In our commitment to children’s rights, CINI has strived to uphold child rights norms and extend our dedication to broader human rights principles. With over five decades of experience, we’ve discovered that our core mission of creating child-friendly communities serves as an invaluable learning and demonstration lab. We engage with local duty-bearers through our Child-Friendly Community (CFC) initiatives, promoting children’s rights within communities. Insights from CFC initiatives are distilled and integrated into broader child-focused systems at the District, State, and National levels, grounding them in the realities of children’s lives. Conversely, fresh perspectives and elevated standards, informed by analysis, data, and experimentation, are shared with communities, providing advanced tools for local implementation. The following sections explore CINI’s field perspectives through various state units, showcasing our commitment to children’s well-being and rights.


Our West Bengal Unit

CINI embarked on its journey in 1974 in West Bengal, and it now operates across all districts through direct interventions and technical support in the health, nutrition, education, child protection, and adolescent empowerment sectors. We have established partnerships with various government departments in West Bengal, including Health & Family Welfare, Women & Child Development & Social Welfare, School Education, and Panchayat & Rural Development. The programme models we’ve developed here have been successfully scaled up in other states and districts across India.

Currently, our West Bengal State Unit comprises five district field units:

  1. North Bengal Unit: Established in Siliguri in 2002, this unit focuses on five north Bengal districts, particularly vulnerable populations in tea gardens, hills, and other underserved areas.
  2. Uttar Dinajpur Unit: Based in Raiganj, we’ve been active in Uttar and Dakshin Dinajpur districts since 2011, providing implementation and technical assistance in vulnerable blocks and gram panchayats.
  3. Murshidabad Unit: Our interventions in Murshidabad began in 1999 and have expanded to include neighbouring districts such as Malda, Birbhum, and Nadia. We work with vulnerable children, adolescents, and women, connecting them with entitled government services and building their capacities for self-development.
  4. Diamond Harbour Unit: Established in 1998, this unit serves the vulnerable population in South 24 Parganas district, including the Sunderban area, riverine blocks, and scheduled caste-dominated areas. We collaborate with local authorities, service providers, community members, and civil society organizations to promote our approach and methodology.
  5. Kolkata Unit: Our urban interventions started in Kolkata in 1989, focusing on deprived children in slums, Sealdah station, and streets. We offer support through childcare institutions linked to the 1098 Childline Program, Udaan and Uttaran Drop-in Centres, Night Shelters at Sealdah Railway Station, and Open Shelters. Over time, we’ve integrated health, nutrition, education, Child protection and adolescent empowerment programmes into a holistic urban programme model to create a child-friendly Kolkata.


Our Jharkhand Unit

CINI started its journey in Jharkhand in 2002 with technical support to state government departments in delivering essential services and entitlements to the community and making systems child-friendly. In doing so, we strive to strengthen the local civil society through capacity development and advocacy initiatives to create child-friendly communities throughout the state. In Jharkhand, we reach the most vulnerable communities in tribal areas, engaging adolescents and youth to advocate for their rights and entitlements and provide technical assistance to the government while influencing policy through different platforms and networks.


Our Odisha Unit

We started working in Odisha in 2004 as the Regional Resource Centre for Reproductive and Child Health under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Our learning through this experience and the challenges faced by children prompted us to start field operations in Odisha in 2016. Our focus has been serving the most vulnerable population of Odisha, mainly the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) and other tribal groups. In 2021, the State Office in Bhubaneswar was established, and eventually, programmes expanded to all 30 districts of Odisha. Our primary focus here is centred on health and nutrition, and we have recently started integrating early childhood care and education, child protection and adolescent empowerment issues in the existing programmes. This provides a well-rounded impact at the community level, and we hope to build evidence for a holistic convergent community engagement model and take that to the next level for policy influence and advocacy at the district and state levels. CINI is supported by communities, individuals, and organizations in the state, and they promote CINI’s approach through different partnerships and networks.


Our Assam Unit

In Assam, we reach the most vulnerable population in 13 districts through multiple projects. Our focus here, too, remains sensitizing communities and strengthening systems. Assam unit began working on adolescent and youth engagement in 2017. Now, intervention ranges from addressing maternal and child health/nutrition issues, adolescent, and youth empowerment, promoting sexual reproductive health rights, adolescent mental health, etc., in riverine areas (Char), tea gardens, urban slums and tribal autonomous councils. We focus on supporting vulnerable populations, especially women, adolescents, and youth, in high-burden pockets of tea gardens and riverine (Char) areas. Given the state context, building resilience on climate change and preventing gender-based violence is an essential thematic focus.