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Background

Vatsalya was conceived in 1995 as a comprehensive growth promoting institution for abandoned and orphaned children. Being determined to work towards improving the lives of children, the team realized that without intervening on issues that are responsible for placing children in problem situations the goals of providing growth opportunities to all children could not be realized. Vatsalya has broadened its mission and included focus on rural health as a primary component. The Project Holders, Dr. Hitesh Gupta has been a Faculty member of Indian Institute of Health Management and has worked on community based public health management in Dhausa district of Rajasthan. The Contact Person, Ms. Jaimala Gupta (wife of Project Holder) also has experience as Faculty in the same Institute. Vatsalya works with a vision “to create a child friendly state wherein rights of every child are protected and the responsibility of doing so is shared by all”.

Situation

Rajasthan is the largest state of India and accounts for nearly 5.5% of the total population of India. Only 1.04% of total water resources of the country exist in Rajasthan where the desert contributes 60% of the total area. Agriculture and cattle rearing are the main occupations. The rainfall is highly insufficient to sustain agriculture. Livestock population and milk production is high. The situation of health in the state is dismal. The task of ensuring health care facilities to all is very challenging. Rajasthan is performing below the national average on some important health indicators. Despite improvement in key indicators and the evolution of a large health infrastructure, the state compares poorly with many states in India.”

Delivery of services has been of poor quality. The issues of access and equity could not be effectively tackled. Large-scale absence of doctors and Para medical staff from rural areas made services inaccessible to a large population. Non-involvement of communities in the implementation of public health programs led to poor outcomes of interventions. Non-availability of funds for maintenance, untimely and inadequate supply of drugs and equipment and lack of responsiveness of health institutions to the public also resulted in under utilization and wastage. Vatsalya aims to bring about the positive and perceptible change in the development sector primarily focusing attention on children in difficult circumstances and maternal health.

Objectives

  • To establish an institution for street children with a comprehensive growth promoting environment.
  • To tap the potential of talented street children and provide them with opportunities to excel in constructive developmental activities and to arrange for scholarships .
  • To work for improving the health status of mothers and children.
  • To develop an interface with the government system .
  • To conduct action research in the health management field so as to scientifically understand and highlight gaps in the present health delivery system .
  • To exchange relevant scientific information through conferences, seminars, demonstrations and exhibitions and to bring out publications.

Review and Impact


Vatsalaya has grown tremendously as an organization. Supported by a number of national and international agencies, Vatsalya has diversified into building a health care research and training wing besides continuing its children’s rehabilitation and HIV/AIDS programs.

During the last year Vatsalya has made efforts to build the capacity of CRY partner organizations on health issues, disseminated vital information to partners on policies such as the National Rural Health Mission [NRHM] which now combines all the different health components of preventive and curative health aspects. It has also developed software on health indicators VHMIS which is installed at all partner level for capturing health indicator data. It has also provided user friendly IEC material which has enhanced knowledge of partners on health issues. A significant aspect was the organizations inputs in providing information on the Government schemes, programs and provisions. Vatsalya now has a reputation and credibility as a performer with partner organizations with whom they have established good rapport.

  • To enhance community participation in health delivery by empowering them, particularly women and adolescents, a three days training was organized with 7 CRY partners in Rajasthan. Discussion of adolescent health issues with community and the CBO’s was taken up as a training issue.
  • Adolescent health IEC (Saanp Sidi game) was shared with all the participants for community level meetings and awareness generation.
  • Capacity building (workshop) on immunization and nutrition for mothers and children was organized to initiate advocacy for reducing the maternal mortality in the project area by at least 20% as compared to State data in the next five years.
  • Capacity building on gender equity with special focus on the girl child, including child and maternal care and survival issues.
  • Health model villages were planned in two partner areas MJAS and Mahan.
  • Rapid appraisal of current situation and functioning of partner NGO’s was carried out.

Plans

  • Capacity building on the child survival component specifically covering linkages on immunization and child nutrition vis-à-vis right to health.
  • Capacity building on gender equity with a special focus on protection of girl children and child survival issues.
  • Study on child malnutrition and anemia in relation to child survival and growth basis which action plans will be developed with partners for further dissemination at grass root level.
  • Model village processes planned – assessment of the current health status, social mapping, resource mapping, interaction with stake holders and analysis, preparing socio-demographic profile of the area, preparing health indicator for Panchayats and villages to enable mapping the development of health seeking behavior of the community.
  • Module on Government schemes to be prepared for dissemination.
  • Educational material focusing on the reasons for gender-based discrimination and the steps to address the problem of sex selective abortion under the present situation will be developed and disseminated.

ANNUAL FINANCIAL SUMMARY

  • Right to Survival
    $33,580
  • Administration
    $4,579
  • Total Annual Grant Approved
    $38,159