat for the updates/News.

Live events to be recorded on Facebook and uploaded/linked to the website.

Maintaining Facebook and other popular social media account to reach the larger population.

Kuldeep Nayar’s Asthi Visarjan & Memorial Meetings to Commemorate His Vision of Peace

Asthi Visarjan (Immersion of Ashes of Mortal Remains) of Kuldip Nayar was held in Ravi River near Lahore, Pakistan on 5th October 2018 from 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm (Pakistan Time) and 3 pm to 4 pm (India Time). His Family Members travelled from Delhi to participate in the Asthi Visarjan.

COVA facilitated a livecast of the Asthi Visarjan in partnership with civil society organisations from Pakistan. Many civil society organisations in India and Pakistan organised the memorial meetings in different locations during the Livecast.

COVA created a Facebook page titled ‘Celebrating Kuldip Nayar and His Vision of Peace’ and dedicated it as a homage and permanent tribute to Kuldip Nayar where people’s views, opinion, activities and message to condolence can be seen. Family members, Journalists, peace activists, well-wishers, and concerned citizens are requested to post relevant information on the Facebook Page and share widely through different social media platforms to enable others to participate and promote peace and cohesion across our borders to continue the Mission of Kuldip Nayar.

Link of the Ceremony which was Livecasted on Facebook facilitated by COVA: https://www.facebook.com/Celebrating-Kuldip-Nayar-and-His-Vision-of-Peace-279361819454316/

Memorial Meeting at Hyderabad, India

COVA also organized a Memorial Meeting to Commemorate Kuldip Nayar and His Vision of Peace as part of Peace Now & Forever Campaign on 5th October from 4.00pm to 5.30pm at Lamakaan, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad.

The meeting started with the LiveCast of Asthi Visarjan (Immersion of Ashes of Mortal Remains) in Ravi River, Lahore, Pakistan on 5th October from 3.30pm to 4.30pm (Pakistan Time) and 4.00pm to 5.00pm (India time). Similar meetings are held in Delhi, Amritsar, Karachi and other cities of India and Pakistan where people watched the Asthi Visarjan Ceremony live on Facebook and paid their tribute to Kuldip Nayar.

Senior journalists and eminent citizens participated in the meeting in Hyderabad.

Celebrating Madeeha Gauhar

COVA and civil society organisations came together to pay homage and celebrate life and contribution of Madeeha Gauhar on 28th April 2018 from 5 to 6.15 pm at Lamakaan, Hyderabad.

Madeeha was the Founder of Ajoka theatre group of Pakistan and a legendary activist for peace in South Asia. She passed away on 25th April 2018 in Lahore, Pakistan.

Madeeha Gauhar (21 September 1956 – 25 April 2018) was a Pakistani actress, playwright, and director of social theatres, and women’s rights activist. In 1983, she founded Ajoka Theatre where social themes are staged in theatres, on the street, and in public spaces. With Ajoka she performed in Asia and Europe.

In directing performances in the theatre, Gauhar utilised aesthetics and theatrical techniques to reflect the moral, social and political reality of contemporary Pakistan. A recurrent theme for her, as a feminist, was the subject of women’s rights in a society that is greatly dominated by men. Gauhar was the recipient of numerous awards for her theatrical efforts. She received the Pride of Performance, by the President of Pakistan for her efforts in improving Pakistani theatre.

Dr. Mazher Hussain, Executive Director of COVA participated in the Reference Meeting organized by Ajoka in Lahore, Pakistan on 16th May 2018 and paid homage to Madeeha, the Legend who had also collaborated closely with COVA for 2 decades.

3rd GENERATION PHILANTHROPY

UNDERSTANDING 3rd GENERATION PHILANTHROPY

COVA is happy to share with you the Concept of Third Generation Philanthropy: From Charity to Facilitation that COVA has initiated to bring about attitudinal transformation in individual donors to channelize their donations from giving charity (First Generation Philanthropy) or providing services directly (Second Generation) to Third Generation Philanthropy that involves support to Facilitating Organisations to enable people to access the monumental resources allotted by the Central and State Governments for different projects in the social sector but remain grossly underutilized. 3rd Generation Philanthropy is designed to enable people to access government schemes and programs that could make available lakhs of crores to people To Make Poverty History.

Please CLICK HERE for a PowerPoint Presentation explaining the Concept and Operations:

3rd Generation Philanthropy Results for 2018-19

Resource Mobilisation:

COVA has been able to mobilize Rs. 30,76,661.05 lakhs from 65 individuals for 3rd Generation Philanthropy programs for the year 2018 – 19 as on 28th March. Our target for 2019-20 is at least Rs. 50 lakhs.

Programs:

COVA has started three programs under the 3rd Generation Philanthropy Initiative namely Financial Inclusion, Enabling Students to Access Government Scholarships and Citizens Entitlements Campaign, Through these programs, COVA was able to enable 43 people to access bank loans of Rs. 21,55,000 lakhs through donations and contributions of just Rs. 2,64,690 lakhs; facilitate 3557 students to apply for government scholarships for an amount of Rs. 1,06,71,000/-with the help of donations of Rs. 2,30,119/- lakhs and the downloading of GHMC App to enable citizens to avail services from GHMC through the Citizens’ Entitlements Campaign launched on 26th January 2019 is going on well and distributed 294 posters and40,100 brochures as of March. Reports are appended below.

