Understanding what PHIA is and what it stands for

By September 1, 2018 Purple Opinion
Phia-Foundation

“I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.”

– Lily Tomlin

This realisation is PHIA, Partnering Hope Into Action. It believes in a mass change of views which is that the people of all castes, categories and creeds can lead a life without poverty, exclusion and discrimination. Every citizen of the country irrespective of gender, caste, economic background must have access to the rights, justice and dignity,the basic human rights.

“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked, and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”

– Mother Teresa

Basis of PHIA

Since PHIA Foundation calls the 21st century Indian poverty, a scandal, the organization vows to eliminate it  by paving the way for a society where the people from all walks of life have access to social justice and dignity. Local partners are spreading across the country to help proliferate development and humanitarian initiatives which will, in the long run, stem the root of poverty. A conjoined effort which is strong and is root of the problem is much needed.

PHIA has reached out to over four million individuals in some of the most remote areas of India (touching most of the rural locations). PHIA’s work is expanding and touching lives of various individuals across multiple states. Education, governance, gender equality, empowerment through technology, digital livelihoods and health and nutrition are emerging as the priority areas in which PHIA has partnered with multiple stakeholders to reach out to some of the most marginalized communities and areas.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

– Helen Keller

PHIA and partners

Various civil society partners, social activists community leaders, private sector partners, philanthropy institutions and the government officials have joined hands in the mission to make an effort to make society free of poverty and discrimination with PHIA This includes the flagship PACS Programme that has reached over 9 million people in 7 of the poorest states. While the PACS program concluded, PHIA Foundation is helping take the processes and initiatives under PACS further into a new phase.

“We aspire to inspire you to join and support us in our mission to find solutions to poverty and moving towards a just world.”

-Belinda Bennet, Managing Trustee of Phia Foundation

PHIA is currently focusing on five key issues:

  • Empowering Rural Women Through Digital Literacy

Internet Saathi, an innovative approach developed by Google along with TATA Trust aims to effectively provide digital literacy to women in rural areas. This is to intensify the number of female users of smartphone  to generate a self reliant means of sustenance for a female individual in-habitated into the remote & interiors regions.

The state of Uttar Pradesh has given birth to enough success stories to change the status quo on female digital literacy turningit into a phenomenal transformation.Breaking various caste barriers, there are women from socially backward classes who’ve left behind the social norms & crossed the line of confinements to pursue their liberty.

Internet Saathi has brought about a Social Cohesion in the complex fabric of society just by digital education. Women arenow challenging social stigmas and eagerly look towards to work on pertaining social issues.

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  • Socio-Economic Development of Women Through Adult Literacy

Literacy plays a pivotal role in the socio-economic development of the country and female literacy is very crucial for the women empowerment. With an objective to empower women and socially excluded communities through education and literacy, PHIA joined hands with Tata Consultancy Services to impart functional literacy skills in rural areas of 10 districts of Uttar Pradesh. The support of TCS is basis for creation of IT enabled Computer Based Functional Literacy (CBFL) solution which is a combination of the theories of Cognition, Language and Communication.

CBFL solution for adult literacy is in complete sync with TCS’s Adult Literacy Programme (ALP) that falls under the ‘people’ segment of the triple bottom-line sustainability strategy of TCS.  Leveraging PHIA’s social capital in the state, PHIA Foundation started the implementation of TCS-Computer based Functional Literacy project  across 10 districts.

77 Internet Saathi, social capital created through the Internet Saathi Project, (supported by Google and Tata Trust) which digitally empower rural women, were also brought on-board as instructor for this project. Tapping on the existing social capital eventually enhanced the efficiencies and resulted into a larger impact at grassroot level.PHIA Foundation and Tata Consultancy Services deployed the CBFL project, unanimously naming it as “Nai Shuruwat Sehaj Shiksha Pariyojna” in 10 districts of Uttar Pradesh starting November 2018.

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  • Livelihood Initiative for Digitally Enabled Women

Digital Livelihood is empowering the Saath is with a self reliant pathways which is sustainable & digital in nature. Enabling to create entrepreneurs & leaders at a primitive level who have successfully engaged themselves into the learnings of digital based literacy,it aims to enhance their capabilities & equip with knowledge to lead a better standard of life.

Presently, Tata Trust have partnered with PHIA Foundation for utilising its social capital for assisting the district based teams in improving the quality of data for key performance indicators of aspirational district programme. NITI Aayog has ranked 101 aspirational districts across India. The ranking involved conducting Household and Institutional Surveys to understand the ground situation. Internet Saathis associated with Phia took up this work in Chandauli and Siddharthanagar districts of Uttar Pradesh.

Another project named ‘SMART BETIYAAN‘  is one of the initiatived undertaken for the Digital Livelihood Program supported by Foundation for Rural Entrepreneurship Development (FREND) in association with UNICEF, is implemented by PHIA Foundation in Uttar Pradesh. It envisions to create healthy spaces for female by working on the instances of child marriage.

“Smart Betiyan” is functional in places like Shravasti and Balrampur which are counted as the hub of this malpractice.

 

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  •  Redefining Masculinity Through ‘Its Possible Campaign’

It’s Possible” as the nomenclature suggests attempts to create an egalitarian society which offers justice to both the sexes & promote gender equality by redefining notions of masculinity.

The campaign works on changing the age old patriarchal attitudes and behavior focusing on the following five key themes:

  1. Language
  2. Honour
  3. Freedom of Choice
  4. Division of labour at home
  5. Parenting

“You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.”

– Rosa Parks

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  • Improving Education Outcomes for Children’s Right and Development

PHIA Foundation with support of Unicef is collectively working on the issues related to child right and development, inclusive of quality education to ensure the overall development of children and reduction in school dropout rate.

Coalition on Child Rights and Development (CCRD) is a initiative on which PHIA is working with 16 CSOs in developing the Citizen report,  improving basic requirements under Grievance redressal, improving student -teacher ratio,”Har Bachha School Mein” Abhiyaan and many more.

Following commencement of the first phase of CCRD project, a few important steps wereinitially taken to bring together various stakeholders and collectives of children, teachers, youth groups, Community Based Organisations (CBOs), CSOs and the Government, both at state and district levels. Motive was to address the issue of promoting and advocating rights of children, with education being the central focus to improve enrolment, attendance and school completion, and their participation in activities to promote healthy & active living.

This mobilization has set up an alliance from where more focused interventions can be launched not only to further quality education but other areas as well for holistic development of children and their rights.

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By: Aishwarya & Yashdeep

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