Conflict and Crisis has been one of the focus areas of NEG-FIRE's support for action and research. The need to address the trauma that children undergo and low education levels in areas of conflict was recognized. The basic idea was to assess the ground situation and look for scope of intervention. These are the areas where children are most vulnerable and support is needed the most. Though education is a non-controversial issue in these zones, the impact on education is immense. Our researches have shown that many of these traumatized children are picked up by fundamentalist groups or are victims of child trafficking. Militarization by the state and constant activity of conflict groups, both have hindered the normal education of children in these areas.
NEG-FIRE has also extended support towards children and communities affected by communal violence, by providing psycho-social counselling to children, while experimenting with the emotional resilience curriculum in Gujarat. This experiment resulted in the increase in optimism and self-esteem, sense of belonging and social connection, internal locus of control, and decreased levels of stress and anxiety amongst children on whom the emotional resilience curriculum was administered. NEG-FIRE now plans to scale up this experiment to build emotional resilience of children for countering marginalization in other locations.
Another category of crisis that is NEG's focus is the zone of farmer's suicide, for example, in the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh. Two hundred and forty two case studies from these states explored the impact of these suicides on the young minds of their children. Study revealed that new pressures of farm crisis are claiming sacrifices and forcing these children to lose their childhood and take up tasks beyond their age and capacity, resulting in adverse impact on their normal growth and well-being. Children of these families become child-farmers, wage labourers or even bonded labourers.