Eid Get Together to understand 3rd Generation Philanthropy Program

Eid Get Together and Understanding 3rd Generation Program was organized by COVA on 19th June 2018 at Ashiyana, Banjara Hills, and Hyderabad. The Program started with very interesting presentations on philanthropic practices in different religions: Christianity (Bro. Varghese Theckaneth s.g.); Hinduism (Brahma Kumari B.K. Anjali); Islam (Mufti Omar Abedeen); Sikhism (Sardar Nanak Singh Nishtar) and Zoarastriansm (Mr. Omim Maneckshaw Debara). All the speakers gave succinct expositions of the core principles of “giving” along with some little known and interesting practices in their respective religions.

PowerPoint Presentations by Faith Leaders can be viewed at: http://www.covanetwork.org/3rd-generation-philanthrophy/

Mr. Mahmood Ali, the Deputy Chief Minister of Telangana State was the Chief Guest. Mr. Andrew Fleming, Deputy High Commissioner of United Kingdom, Dr. Adnan Altay Altinors, Deputy High Commissioner, Turkey and senior diplomats from US Consulate Hyderabad graced the occasion. Leaders from different political parties, senior bureaucrats, academics, educationists, researchers, and corporates graced the occasion. Please add names of some political leaders and other prominent persons like Arshad Ayub, former Test Cricketer, etc.

Sports players, doctors, engineers, chartered accountants, media and advertising professional and members of civil society of Hyderabad appreciated the 3rd Generation Philanthropy Program and offered to provide collaboration and support.

Dr. Mazher Hussain, Executive Director of COVA gave an overview of the activities and achievements of COVA from the slums of Hyderabad to engagements with Multilateral bodies like G20, BRICS, SAARC, CHOGM, etc. and made a PowerPoint Presentation on 3rd Generation Philanthropy Programs.

Interaction on 3rd Generation Philanthropy at the Nizam’s club, Hyderabad.

Eminent Personalities, Senior Corporate Executives, Businessmen, and Civil Society attended for an interaction on 3rd Generation Philanthropy. Admiral L. Ramdas, Former Chief of Indian Navy and Dr. Syeda Hameed, the former member of the Planning Commission of India spoke on 3rd Generation Philanthropy. Dr. Hameed also made a presentation on ‘Pathbreakers – 20th Century Muslim Women of India’ to explore the possibility of exhibiting it in Hyderabad.

Dr. Mazher Hussain, Executive Director of COVA gave a presentation on 3rd Generation Philanthropy which is designed to Enable Poor People to Access Government Schemes and Programs, and it’s Importance in Present-Day Civil Society. This is the 5th meeting conducted where eminent personalities attended to understand the concept of 3rd Generation Philanthropy. Previously meetings were held at Jubilee Hall, Secunderabad Club, Ashiyan Hall, and Nizam Club.

GUIDESTAR India Transparency Registration

GuideStar India is India’s largest and most reliable online information repository with more than 8700 NGOs. We have been awarded the prestigious GuideStar India Transparency Key award for 2019 and have joined India’s largest pool of credible NGOs after undergoing a rigorous due diligence process. GuideStar India’s Transparency Key is the Foundation Level certification indicating that the organization has filed annual income tax returns as a tax-exempt entity and has shared the same in the public domain. To view our profile at GuideStar India, please visit: https://guidestarindia.org/Summary.aspx?CCReg=9909

Transparency Key will help COVA in gaining credibility with donors to secure more donations

3rd GENERATION PHILANTHROPY PROGRAM: IMPLEMENTATION AND IMPACT

COVA has initiated the implementation of the following 3rd Generation Philanthropy Programs in partnership with different organisations in Hyderabad and more are expected to join this unique initiative.

Launch of Citizens Entitlements Campaign 2019 on 26th January

The Citizens Entitlements Campaign was launched on 26th January 2019 on the occasion of 70th Republic Day of India.

Coordinated and facilitated by COVA (Confederation of Voluntary Associations), this Campaign which is estimated to reach 5 lakh Hyderabadis will bring together GHMC, Water Works (HMWS&SB) and Electricity Departments (TSSPDCL) with about 250 civil society organisations, educational institutions, Resident Welfare Associations (RWA’s), faith-based groups & business establishments to spread awareness among communities across the twin cities to access 56 civic services with ease and in time.

Faith Leaders have played an active role in taking forward the Campaign and asked members of their respective faiths through Masjids, Churches, Satsang Centers, etc to display the posters prominently in their premises and also speak about the CEC Campaign after their weekly sermons.

The following is an Overview of CEC-2019 Campaign from 26th January to 26th February.

Total Number of Posters For Display Total Number of Pamphlets Distributed
1 Masjids 46 1 Schools 5,800
2 Arya Samaj Centers 10 2 Colleges 8,400
3 Churches 30 3 NGO’s 14,800
4 Schools 55 4 Religious Places 10,600
5 Colleges 15 5 Markets/Roads 500
6 Residential Welfare Associations 80  

Total

40,100

7 NGO’s and CBOs 41
8 Brahma Kumaris 15
9 Temples 2
Total 294

Our Partner Networks and Organisations for Community Outreach: APSA, ASHRITA, BVM, CONARE, DSS, SAFA, JANANI, KRIYA SANGH, SUPER, GSSS, MSI, MARI, CHATRI, TVSMPS, U-FERWAS, WOW, Youngistaan, Youth for Better Telangana,

Faith-Based Organisations: Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, Al Mahad Ul Alai Islami, APSSF ( Social Wing of Catholic Churches ), All India Milli Council, Brahma Kumaris, International Sikh Center, Jamat E Islami Hind, Jamiat – E- Ulama TS and AP, Zoroastrian Trust.

Activities Planned for 2018: Awareness Campaigns in localities, Padyatras, and Rallies, Street Corner Meetings, Distribution of Pamphlets, Display of Posters, etc.

