Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health (ARSH)

Home to 20 per cent of the world's total adolescent population, India has one of the worst track records in their health and education parameters, according to a new report by the UNICEF.Almost 47 per cent of girls in the age group of 11 to 19 years are underweight in India, which is the highest in the world, says the UNICEF report on the 'State of the World's Children’ 2011. The report further says that about one-third of these adolescents go through many forms of physical & sexual abuse.This situation is much worse in the slums where families live in vulnerable conditions with no access to basic needs & resources. The conditions are not much different in the Government-run schools either.

The project is operational in Delhi and Gurgaon.

Project Summary:

This module based Specific program for the adolescent girls has been developed keeping in mind the need of the tender aged girls who are going through crucial transition in their lives and living in vulnerable conditions without the access of knowledge and information.

The project is implemented on both communities (slums) as well as on school verticals.

The major objectives of this program are as follows:

   *  Provide basic knowledge and awareness to adolescent girls [11-19 yrs age group] on reproductive and sexual health.

   *  Build their knowledge and Skills on Family Life aspects [Physical, Social, and Psychological and moral dimensions] to relate, understand and cope with challenges to lead a healthier life.

   *  Educate and inform them about safety measures to avoid social risks and threats.

The Project offers training on 6 specified topics under structured module as:

1. Adolescent Health 2. Menstrual Hygiene 3. Reproductive Health 4. Family life [Role, stages of life, relationship] 5. Life and Social threats, Issues /Challenges, Coping mechanism, Police and other help line numbers, emergency numbers. 6. Defense tools, tips and key skills to handle emergency situations.

Challenge:

As mentioned earlier, 20% of world’s total adolescents (aged 10–19 years) live in India. Yet, there is very little research on adolescent social, psychological, and psycho-social development. Despite the Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1978, which sets the legal age at marriage for women at 18, the instances of early marriages among adolescent girls are still very high. Available data on adolescent reproductive health presented suggest that Indian adolescent girls lack adequate control over making reproductive decisions. When poverty is combined with discrimination, outcomes can be harsh on the lives of adolescent girls. One of the horrific outcomes of this disadvantage is the trafficking in adolescent girls. Almost all parents of the trafficked girls were illiterate and about 90 % of these girls were sexually abused during childhood.

Solution:

Sukarya provides basic knowledge and awareness through a specially designed curriculum to the adolescent girls [11-19 yrs age group] on reproductive and sexual health to build their knowledge and skills on family life aspects [physical, social, psychological and moral dimensions] to relate, understand and cope with the challenges to lead a healthier life. Educate and inform them about safety measures to avoid social risks and threats allowing them to achieve their full potential and transform their families and communities.

Since 2017, about 2000 adolescent girls have already completed the program.  Another estimated 2000 Adolescent Girls would be empowered in 2019-2020 on reproductive & sexual health aspects and Family life dimensions. They would be able to have a healthier life and would be well informed about internal and external threats of life and future challenges. Overall health and gender empowerment would be ensured to create a healthier and equitable society.

These adolescent girls are now able to have a healthier life and are well informed about internal and external threats of life and future challenges. Their overall Health and gender empowerment are ensured to create a healthier and equitable society through this program.