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Study on Adolescence: A Developmental Transition"

Development Action Society in partnership with GOAL India is implementing an Integrated
Programme for the poor living in two settlements of Ward No. 58 and 66, Kolkata since 2012. The
core component of the project is Children Empowerment and Protection. Children and youth of these
targeted urban poor families are the unit of intervention. Strategies has been designed to enhance
capacities of children and youth as right holders, make parents accountable for ensuring rights of
their children and collectivize families to claim their entitlements. At the same time, strategies have
been adopted to engage with the service delivery institutions to deliver quality duties in the
community. The issues of gender, protection, HIV and Environment have been incorporated in
programme activities.
The project settlements in Ward No. 58 and 66 are illustrations of the poverty experienced by the
urban poor living in slum settlements. Both these two slums are situated behind Calcutta
Metropolitan Bypass. The population residing in these dumps comprise of very poor socio economic
groups, mostly belonging to the schedule caste and minority group who have migrated in search of
livelihoods, mainly from the poor performing districts (Sundarban, Dist. South 24 Parganas, West
Bengal) or even other parts of the country (Bihar). A total 315 households were targeted from Ward
No. 58 and 66 and children and youth of these families are considered as Extremely Vulnerable
Children and Youth. The people of these settlements are engaged in occupations which are
unorganised in nature has no recognition and social security provisions. The major occupation of
these households are sorting garbage at dumps, selling materials collected from garbage, unskilled
workers working as maid servants etc. Children at early age are engaged in garbage sorting with their
parents and earn a good amount per day by selling the collected material in nearby markets. The rest
of the population are either engaged in self-run business like tea stall, grocery shop or other services
like lamp factories, servicing of cars etc.
There has been limited study on adolescents living in urban fringes. Research and data on adolescents
of urban slums are also improper and inadequate and hardly give any idea of the practical situations.
During intervention, it has been found that, most of the adolescents are vulnerable due to the socio
economic situations, health problems and economic burden. Most of the teenagers leave educational
institutions at an early age and get engaged in money making activities. Boys sometime engage in anti
social activities which are an easy way to earn money after dropping out from schools.
Health seeking behavior of the adolescents, especially girls is also very poor. In case of medical advice
for any ailment, most of the time they trust quacks instead of going to registered medical
practitioners. Substance abuse is rapidly increasing among children and adolescents as sizeable

proportions of adolescents experiment with drugs quite early in life. Incidents of death too
due to addiction were recorded from these areas. Boys at an early age follow their
fathers/seniors in getting addicted to substance abuse.
Children do not receive preprimary education as ICDS centres are absent in Tangra. Most of the
children tend to drop out at early age and join work force. Older children and adolescents look after
their siblings and earn money by doing home based work.
The adolescents of the area are unskilled and as a result they are unable to get involved in skilled jobs.
Most of them work as rag picker, garbage sorter, strap cutter or house maid. The works is hazardous
and do not offer regular income.
The findings of the study will be helpful:

To develop intervention plan for the adolescents

To organize the findings as evidence base to conduct advocacy with concerned Govt
departments to strengthen government systems.

Objective of the study

1. The overall objective of the study is to understand the factual situations of the adolescents
living in urban fringes specific to their health, education, livelihood and other related
vulnerability factors.
2. To document real life experience of the adolescents living in urban slums.
3. To find out the factors and circumstances leading to early indulgence in sexual activities,
unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortion and early marriage.
4. To determine the attitude and role of the family and community towards the adolescent.

Based on above context, proposal is invited from interested consultant/ agency for
conducting a study titled Adolescence: A Developmental Transition. The study will lay
emphasis on behaviour of adolescents living in urban slums. Special attention will be paid to
social and cultural aspects, growing up in divorced or reconstituted families, physical or sexual
abuse, premarital sex, early marriage, teenage pregnancy.
Key areas which need to be focused:
For unmarried adolescents:
Awareness level on nutritional requirements
Preparation for life-Aspiration, social, education and economic participation
Knowledge and practice on reproductive health (including STI) and hygiene practices (before
the intervention and after the intervention)
Incidences of pre-marital sex practices, unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion
Partner selection criteria, decision making in partner selection
Value system regarding pre-marital relationship
Knowledge about incidences of teenage pregnancies and abortions
Family planning practices
Decisions about marriage and partner selection
Incidences of Child abuse

Incidences of child marriage

For married adolescents:
Partner selection criteria, decision making in partner selection and marriage
Coping after marriage-Social, health, income, other stress factors
RTI and related problems
Experience before and after marriage
Relationship with husband/wife and others after marriage
Social values and related stress factors
Coping strategies-family aspiration, economic constrains
Decision making within the family after marriage and constrains
Willingness, time availability and expectation for economic activities

(a) Social determinants

1. Growing up in divorced or reconstituted families

2. Early marriage:

Rates of early marriages

Causes of early marriages

3. Physical & sexual abuse cases

4. Early childbearing:
5. Literacy rate
6. Knowledge of reproductive health
7. Knowledge of gender role
-acceptability of female wage labour, shared domestic responsibilities and recognition of the
value of women/girl children in general.

(b) Access to Health services


Prevalence of anemia
Teen age pregnancy
Abortion cases
STI cases among adolescents
Menstrual hygiene using of sanitary napkins

(c) Adolescent Health and its Impact on Child Health

(d) Associated Risk Factors in Adolescent Girls
Target Areas

RajarghatNatun Para Ward 58 (KMC)

-Majdur Para- Ward 66 (KMC)

Research methods and data collection techniques

This research will be quantative&qualitative in nature.

The target group will be 10-19 yrs of age living in both slums.

The consultant / agency is requested to design methodologies along with the proposal.
Time Frame
The entire activity will take approximately 40 days:
Piloting questionnaire
Presentation of findings from piloting and make necessary modification of the
Data collection
Data entry, data analysis and report writing
Presentation of draft report and modification according to the feedback from
Submission of final report in front of team after incorporating comments
Presenting findings and recommendations

Estimated time
2 days
2 days
18 days
5 Days
2 days
1 day

Interested consultant/agency should submit proposal with in 1 week of publishing the

Consultant/agency should provide the detail budget according to the need along with the proposal.