Introduction of Citizens’ Charters:

Many departments of the Central and State Govt. have formulated Citizen’s Charters binding them to prompt and efficient delivery of services. The GHMC, HMWS&SB, and TSSPDCL have also adopted Citizen’s Charter. However, most citizens are not aware of these Charters, different services offered, time frames and modalities for lodging requests and complaints and so are generally deprived of the 56 essential services that are to be delivered by these departments.

This program is being sponsored by Kharkana Zinda Tilismat, Syndicate Bank, Mahavir Sound Room, and Sharp Detective and Security services along with support from partner organisations and individual donors.

Activities Planned for 2018: Awareness Campaigns in localities, Rallies, Street Corner Meetings, Distribution of Pamphlets, Display of Posters, Wall Paintings, Mobile Audio Visual Publicity, etc.

Click Here to Download information on GHMC, Water Works and Electricity Department.

Media Coverage:

Here is the link for the news article in Telangana Today about CEC: https://telanganatoday.com/campaign-to-make-people-aware-of-civic-services

GHMC http://www.covanetwork.org/GHMC/
TSSPDCL http://www.covanetwork.org/electricity-department/
HMWS&SB http://www.covanetwork.org/waterworks/

For more information please visit: http://www.covanetwork.org/cec-report/

Access to Pre-Matric Scholarship Program

Pre Metric Scholarship Scheme by Central and State Governments have large budget allocations. In 2018-19, Rs.8,179/- Crores were allocated for scholarships by the Central Government alone; however, the scheme remains grossly underutilized by students from economically disadvantaged sections. The Project to facilitate accessibility to the scholarships was initiated by COVA for the year 2018-19 and 3,557 students of 32 schools of Hyderabad were facilitated to apply for government scholarships the year 2018-19.

The results for the year 2018- 19 are:

Number

of

Schools

 

Total number of Scholarship forms uploaded Projected Total Amount of Scholarships that could be availed (Approx)
32 3557* Rs. 1,06,71,000/-
  • Total amount mobilized by COVA for Project 2,28,652/-
  • Amount spent by COVA: 2,30,119/- lakhs
  • Amount of Scholarships Expected: Rs1,06,71,000/-
  • Return on Investment (ROI) 1:46

The Pre-Matric Scholarships Scheme and COVA Facilitation

Pre Matric Scholarship Scheme by Central and State governments have large budget allocations. In 2015-16, Rs.5482 crores were allocated for scholarships by the Central Government alone, however, the scheme remains grossly underutilized by students from economically disadvantaged sections. Reasons for under-utilization are lack of awareness about schemes & limitations in accessibility to internet, Aadhaar card linkages, not having a bank account & registration of schools with the concerned Ministries.

This is a 3rd Generation Philanthropy Program designed to access the very large sums of government funds that are available for development of people but mostly remain unutilised.

COVA facilitates students to avail these scholarships by enabling them to:

  1. Obtain Aadhar cards, income certificates, caste certificates, etc.
  2. Opening of bank accounts
  3. Enrolment of schools with the concerned departments &
  4. Online submission of forms by data entry operators equipped with laptops and dongles.

And follow up with authorities for the release of funds

Case Study: From Disappointment to Hope: Enabling Poor Students to Secure Government Scholarships

Mohd. Abdul Ahad applied for the scholarship last year in 2017-18 through his school in National Scholarship Portal and didn’t get any scholarship because of uploading the wrong documents. But in 2018-19 COVA facilitated the online uploading of his scholarship form on the National Scholarships Portal free of charge and followed up with the authorities. His application is approved and he received Rs: 5600/- of scholarship amount to his bank account. Abdul with the scholarship amount from the government paid his school fees and got some stationary and books for his school.

Mohd. Abdul is a student of the 8th standard at St. Stephen’s High School at Faluknuma, Hyderabad. Abdul’s father works in Dubai where the less amount of money by doing menial jobs.

Ghosia Sarwat’s father Md. Saleem works at the printing press for the daily district paper ‘VIKAAS’ and earns meager amount. When Md. Saleem applied for the scholarship for his younger daughter in the National Scholarship Portal last year, it was rejected because of some errors. Ghosia Sarwat is a student of the 7th standard at St. Stephen’s High School at Faluknuma, Hyderabad.

But in 2018-19 COVA facilitated the online uploading of Ghosia’s scholarship form on the National Scholarships Portal free of charge and followed up with the authorities. Her application is approved and she received Rs: 5600/- of scholarship amount to her bank account. Ghosia with the scholarship amount from the government paid her school fees. Ghosia’s father who earns less money was happy that the government approved the release of the scholarship for his daughter. He says “the burden is less on me if the government and COVA help my daughter for education in future”.

Financial Inclusion Project

COVA started Pilot Project for Financial Inclusion in 2015 in association with State Bank of Hyderabad and Syndicate Bank in Hyderabad. The Program was also extended to Karimnagar in Telangana State from 2016. The objective of the Project was to provide financial literacy to the people to enable them to directly access loans from banks. It is the right of each citizen as stipulated by the Government of India and Reserve Bank of India under various schemes like DRI (Differential Rate of Interest) Loans, Priority Sector Lending, and Prime Minister’s 15-Point Program for Minorities and MUDRA, etc. to avail loans from banks.

The Economic Survey and Union Budget for 2016-17 and related stipulations of the government require that bank credit of at least 11.26 lakh crores should be advanced to 14.2 crore Nano and Micro businesses and agriculture initiatives – each getting an average of Rs. 1.09 Lakhs! At 5.5 persons per family in India, this means that 78.1 crores or 62% of India’s population would benefit.

