Organizational Briefs

Society for Peoples’ Awareness (SPAN) is a Non Government Organization working in West Bengal since 1989 for the marginalized and poor, with a special focus on Children and Women. SPAN envisages a society that is economically productive and equitable, socially just, environmentally sound and genuinely democratic. The organization has been working since 26 years on the issue of child rights at the national and State level. SPAN’s mission is to work alongside the socially and economically excluded groups of people, starting with children. It works to enhance the rightful and equitable share of development for all who are disproportionately placed, by facilitating the process of empowerment and good governance. Over the past fifteen years SPAN has evolved through its concern and multifaceted involvement with issues like child development, women empowerment, livelihood concerns of marginal sections, especially unorganisedlabour (including child labour), and integrated rural development through natural resource management for livelihood and food security. On the other hand children mostly residing in urban areas of Kolkata and its periphery were provided access to quality education through community based study centers and through Anandadhara, a primary school. In all selected rural and urban work areas SPAN is implementing programmes designed to address long-term issues of community development backed up with advocacy action for pro-poor policy changes. The special focus has been to provide better overall convergence and inclusiveness of the programme. SPAN has organically evolved and grown with the changing times with its very own experiences of working with the community. A culture of open dialogue and sharing internally, amongst the staff and externally with the partner communities and stakeholders has been strongly encouraged. Thus several changes in its perspectives and its reflection on its strategies, programmes and projects are visible. The organization from a service based organization for specific target groups has gradually moved on to be a strong advocate of children and human rights. However, SPAN has looked at development holistically and ever since worked on several issues including Livelihood, Health, Protection of Children and Women, Natural resource Management, Empowering rural and urban poor on their rights, participation of the poor in rural governance besides Education of children which remained one of its focal activities. Today, SPAN is an organistaion working directly in 6 districts of West Bengal viz. Murshidabad,Birbhum, Bankura, Purulia and Jalpaiguri in addition to Kolkata and Kamarhati,Bidhan Nagar,South Dum Dum, Baranagar, Titagarh and Barrakpore Municipalities.