Bandhavi is a project initiated by Visthar to respond to issues of gender discrimination and social exclusion, especially of girl children of Devadasis. Launched on December 10th, Human Rights Day, in 2005 at Bangalore. In 2008 a second unit was started and the entire project was moved to Koppal in north Karnataka
Bandhavi ensures that the children have access to residential care, balanced and nutritional food, health care, gender and social awareness and life skills. The project follows a rights based and multi-stakeholder approach and works in collaboration with partner NGOs, CBOs and government departments. It is currently located in Chikkabidnal village of Koppal District of North Karnataka. Bandhavi has been supported by Kindernot Hilfe (KNH) almost from its inception.
Project and related initiatives
a. Holistic Child Care and Empowerment
As of now, Bandhavi provides holistic institutional care and protection for 95 children.
b. Samagra Shikshana Shaale (SSS)
SSS in the initial years served as a bridge school for children to cope with mainstream education. Currently it is a formal school duly recognized by the Government of Karnataka and running in the campus for children from Bandhavi and neighboring villages up to 3rd standard. The formal schooling was started in 2013-14.
c. Community Based Child Empowerment (CbCE)
CbCE is a project inspired by Bandhavi. The goal of the project is to ensure that children enjoy their rights, especially quality education and participation. CbCE works with the support of the community - mothers, SDMC, PRIs, other CSOs/CBOs and the media. Currently active in 20 villages of Koppal taluk .
d. Visthar Community College (VCC)
The Visthar Community College (VCC) is registered with the Indian Centre for Research and Development of Community Education (ICDRCE). VCC is aimed at enabling and equipping young women and men to be change agents at the community level. As the programme is residential, the learning happens in the context of community living and working, with a focus on sustainable living, dignity of labour, team work and An earth-centred spirituality .
Currently VCC offers a diploma in Theatre Arts. The course is accredited by Kannada University.