COVA has been able to secure loans for 43 persons from State Bank of Hyderabad and Syndicate Bank amounting to Rs. 21,55,000/- in 2018-19.

Many small businesspersons do not keep accounts for fear that they will have to pay taxes without realising that there is no tax for most businesses until they cross a turnover of 20 lakhs. On the other hand, without accounts and audited statements, banks do not come forward to give loans of more than one lakh and certainly not over 2 lakhs.

In order to remove apprehensions about maintaining accounts and making small business persons eligible to receiving bank loans of over one lakh and above, a series of 12 sessions/meetings were organised by COVA at different locations in Hyderabad and Secunderabad including Chaderghat, Barkas , Hussaini Alam, West Marredpally, Rail Nilayam, Krishna Nagar, VC Lodge-OU Campus, Chandrayangutta, Durga Nagar, Madannapet, Ram Nagar, Uppal Stadium. In total 189 people got awareness on the Importance of Accounting to get easy loans. The people who’ve attended the sessions come from a range of slightly medium and larger diverse business backgrounds including Trading, Clothing, Shoe Making, Mending, Shoe Keepers, Soap Making, Brokers, Eateries, and Tailoring.

This program is being implemented in association with G.K Malik and Associates, Chartered Accountant Ms. Karishma and her team spoke about the importance of managing and maintaining books of account. They emphasised on segregating personal expenses and business expenses. The tips were given to participants on managing regular payments to banks on loan installments and avoid interest and bank charges which incur due to late payments, simple tips were shared on how a small daily savings can make a huge difference which can be utilised for repayments and future expenses. The budgeting of business helps in smooth running of the business and avoids unpleasant losses. It also helps in getting bank loans with ease.

A meeting with stakeholders was also organised as part of the Financial Inclusion Program on 28th June 2018 at Urdu Ghar to explore the speeding up of loans from banks. Social activists, traders, and bank officials were present in this meeting. After Mr. Naseer Siddiqui delivered the welcome talk, Charted Accountant Ms. Karishma gave a talk on ‘Growth and Scaling up of Business.’ The Question and Answer session was taken up by Mr. Datta, Charted Accountant from G.K Malik and Associates. Mr. Abulkaram Mushtaq, the Projects Coordinator of COVA, gave a brief introduction the of Financial Inclusion project and its achievements. 35 participants attended the meeting.

Case Studies: Financial Inclusion

The loan amount of Rs: 50,000/- which Anand Biradar took in December 2018 was spent on rations, cylinder and on expanding his business space by taking a small shop on rent to enable his costumers to sit and eat. Anand says that “Because of the investment I could earn more money on my business since I am accommodating more people to sit and eat food.” He also says that he could contribute more money to his joint family since he is earning more. Anand Biradar was born in 1958 is a resident of Dhoolpet, he started Pani Puri eatery business at Puranapool in the year 2000 with basic investment and facilities. COVA facilitated a loan to Anand through SBI in 2016 and then again in 2018 because of his regular repayment of installments. In 2016 the first loan amount of Rs: 15,000/- which he got was spent on replacing his old Pani Puri vehicle.

Manjula Raikot. 44 years, obtained loans three times from SBI through COVA since 2015. The first loan was for Rs: 15,000/- and due to regular repayments the bank sanctioned two more loans of Rs. 30,000 in the following years. With the loan money they expanded the business. Her recent loan amount of Rs: 30,000/- is also invested in bringing more footwear brands from the market to sell in their shop because the handmade footwear what they make wear not sold much.

Manjula says “If we take money from the money lenders they charge a lot of interest, but when we take bank loan the interest rate is very low which is helping us to save some money for the household and for the education of my 3 children.”

Revuri Vinod Kumar is an enthusiastic businessperson and he has been trying for a bank loan from last 1 and ½ year to buy more raw material and expand his Kirana and General Store but he failed in availing loan, but now with COVA’s facilitation he got bank loan sanctioned. Before Vinod used to take raw material like oil and rice from wholesale shops and used to pay money later after he sold what he took from them, now after he was sanctioned a loan of Rs: 50,000/- from SBI bank in December 2018, he is buying raw material with the net amount and also expanded his business. Vinod is planning to apply for the loan again as soon as he completes the repayment. Vinod was born in 1971 is a resident of Puranapool and runs his Kirana and General Store business in the same location.

COVA-ICAN

COMPASSIONATE CITIZENSHIP AND RESPONSIBLE ACTIVISM PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Compassionate Citizenship & Responsible Activism Program aims to provide a systematic and sustained sensitisation to a range of social issues and concerns to school, college and university students, corporate youth and professionals through Extension Lectures and exposure visits to enable them to develop empathy and sensitivity to different social issues necessary to imbibe moral and ethical values required of a good human being and enlist their commitment to address these issues.

COVA-ICAN

14th Annual Display of Project Works on Social Issues by School Students

COVA and ICAN (Indian Children’s Action Network) organised the 14th Annual Display of Project Works on different Social Issues by school students on 12th December 2018. The objective of the program is to sensitise people, especially school, college, university students and young professionals to social issues and concerns to inculcate in them compassion and responsible citizenship required of a good human being and enlist their commitment to address social problems to make society humane and just.

Key Takeaways:

  • School students were taken beyond academic subjects to engage with social issues to become sensitive human beings and socially responsible citizens.
  • 220 Students from 31 schools worked on 5 Topics for Project Works for 2018 viz.
  1. Government Hospitals,
  2. Public Transport,
  3. Child Safety,
  4. Fake News and
  5. Problems Parents Face in Educating Children.
  • Students were trained in the methodology of social sciences that included field visits, interaction with stakeholders and data collection to prepare Project Reports.
  • Students were also encouraged to undertake advocacy with officials and social actions with communities/stakeholders to address the problems they have identified as part of their Project Work.
  • Some Case studies of Student Teams who engaged in responsible activism to address specific problems they encountered as part of their Project Works are appended as examples of sensitization gained by the students to engage in action for social transformation.

