To make a portal that will contain all relevant information regarding menstrual health and hygiene where women can ask questions, share stories, blogs, etc. Also, to introduce an anonymous phone helpline where 250 women of village Chharba (in Uttarakhand) can ask questions, which would be directed to the portal by trained Anganwadi workers. A panel of specialists from a regional hospital will entertain aforementioned queries once a week via a videolink and also answer on portal.The documentation of videolink will be printed and distributed among village women and also uploaded on portal.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Chharba (a village in Sahaspur block of Dehradun district, Uttarakhand)
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
Students’ Initiative for Integrated Rural Development (SIIRD) has organised 4 health camps in Chharba. In these camps most women come with problems regarding menstrual health. Cervical cancer deaths are high in Chharba due to lack of proper health & hygiene. These women hardly know about sanitary products like napkins & tampons. Hence need of awareness & assistance on the issue was realised.
An anganwadi worker is a health worker trained in health, nutrition & child-care by Indian government. Because of their women focused work, they are most suitable to be trained in using internet to upload problems of village women on the portal.
Many girls of the village drop out of schools when their periods start. So we will also give training to 5 adolescent girls as they can talk to other girls.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
Students’ Initiative for Integrated Rural Development (SIIRD) is an attempt by students of IIT Roorkee to synergise efforts of industry, academia and government and channelise them into village Chharba of Dehradun district. Currently SIIRD is a 38 member team, of which 6 members are associated with Women Health and hygiene initiative. The members are :
Nitin Gupta : https://www.facebook.com/nitin.gupta2312?fref=ts
Rashika Ramola : https://www.facebook.com/rashika40
Divya Pande : https://www.facebook.com/divyapandejackman?fref=ts
Rajesh Kumar : https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001640566025&fref=ts
Priya Garg : https://www.facebook.com/priya.garg.798?fref=ts
Harminder kaur : https://www.facebook.com/harminder.kaur.3154284?fref=ts
Shilpa Garg : https://www.facebook.com/shi
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
The content created here will include generic information on women health and hygiene through a website which will be updated regularly both from volunteers from the same community as well as experts of this field. It will also focus on specific issues of health and hygiene based on queries asked through a phone line. The success stories of the benefited members of the community will also be published (anonymously if required).
Since in India, the issues relating to menstrual health are taboo, the contents will also focus on creating an awareness and explaining the need to discuss these issues in the social space and ensure that none of the school going girls need to drop out for reasons like this.
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established or plan to establish that will contribute to the success of the project.
SIIRD collaborated with Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY), a national health insurance scheme to fetch doctors for a health camp. It can contact same doctors again to form the aforementioned panel of specialists. SIIRD has held 2 workshops for women health & hygiene for school girls so far, in which sanitary napkins were also distributed. SIIRD has been teaching these girls how to use computer and internet. Besides this, we have also joined hands with State Resource Centre, Dehradun for the awareness.
We are in touch with Aakar Innovations, a social enterprise as we may collaborate with them for an awareness session and distribution of affordable sanitary napkins.
SIIRD also has good relations with village pradhan who will be instrumental in gaining support of villagers.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
250 women of Chharba will be trained in using a mobile helpline to ask queries regarding menstrual health and hygiene. 5 anganwadi women & 5 school girls will be trained to use internet so that they can help in setting up the video conference and uploading it with transcript on the portal.
Chharba witnesses a large number of cervical cancers and cervical cancer deaths. Still speaking about menstrual health and hygiene is a taboo there. Males of the village are unaware of problems of women. Anganwadi workers are very keen on serving the community and most of them are selected from village only. So we will target village women with the help of anganwadi workers, school girls and girls of SIIRD, as village women will be more comfortable in talking to their own people and their own gender
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
Phone Helpline, Portal, Video Link and Print media.
We will be hosting a website and a computer with an internet connection will be installed at one or two places in the village. We will be training around 20 women volunteers from that village. Those women will spread awareness among the residents of that village, based on the contents they see on website. This will be done through various local media i.e Paper pamphlets, posters etc.
The computerized centre will also have a video link where queries and problems asked through phone line will be addressed once a week.
Basically, we are creating a two way interface between the village and medical experts along with a group of volunteer of 20 women, who will interpret the information to others and will ensure their internal networking.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
We will need a computer, an internet connection and a video camera. An LCD Projector and a screen will be needed for showing presentations or videos. We only have a one room anganwadi centre where we plan to set up a computer with an internet connection in order to start the project.
What is your current relationship with the community with whom you plan to work? What makes you the most appropriate individual or organization to implement this project?
SIIRD has been working for the betterment of lives of people of Chharba since last 6 years. We have successfully designed and implemented various initiatives in this village in different sectors such as ICT,education, women empowerment, health. This shows our commitment as well as expertise in implementing such initiatives. On account of our works in past, we have a thorough connect with the people of this village. We have a good knowledge of the demographics, culture and habits of the people of this village. We have the support of people of the village along with local administration.
We have organized women health & hygiene workshops in this village and tried to address the issues of women health and hygiene.
SIIRD will continue to work for the people of Chharba in the years to come.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
1. Women will initially be hesitant in talking to us about menstrual problems as nobody has asked talked to them about it so far.
2. Support of local government bodies i.e gram sabha and gram panchayat is required.
We aim to talk to women with the help of local women (anganwadi workers and village girls), whom they are comfortable with. We will convince local bodies through support of pradhan, anganwadi workers and village women.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
The evaluation of our project will be multistep.
a. The first part of our target will allow the issue of menstrual health and hygiene in social space and create awareness about the importance of it among women.
This can be measured by number of phone calls we receive regularly and also by number of women, who attend our awareness session on regular basis.
b. The second step will be to check the actual health status, as we regularly organize health camps we can compare the data of different health camps about number of women having different health problems.
For evaluating long term benefits we can also use different survey data conducted by Indian Govt.
The success of this project will be defined on complete achievement of part (a) and improve in the health status to a good percenta
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
1. Identification of 250 village women: 15 July 2014
2. Survey for identification of 5 anganwadi women and 5 school girls: 25 July 2014
3. Making and launching the portal: 15 August 2014
4. Identification of doctors for the specialist panel: 15 August, 2014
5. Making a phone helpline: 15 Sepember, 2014
6. Setting up computers and internet connection in anganwadi centre: September, 2014
7. Training anganwadi workers and school girls: August 2014 – September 2014
8. First video conference: October, 2014
9. Analysis of 5 conferences: November, 2014
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
(in Anganwadi Centre)
Computers – $1350
Network Connectivity – $200
Electricity – $70
Print media – $100
Travelling and food allowance for SIIRD members – $250
Misc – $450
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
Besides the microgrant funding, we will need technical assistance in building and hosting an interactive portal. We would require the assistance of Rising Voices in ensuring an internet connection to the village and setting up of the Video Link.
It will also be helpful if we can get some assistance regarding training the volunteers about using computers and Internet.
Students’ Initiative for Integrated Rural Development