Barmer, the second largest district of the historic state of Rajasthan, makes up a major part of the Thar Desert. While a short trip to the charming desert seems enjoyable to tourists, life is not so fair for the rural population inhabiting the area. Many regions in the region, Barmer in particular, have some of the lowest health indicators.

The miseries of inhabitants are compounded by alarmingly high infant mortality rate of 82.3%; and social stigmas like the purdah system, female foeticide, child marriage and poor social status of women. According to a 2012 survey by UNICEF, about 6 to 6.5 lakh foeticides have taken place in Rajasthan in the past five years. Healthcare problems also arise due to lack of awareness on reproductive health issues in women. Poor access to healthcare services has further aggravated the situation. Concerned with the gravity of the situation in Barmer, Smile Foundation intervened, stressing the need of better healthcare services.


Project Highlights

  • Well-equipped mobile hospital launched in 2011 that provides preventive and curative medical services to residents of 41 remote villages.

  • Spreading awareness about healthcare issues through various IEC (Information, Education and Communication) campaigns in the villages.

  • Since its inception, when the female beneficiaries were very low, Smile’s programme has come a long way, breaking all social barriers prevalent in the region.

  • The state-level sensitization campaign for girl child - Padharo Mahari Laado was launched with an aim to put an end to female foeticide.

  • Awareness programmes covered a wide range of topics, ranging from specific diseases to important issues like reproductive health in women.

  • Several rallies, counselling programmes and blood donation camps also organised.

  • Strong links with the government health officials and NRHM created, resulting in easy access to medicines, family planning products and IEC materials, further augmenting the project’s reach to beneficiaries.

Impact

21,346 CHILDREN DIRECTLY PROVIDED EDUCATION THROUGH 120 CENTERS IN 21 STATES

50% OF TOTAL BENEFICIARIES ENROLLED WHERE GIRL CHILDREN, TO ENSURE A FAIR START FOR ALL

100% CHILDREN RECEIVED REGULAR NUTRITION & HEALTH CARE SUPPORT

100% TEACHER RECEIVED TRAINING IN INNOVATIVE TEACHING SKILLS


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