The Process:

Students compiled information from libraries and internet, undertook field visits, interacted with people and officials, made notes of their experiences, came up with interventions to address the problems studied and finally prepared the Project Reports documenting the entire process under the mentorship of their teachers.

All the Project Works undertaken by 220 students from 31 schools on the five themes were displayed at a Program organised by COVA at their office in Bandlaguda, Hyderabad. Over 1500 students from different schools attended the Display and interacted with the authors of the Projects and gained insights into the social issues covered.

Feedback from Students and Teachers:

‘I got to know about many government schemes and I am going to participate in awareness programs about Child Safety in the future.’
Fazilath Begum, Class 10- Javid Mission High School

“Project Works is very beneficial to understand different social issues’.
Talha Soha Ali, Class 9-Crown High School.

‘My students got practical knowledge while working on the project and they now have had enough confidence to speak about their work and social issues on or off stage’.
Ms. Syeda Afroze, Teacher, Faizan Islamic Mission High School

‘The students are now more observant and talk about the issues and changes they see in society.’
Husna Farheen, Teacher, Alfaz International School.

Project Works Case Studies:

Topic: Government Hospitals

Zabiullah and Md Saifullah from MS Creative High School

‘The action was required, and we did it with immediate effect’ says Zabiullah and Md Saifullah from MS Creative School. Students as part of the 14th Project works program worked on the topic of government hospitals. The boys went to Osmania General hospital and found that the place was overcrowded and the premises very unhygienic. They also found that patients and their attendants were finding it difficult to access information about where the facilities are. This motivated the students to do something about the situation and contribute in their own little way to change. They began with buying a couple of face masks, some bleaching powder, some floor cleaner, and dustbins. They picked up the trash in some of the common areas, cleaned the floors, put some disinfectant and put up dustbins in the area for the public to use. In order to bring in the behavioral change, they made posters on not spitting and keeping the surroundings clean and put up in the areas where there was a lot of littering and spitting. Later, they tied a couple of ropes at places that were prone to crowding to make sure people follow a Queue. The students are visiting the hospital once every week and repeat the same.

Topic: Fake News

Syeda and Qhatibha from Gyan High School

Students after completing their systemic study on Fake News issue came up with ‘Helping Camp’, an initiative to spread awareness about the issue of Fake News and restrict its reach. Syeda and Qhatibha students of Gyan Educational Academy made pamphlets and distributed among students and people in Jahangirabad area. ‘We told them to be Alert’ students said while explaining the ill-effects of fake news.

For awareness through social media, students sent the message to their friends and relatives which says:

All the Users of Social media before you spread a piece of news.

1)Consider the source

2) Read beyond

3) Check the author

4) Ask experts

5) Investigate the News.

We can’t stop fake news from being made. But we can stop sharing it.

Topic: Child Safety

Iqra and Urooj from Alfaz International High School

Working on the topic of Child Safety, students of Alfaz International School visited Government Schools and interviewed School principals and teachers to check the safety measures implemented and adopted by them. They found out that strict rules for visitors and precautions for the unexpected event are in place as per the guidelines of the schools, but have not been really discussed in the classroom. Therefore, the students came up with Awareness Campaign, where they visited Florida school and Anwar-Ul-Islam and held a session to create awareness with the help of Posters on topics like:

Good Touch Bad touch, Road Accidents, Emotional Abuse, Heavy School Bags, Corporal punishment, Contaminated Water, Dirty Toilets, Child Road Accidents, Bullying and kidnapping, Molestation of Girls and Child Abuse that children can be exposed to.

MEDIA REPORTS

SAMBANDH: 14TH ANNUAL INTER SCHOOL & INTERCOLLEGIATE COMPETITIONS

Praful Bidwai Memorial

16th Annual Inter School & Inter-Collegiate Competitions

In Commemoration of Hiroshima & Nagasaki Nuclear Holocaust

SAMBANDH – 2018 was organized by COVA on 9th August 2018 at Jawahar Bal Bhavan, Hyderabad. COVA, in collaboration with Jawahar Bal Bhavan, Indian Children’s Action Network (ICAN), Youth TRAC; Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace; Center for People’s Foreign Policy in South Asia and others has been organizing SAMBANDH Program in Hyderabad every year since 2002 to commemorate the nuclear holocaust in Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. The objective of this annual event is to sensitize students and youth to the issues of war, violence, and promotion of peace all over the world in general and in the Sub Continent in particular. The event provides an excellent platform to sensitize students and youth to the issues of violence and need to promote and work for peace. Many participants from SAMBANDH Program enlist with COVA as peace activists and collaborate in our programs.

The Theme for the festival was “Can Humanity Survive the Increasing Violence in the World?”

1399 Students from 26 schools and 5 colleges participated in Essay Writing, Debate, Declamation, One Act Plays, Slogan, and Poster making and Quiz on the following topics:

  1. War and Peace
  2. Who are Refugees and how they can be helped?
  3. Is Nuclear Energy safe?
  4. Conflicts in India and South Asia.
  5. Effects of conflicts and wars on the common man.
  6. Social and economic costs of conflicts and wars are part of history and cannot be avoided.
  7. Life of a Family on the Borders during Conflicts and Wars.

