The health department will organize ‘Saas Bahu Sammelans’ four times a year to create awareness among women who put pressure on their daughters-in-law to give birth to many children. Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) and Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANM) workers will organize these events in their respective areas and will also select a ‘Champion Saas’ each. Besides, a ‘Sarthi’ van will visit villages to motivate residents to have small families.
The Sammelans will be part of a new family planning initiative called Mission Parivar Vikas. The initiative will be rolled out in 146 districts across seven high-focus states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Assam. These states account for 28 per cent of India’s population, 25-30 per cent of maternal deaths and 50 per cent of infant deaths.
“In rural areas, many mothers-in-law who have given birth to four to five children put pressure on their daughters-in-law to follow the same. During the event, ASHA and ANM workers will mostly counsel the mothers-in-law about the importance of family planning. Our workers will organize small games to teach them that woman should give birth to a child after two years of marriage and there should be a gap of three years in the birth of two children,” said Dr Pramila Gaur, additional director (health).
Women will also be informed about sterilization scheme of the government.
Each ‘Saas Bahu Sammelan’ will be organized with a budget of Rs 1,500. The ASHA workers will identify the ‘Champion Saas’ who understands the concept of family planning and encourage others to adopt birth control measures, said Dr Gaur.
“family planning kit”
The ASHAs will also provide “family planning kit” to newly married couples across the state. The kit will be equipped with packets of condoms, contraceptive pills, emergency contraceptive pills, pregnancy detection kit, towels, handkerchief, comb, mirror, bindi, nail-cutter and pamphlets on family planning. The kit which will be kept in a jute bag will also have contact numbers of ASHAs and ANMs.
Mission Parivar Vikas
During a press conference to mark three years of the NDA government, Health Minister J P Nadda said, “Mission Parivar Vikas launched in mission mode is aimed at strengthening services in 146 high-focus high-fertility districts in seven most populous states of our country. It will adopt a multipronged approach for intensified family planning services and initiatives by delivering assured services, building additional capacity for enhanced service delivery, ensuring commodity security and through new promotional schemes specifically designed for these districts.”
Injectable contraceptives will be rolled out in these districts at the sub-centre level along with augmentation of long-term contraceptive methods like sterilisation services and implanting of intra-uterine contraceptive devices. Boxes of condoms will be placed at health facilities and gram panchayat bhawans.