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West Bengal

Community, Reproductive and Child Health Programme:

ASHA works towards promoting primary health care and the reproductive and child health status of vulnerable communities following mixed approaches of behaviour change communication, and facilitating access to formal health service delivery structures. The main issues addressed include safe motherhood, essential newborn care, family planning management of reproductive tract infections/sexually tract infections, HIV/AIDS control and community participation. The organization has developed location based health projects in 7 undeserved districts of West Bengal with capacity building of 18 other NGO partners. ASHA has implemented several health projects initiative using a group approach to improve reproductive and child health status in the community under the National RCH project in Murshidabad and Bankura districts with support from the Government of West Bengal. ASHA earlier had done a pilot through special diagonistic camps for detection of cervical cancer in the slums of the Asansol Municipal Corporation and Cancer awarness in Purulia district. ASHA developed the District Health Plan format in the state of West Bengal.

Towards Gender Equity:


Children engaged in beedi ( Local Tobacco ) making
ASHA "recognizes that the empowerment of women is a precondition to social development, and pledges action to achieve equality between men and women."
ASHA has been working to address the issues of women engaged in home based beedi work mainly in 6 blocks of Jangipur subdivision of Murshidabad district & adjoining areas of Malda, Uttar Dinajpur districts of West Bengal from a rights perspective so as to improve their quality of life and social position. The strategy of ASHA includes building institutions especially of women in the partner community and disseminate awareness on their rights as women such as beedi workers as well as facilitating access to such entitlements through sensitization and creating multi sectoral linkages with Government, Panchayat and various agencies. ASHA has been striving towards socio-economic empowerment of scheduled caste & tribal women too such as in villages of Bankura II Block and Khatra Blocks of Bankura district through formation & capacity building of Women's Groups. ASHA has also been collaborating with Zilla Parishads ( Local Self Government bodies ), and District Rural Development Cells under different schemes such as the Swarnajayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana scheme and Swayamsidha Project under the West Bengal Women Development Undertaking under the aegis of the Department of Social Welfare of the State Government.

 


Empowering adolescents

ASHA recognizes the importance of adolescence (10-19 years) in human development and pays particular attention to the special needs of adolescent girls.

ASHA has been working with out -of school adolescent girls and boys  in the districts including those working in the beedi making industry in Murshidabad district as well as girls from scheduled caste and tribal families in Bankura district. Along with Community based Life-skill Education for adolescents intensive community sensitization sessions are being held with parents, teachers, religious leaders, Panchayat members and Government officials including Health & ICDS functionaries. Peer Educators are selected from the participants and trained to enable them to provide crucial information to out of school groups. Awareness about rights as women and girls and life- skills are being organized at the village level followed by regular follow up sessions at village level Drop-in Centers (DICs)  to help empower the adolescent girls & boys in choosing a better future for themselves . These sessions work towards improving their self- esteem and include various creative exercises including Theatre workshops and paintings/posters & collage making. ASHA also works with urban disadvantaged adolescent girls and boys particularly on issues related to drug de-addiction and HIV/AIDS. ASHA is a member of Young People's Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights Network (SRIJAN Network).


Nutrition & Early Childhood Development:

ASHA believes that investment in nutrition & early childhood care is one of the critical investments to be made. The challenge to address the problem of under nutrition has been taken up in earnest by ASHA in partnership with local government, panchayat & UNICEF in selected blocks of Murshidabad. The Positive Deviance Project in Early Childhood Care & development focuses on local solutions using available resources and building on positive local traditions of child care. ASHA has been acting as a Facilitating agency for the Positive Deviance Programme in several Blocks of Murshidabad, Malda and Bankura districts in collaboration with Block and District level ICDS functionaries (Department of Women & Child Development and Social Welfare)  supported by UNICEF.


Striving towards a World Fit for Children:

ASHA believes investment in children is one of the best investments for social development. We also recognize that child labour prevents the development of a child's potential and working towards Promoting, Protecting and Ensuring the rights of the disadvantaged children who are involved in various forms of productive work like beedi making in Murshidabad, agriculture related work in Bankura, domestic help work &  factory work, rag picking in Kolkata. The focus is on improving the health and education status of the children from the marginalized families so that the children have a scope to develop to their full potential. ASHA is also collaborating with National Child Labour Project in several districts for example running of schools in Bankura, assistance to several National Child Labour Project schools in North 24 Parganas and Murshidabd through educational aids, health & nutrition education & assessments. We are an NGO member of the Executive Committee of District Society - Bankura formed under National Child Labour Project.


Livelihoods Programme:

ASHA has trained over 2,000 girls under the Sabla scheme of the Department of Social Welfare in Malda district. ASHA has implemented a pilot Endogenous Tourism project at Mukutmanipur, Bankura district which provides a new approach to tourism with the prime aim of livelihood development for the local communities supported by UNDP and the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. Developing self help groups, encouraging the small savings concept and capacity building for initiating income generating trades and schemes are one of the key activities in the projects.

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BEGIN_OF_COMMENTASHA has also facilitated District Based Initiative for Reduction of Low Birth. ASHA coordinated as a local partner the organization of the South Asia Cohort for the Course on Partnerships in collaboration with Overseas Development Institute and International Business Leaders Forum at New Delhi, India recently in 2007

Review of Public Private Partnership initiatives of Department of health & family Welfare , Government of West Bengal

Sustainable Livelihoods Assessment under Sarshatali Coal Mining Project - A partnership involving Government Administration, the corporate CESC / ICML and local self-government (Panchayats). This was one of the global case studies initiated by Business Partners for Development (BPD), London.

A founder member of West Bengal Forum on Business & Sustainable Development

A Core Committee Member for development of Guidelines on Community Development for Small, Medium and Large Mining Companies under the aegis of Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI).

Comprehensive development of Women & Children in the urban slums of Garden Reach under Kolkata Municipal Corporation with support from Municipal Corporation and Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC)

We are specialized in undertaking Evaluations, action research, studies and training programmes in a wide range of developmental issues.

 

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