About Praful Bidwai:

Praful Bidwai was a political analyst and commentator who worked throughout his life for the promotion of peace, nuclear disarmament, global justice, human rights, and environmental protection. He left us on June 23, 2015, while attending a conference in Amsterdam. COVA dedicates SAMBANDH Program to celebrate his memory.

Media Clippings:

Extension Lectures in Schools and Colleges

To Enable & Sensitize Students to Become Compassionate Citizens

One of the main objective of the Compassionate Citizenship & Responsible Activism Project is to provide a systematic and sustained sensitisation to a range of social issues and concerns to school, college and university students, corporate youth and professionals through Extension Lectures and exposure visits to enable them to develop empathy and sensitivity to different social issues necessary to imbibe moral and ethical values required of a good human being and enlist their commitment to address these issues.

With the above objective COVA organised lectures in 43 schools and 1 college where 6170 students attended and learned about Right to Education, Awareness of Mindfulness, the Power of Networking, Self-Learning & Self Enabling, How to Score a Good Rank in 10th Exams, Environment and Animal Care, Goal Set After SSC and various other topics. COVA also partnered with Career Guidance Council to give lectures in schools and colleges about various life skills which are essential to students for better career and life.

COLLABORATING PROGRAMS

Painting and Rangoli Competition

Organized by FTAPCCI in Association With COVA

The Federation of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTAPCCI) FAPCCI in association with Confederation of Voluntary Association COVA organized “Painting & Rangoli Competition” on the theme ‘Telangana Ku Haritha Haram’ held on September 7, 2018, at Federation House, FTAPCCI, Hyderabad.

220 students participated in the competitions from 16 schools. The judges selected the winners and gave them 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes. Mr. Ajay Mishra, Special Secretary to Government of Telangana is the chief guest for the event.

Gandhi Jayanthi Celebrations at Tmreis

Organized by Sarvodaya International Trust and Cova

Spreading the message of non-violence and integrity in the society, students of Sarvodaya International Trust presented dance and drama with the vision of Gandhi. The program was successful and the children of the TMREIS had a good time enjoying the program’s cultural events and learning about the vision of Gandhi.

The program of celebrating Gandhi Jayanti was organized by Sarvodaya International Trust in collaboration with COVA. Around 600 students were present in the event.

INTERNATIONAL IN THE LOCAL

COVA-UNHCR Refugee Facilitation Centre

Snapshot of Programs and Activities

COVA works with 5000 Refugees and Asylum Seekers from 12 countries living in Hyderabad. As part of its range of services for the Refugees and Asylum, Seekers COVA engages with the welfare of refugees for subsistence support, livelihood, health, recreation, and education.

COVA was an implementing Partner of UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) till August 2019 and facilitated registration of Refugees as per UNHCR Norms.

The assistance provided includes:

*Help Asylum Seekers and Refugees to acquire required legal documentation like Refugee Card and *Long Term Visa (LTV) to enable their stay in India

*Provide training to police officials on Refugee Law and legal assistance to refugees whenever required as part of Protection

*Provide legal counseling and assistance whenever required

*Work for enrolment of refugee children in schools,

*Facilitate support for medical care,

*Mobilise grants for livelihood activities

*Provide capacity building through training and counseling for their Empowerment

*Organise cultural programs and sports events for Recreations

*Finally, provide Monthly Ration Support to 120 destitute refugee families through the Adopt a Refugee Program.

 

Support to Refugees in Cash & Kind Mobilised by COVA during 2018-19At a Glance

In-Kind Value in INR In-Cash INR
Bed Sheets 18,000 Ration 18,63,009
Ration Kits 60,000 School Fees 2,19,600
Total: Rs: 78,000 Total: Rs: 20,82,609

Total amount mobilized in cash and kind during 2018-19: Rs 21,60,609/-

Case Study: Adopt a Destitute Refugee Program

Zulekha Khatoon, one of the benefactors of the Adopt a Destitute Refugee Program.

Zulekha Khatoon, one of the benefactors of the Adopt a Destitute Refugee Program.

Zulekha Khatoon, a widowed Rohingya Refugees of 48 years , came to Hyderabad in 2014, with her son Mohd. Yaseen and his wife Mariyam Khatoon who have five children. Because of constant domestic quarrels with her daughter in law, she is forced to stay alone and her son is able to provide very little support that is not enough for her survival.

Now, with ‘Adopt a Destitute Refugee Family Program’ facilitated by COVA with support from Individual Donors, Zulekha, does not have to worry about her daily bread and is saved from recurring periods of starvation.

School Fees Support to Refugee Children

COVA encourages refugees to admit their children in government schools, but in 2 localities, there are no government schools nearby. So COVA decided to help with the financial support to the refugee children for joining in the private schools in their neighborhood. School fees, books, and uniforms for 29 students are being provided with the support of the individual donors.

UNHCR Refugees students are studying at St. Mary’s High School and Rectify Mission School at Wadi-E-Huda and Shaheen Nagar respectively.

Ms. Naheed Banu Vice-President of COVA verified and assessed these students on 28th February 2019 and they performed remarkably well with regards to their studies. Since the students are doing well with their education COVA has decided to support them financially for 2019-20 also.

COVA Supported Jammu Refugees with Monthly Ration

An Emergency Situation in Jammu:

Around 7500 refugees have been living in Jammu for years but since 2016 they are being assaulted by the locals and in some cases, their hutments have been put on fire. Alarmed by this hostility, some families moved out of Jammu to other cities and 240 families migrated to Hyderabad since February 2017.

Realising their pathetic plight, COVA is supported with Rs: 2, 41, 340/- for 2018-19 towards monthly rations.

World Refugee Day 2018: Friendly Football Tournament at Hyderabad

Organized by UNHCR and COVA in Partnership with Save the Children

Sponsors: CYIENT Ltd.

