Innovation: To provide a platform of engagement for pregnant and new mothers and their mothers-in-law
Location: Raigarh, Chattisgarh
Key Stakeholders: Department of Women & Child Development, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Anganwadi Workers, Anganwadi Helpers, Community Members.
The main objective of this initiative is to hold regular meetings betweenexpecting and new mothers and their mothers-in-law to address any concerns prevalent and advise each party about tackling these matters. Widespread ‘munaadis’ or awareness campaigns were conducted at the village level by Anganwadi Workers to encourage pregnant and new mothers and their mothers-in-law to come together and participate in discussions and deliberations on relevant topics. The underlying notion was to have the two stakeholders engage in a healthy discussion in a safe space in order to clear doubts and concerns, which would ultimately result in an open atmosphere free of uncertainty. The idea behind this initiative is that the Girl Child will be protected and newly born Girl Child will be nurtured which is a core objective of BBBP.
A mutual sense of bonding that pregnant and new mothers along with their mothers-in-law felt aided the formation of Saas Bahu Sammelans. An equally important factor that contributed to the success of this activity was the informative discussions with doctors, technical experts and officials, which helped maintain the novelty of this activity.
The beneficiaries of this activity number a 1000 till date. Pregnant and new mothers along with their mothers-in-law have acknowledged the Sammelan as a great platform to address any concerns or doubts that the stakeholders have. Moreover, these sessions have helped them obtain detailed and additional information about having a safe pregnancy.
The main challenge perceived was the reluctance that ladies displayed to leave their homes and participate in such meetings. A suggestion that is being considered is that a larger number of diverse activities could be made a part of the Sammelan to garner the attention of the stakeholders and public to make them interesting, inclusive and enriching. Further, as participants talk about the Sammelans on returning to their homes, other members of society would also help in the wider propagation of this activity.