When communities take ownership, responsibility, and initiative, change can be sustained. Communities’ own initiative and aspirations need to be central to the process of transformation. The project Believing in this philosophy, CHETNA has joined hands with Transforming Rural India, an initiative of Tata Trusts in the capacity of thematic expert to implement the project activities in three most backward blocks namely Jhabua, Barwani and Khandwa districts of Madhya Pradesh State which has high Maternal Mortality Rate (221 per 100000 live births) and Infant Mortality Rate (47 for 1000 live births).
Designed to initiate affirmative action towards improving the health and nutrition indices the project focuses on engaging and empowering communities to bring change in health and nutrition-related behaviors, social imbalances especially gender inequality and caste, and ensure access to their service entitlements. The project focuses on three key components i.e. enhancing nutrition sufficiency and food security, improving reproductive and child health and adopting community led best preventive practices to deal with communicable and endemic diseases in the local area.
The activities include conducting needs assessment to understand community’s views and practices related to maternal and child health and nutrition, immunization, food patterns and experiences of accessing public services, gaps in the public health and nutrition service delivery, building capacities of Self Help Group (SHG) members, Cluster level Federation members at the community level to advocate for health and nutrition services; developing behaviour change communication material and strengthening public delivery system through capacity enhancement of ASHA, Anganwadi worker and ANM and of Standing Committee Members and VHSNC to improve linkages between service delivery system and community.
The project has been captured by the Better India.