COVA collaborated with UNHCR, Save the Children and Telangana Football Association to organized football tournament on the occasion of World Refugee Day with the sponsorship with CYIENT Ltd. The friendly football tournament conducted in Hyderabad from 20th of June to 22nd of June 2018 which aimed to build empathy and understanding of people forced to flee.

The Football Tournament was held at Quli Qutub Shall stadium with 16 teams from corporates, colleges and local football clubs who played with football teams of refugees living in Hyderabad.

The Chief of Mission for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in India and the Maldives, Ms. Yasuko Shimizu, presented the trophies to the teams and remarked that “Today, there are 25.4 million refugees and on a global level, the UNHCR has been trying to create a support system for refugees and communities hosting them. Because of their large numbers, the authorities and the UNHCR alone cannot support them,” She also added that “It means a lot to see both the refugees and the members of local communities together here in Hyderabad which has a commendable spirit of working with refugees and this model should be followed in other places as well.”

Winners of the “World Refugee Day 2018 – Friendly Football
Tournament” with Chief of Mission of UNHCR and other Dignitaries

Independence Day celebrations at CFLS Balapur 2018

A culmination Program of Sports for Refugee Girls, Boys, and Women.

COVA organized sports events for girls, boys, and women in collaboration with Save the Children and UNHCR on Independence Day 2018.

The day’s Program started at 9 am with gathering and celebration of flag hoIsting by singing our national anthem. The refreshments were then distributed, everyone moved to city pearl garden where events are organized. First, the children played a ball game then the women participated in music chair competition. The programme engaged all the women, the adolescent girls took part in the competitions by singing patriotic songs.

After the games, songs were performed by the participants. The winners were announced and prizes were distributed for music chair competition, singing and ball play competition with traditional handmade bangles made by Rohingyan women, for boys as surprise gifts.

NATIONAL NETWORKING

Citizens’ Review on 4 years of NDA Government

Promises & Reality

‘Citizens Report on 4 years of the NDA Government – 2014-18: Promises & Reality’ is a Civil Society initiative anchored by Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (WNTA), a national platform of civil society organizations and individuals which focuses on demanding governance accountability on its promise to eliminate poverty, discrimination, and social exclusion.

WNTA members facilitated the process of capturing the aspirations of the people across 250 constituencies in 24 states and released the ‘People’s Manifesto’ for the General Elections 2014. The same was advocated with different political parties to incorporate the people’s aspirations in their respective election manifestos.

In its continuous efforts to mirror the concerns and voices of marginalized people/communities in the process of Governance, WNTA is anchoring the civil society assessment of the NDA Government on completion of four years in office. A report was compiled on various development concerns and issues of the marginalized sections of the population. The report has 30 chapters on various topics – Functioning of the parliament, Judiciary, Aadhar, Accountability & Transparency, Children, Civic Space for Voluntary Organisations, Economic Development, Water and Sanitation, Freedom of Press/Media, Financial Developments and reforms (GST and Demonetization), Human Rights et al.

The report was released in a public programme at Delhi on 22nd May 2018. Telangana State civil society leaders released the report on 25th May 2018 at 11.30 am at Press Club Somajiguda, Hyderabad. On the occasion, the civil society leaders spoke about the report and addressed the media on government promises, people’s aspirations and Constitutional mandates.

COVA as a member of WNTA facilitated in preparation of the report and its release in Hyderabad in association with other civil society organisations.

Lectures By

Prof. Darwis Khuduri Of University Of Le Havre France

Hyderabad

COVA organized lectures of Prof. Darwis Khuduri, Socially Engaged Architect, Urban Planner and writer from University of Le Havre France in Hyderabad at IIIT-Gachibowli, Arts College-Osmania University and Maheshwari Complex-Masab Tank on 3rd and 4th May respectively. Prof. Darwis is an academician, writer, he has written various book and articles on architecture, history, urban development, social movements, international relations, culture, religion, spirituality.

The first talk on “Religious Diversity in a Globalised Society” was organised on 3rd May at IIIT, Gachibowli, Hyderabad. Prof. Darwis broadly spoke about the multicultural society where religion is a central axis of identification and where religious groups live next door to one another but do not necessarily coexist, there is ample room for creating a foundation for tolerance. This includes teaching and learning about each other, holding positive views, developing interpersonal relations that are respectful, accepting, and appreciative, and expressing one’s belief freely and encouraging others to do the same.

The second talk on “Rise of Asia: Post-Colonial Reorientation of Power” was organised on 4th May at Osmania University, Hyderabad. Prof. Darwis broadly spoke about the rise of Asia after the Asian countries got Independence from the west. The lectures were insightful for all the participants at IIIT and Osmania University.

The third talk on “The Challenges of Urban Development in Global South” was organised on 4th May at Maheshwari Complex, Masab Tank. Prof. Darwis broadly spoke about the key challenges faced by the southern countries of the world with regard to urban development.

Silent Protest – Justice for Asifa

COVA organized a Silent Protest for, Justice for Asifa on Friday, 13th April from 5 pm near Statue of Indira Gandhi Near IMAX, Necklace Road Hyderabad. It was a case for all mothers, sisters, fathers, brothers, and friends, teachers to stand up and be counted. Asifa Bano, an 8-year-old girl was gang-raped and killed in a temple in Jammu and Kashmir, she was taken to a culvert in front of a temple where she had been kept in captivity, and sedated, for four days in Rasana village of Kathua district in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Everyone was standing in silent candlelight protest to demand Justice for Asifa all over the country and in the world. Many civil society leaders and citizens in Hyderabad came to the protest and spoke about the government inaction and pointed out that strict action should be taken on the culprits.

