A walk in the Park

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This blog is dedicated to everyone who has struggled with Community Medicine. Through my posts I hope to simplify and demystify community medicine. The emphasis will be on clarifying concepts rather than providing ready-made answers to exam questions.

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Kishori Shakti Yojana: Essential details

Disclaimer: This article is primarily intended for my students, who requested I write about this scheme of the Government of India as it is not adequately described in the standard textbook.

Background information:

The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) is a centrally financed scheme that provides nutritional supplementation and non-formal pre-school education to children under 6 years of age. Other beneficiaries of the scheme include pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls, and other women.

Under the ICDS, an Adolescent Girls (AG) scheme was introduced, and consisted of two sub-schemes:

Scheme I (Girl-to-Girl approach): Aimed at 11-15 year old girls from families with an annual income of less than Rupees 6400/-.

Scheme II (Balika Mandal): Aimed at 11-18 year old girls of all income levels.

Broadly, the AG scheme involved the identification of poor, unmarried adolescent girls who had dropped out of school, and providing them 6-month long learning and training activities through the anganwadi centres.

Rationale for Kishori Shakti Yojana (KSY):

1. Several surveys revealed that adolescent girls

a. have sub-optimal

  • health
  • education
  • nutrition
  • social status

b. do not have adequate access to vital

  • health
  • nutritional information services

2. Programmes aimed at improving the health and nutritional social status of adolescent girls, as well as promoting awareness of health, hygiene, family welfare and management, could significantly improve

  • the health and nutrition of women and children
  • the decision-making capabilities of women

3. There was a consistent demand from states to cover adolescent girls under ICDS in all ICDS projects.

Objectives:

1. To improve nutrition and health status of 11-18 year old girls

2. To provide numeracy and literacy skills through non-formal education.

3. To train and equip adolescent girls to improve/ upgrade home-based and vocational skills.

4. To promote awareness of

  • health,
  • hygiene,
  • nutrition and family welfare,
  • home management and
  • child care,

and to take all measure as to facilitate their marrying only after attaining the age
of 18 years and if possible, even later

5. To gain a better understanding of their environment related social issues and the impact on their lives

6. To encourage adolescent girls to initiate various activities to be productive and useful
members of the society

Scheme Highlights:

No single tailor-made scheme for the entire country. Basket of programmatic options available with Union Territories/ States/ districts.

Options:

  1. Existing model of AG-I and/or AG-II Scheme may be continued
  2. Convergence with RCH scheme: creation of adolescent girl groups at Anganwadi Centres; regular supply of Iron and Folic Acid (IFA) and deworming tablets with nutritional and health education.
  3. Convergence with Department of Education: Emphasis on functional literacy, life education among illiterate adolescent girls who have dropped out of school. Adolescent girls to gather at Anganwadi Centres, and education to be provided through experts, consultants, NGOs, specialised government functionaries.
  4. Vocational training activities for economic empowerment: 2 Adolescent girls to be selected (from a pool of 20-25 girls per Anganwadi Centre) for vocational training; to be sent to a Government Authority/ Technical Institute for certificate course. These 2 girls would then train the remaining girls in each Anganwadi Centre.
  5. Synergy between AG Scheme and self-employment and income generation schemes implemented by Central and State Governments. Promote formation of  self-help groups.
  6. Formulating a Plan of Action to improve social status of adolescent girls: Focus on enhancement of self-esteem, legal literacy, and knowledge of rights. Module for training in Anganwadi Centres to be developed in  consultation with experts.
  7. State Governments/ UT Administrations could prepare their own Plan of Action, and choose their own option(s).

Financial aspects:

Interventions limited to Rupees 1.10 lakh per block/ ICDS project per annum only.

Implementation:

The Scheme is implemented through the ICDS infrastructure under the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India. At present, the scheme has been implemented in 6118 blocks across the country.

Monitoring:

The ICDS network monitors the Scheme.

Useful Links:

Link to the Government of India web page on Kishori Shakti Yojana:

http://wcd.nic.in/kishori-shakti-yojana

Link to web page containing documents related to the Scheme:

http://www.wcd.nic.in/schemes/kishori-shakti-yojana

Link to State-wise number of blocks sanctioned for implementation of the Scheme:

http://wcd.nic.in/state-wise-number-blocks-sanctioned-implementation-ksy