Protest Against Attack on Swamy Agnivesh by Political Hoodlums

Hyderabad demonstrated Silent Protest on 19th July 2018 at 5 pm near Indira Gandhi statue, Necklace Road, against the attack on the renowned social activist Swami Agnivesh. The attack by political hoodlums allegedly belonging to Jharkhand BJYM on 17th July defines a new low of mobocracy that is sweeping our country. There have been horrendous attacks on Dalits, Muslims, and lynching of innocents is the new normal with garlanding of killers.

Nobody seems safe. Anyone of us, our children, and our elders can become targets of mob attacks that seem to be growing and spreading by the day in our society. Similar Protests were organized at New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Jaipur, Bengaluru, Jammu, Srinagar, Leh, Bhubaneshwar and many other cities and towns of the country.

The Pledge was: Let us Stand Together and pledge to confront and defeat these forces of Hate and Violence that are out to destroy our society. The struggle to save our nation from politics of division, hate, and violence has to start now and must continue till we have secured the spirit of mutual acceptance in every heart and harmony across the nation. Jai Hind.

Kerala Flood Relief-Appeal for Donations And

Utilization of Funds

COVA organized Fundraising Campaign for Kerala flood victims in collaboration with various civil society organizations in Hyderabad. The Campaign started on 19th August. Kerala has suffered the most devastating floods in the history of the State with immense loss of lives and property. All funds collected will be used for immediate relief in Chengamanad Panchayath in Ernakulam District in partnership with the local Panchayat. In total, COVA collected Rs: 46, 198/- to support flood victims.

The money which was collected by COVA was distributed in partnership with the local Panchayat. Kunnusserry among people from Kunnusserry, Chengamanad Panchayath in Ernakulam District who were most affected in these low-lying area where a number of families are daily wagers. Their houses were still in the water. They are accommodated in a school in Athani close to the Kochin Airport. The camp is well taken care of. But when they get back to their homes, rebuilding their lives will be a hard task. They will certainly need support in terms of household goods, repair of damaged houses, etc.

The relief effort initiated by COVA was successful in reaching to the flood-affected people of Kerala. The money which COVA collected was helpful for many people to rebuild their homes in Kunusserry village.

STATE NETWORKING

Telangana Election Watch / Ennikala Nigha Vedika

Telangana State Elections – December 2018

COVA along with the Ennikala Night Vedika, Telangana Election Watch, a Common Platform of a number of civil society organisations has successfully completed its campaign for the State Assembly elections in Telangana. The State level Coordinators Committee assembled on 15th December, with the district autonomous bodies to evaluate their performance and to plan for future action in view of the coming voter awareness Day on 25th January 2019 as well as the future election in the state for Panchayats, MLCs, Municipalities, and M.Ps. Later, they would share the results of their evaluation with the election authorities at district and state level, as well as with the Election Commission of India.

Here are the State Level Committee Coordinators for the Election Watch. M. Padmanabha Reddy, IFS, Rtd., Forum for the Good Governance, Dr. Rao VBJ Chelikani, UFERWAS, FESCO, Bandaru Ram Mohan Rao, Loksatta Udyama Samstha, V.V. Rao, RTI, B. Srinivasa Reddy, APSA, Y. Rajendra Prasad, MVF, P. Madhu, Prajaswamya Parirakshna Samiti, Jannepally Srinivas Reddy, Aalochana, COVA, T. Nagendra Sway, VIP. Abhipray. Bhim Reddy, Indian Red Cross. T. Subhashini, National Youth Awardees. Rosy, Sankalpa.

Cultivating Civic Sense

Upcoming Projects with

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and

Hyderabad Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB)

Preparatory work and field outreach has started for collaboration with GHMC for the launch of a Campaign for active community participation for SWACHH Hyderabad. Presently orientation programs are in progress for the staff and volunteers of COVA and the program will be launched from 1st April 2019. COVA will take up this program in Charminar Circle.

Water Leadership and Conservation (WaLC) Network

Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB)

COVA is planning to collaborate with Water Leadership and Conservation(WaLC) network. The WaLC water conservation programme started by Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board(HMWS&SB) is a landmark initiative to bring awareness to the citizens of Hyderabad and Secunderabad on water conservation techniques.

Here are the objectives of the WaLC network:

  1. To nurture and promote leadership on urban water issues and conservation.
  2. WaLC network will bring together people and their public representatives to take up awareness programmes, to achieve the specific objectives.
  3. To demonstrate on the ground with the support of identified NGOs duly involving the local leadership.
  4. Establish baseline data on water wastage and monitor the impact of the conservation initiatives over a period of time.
  5. To act as an interface, to integrate the technology, economic and social dimensions of water.

Promoting Volunteerism and Future Leaders

COVA has always encouraged and provided good opportunities for many volunteers across the country and the world. COVA believes that the field exposure visits will change the youths to become a socially committed human beings.

Now, COVA is in partnership with Chezuba whose vision is to facilitate every skill in the world in meeting a social need. The organization intends to make volunteering easy by facilitating skill-based projects which the volunteers can undertake online. Three Chezuba Volunteers from Nigeria, Delhi and Hyderabad as contributing to COVA Programs of dealing with Social Media, and #CHECKIT project.

Students from MANU, Roda Mistry College of Social Work, TISS(Hyderabad), St. Joseph’s College, etc volunteer with COVA to gain field experience which will make them compassionate and active citizens in the society.

Aligned with UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goal’s (SDG’s)

COVA follows UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goal’s and strives towards achieving its targets for a sustainable and just society. Here are the SDG’s which we follow for all the projects.