We target two districts, Champaran and Varnasi. We zero in on 2000 volunteers designated as family mentors.
These mentors provide knowledge, care, and protection to the first one thousand days for every baby and mother.
Each of the 2000 health mentors has under her love and protection a minimum of 100 households, ( 100 families, 100 couples).
The project directly reaches 200,000 families and indirectly a million people including other family members, neighbors, and relations.
This is a knowledge and competency giving program focusing on women and children. The ultimate outcomes are new gender norms and new familial and societal health habits.
Mothers and children are at the heart of this community enterprise. Mentorship is the core function.
Mentors are not born, they are not appointed, not selected or recommended. They stand up and declare themselves mentors. They own the program. The rest the project adds to them. A community college on health is on the move.
We Start with Champaran and Varnasi
We start with Champaran, because we are already there as the Gandhi Researc Center and we run the Mahatma Gandhi College of Social Work and we have helped create the most productive village panchayat there.
We are coming to Varnasi, because it is the gate way to the UP and the nation. Anything we do in that district will be seen, emulated and scaled up.
Our Mentors Who are They?
We create mentors. We do not appoint people. We need no recommendations. People who work with us have to stand up and volunteer. They have to own up. After our first training conducted in the 5D mode they have to leave with a delivery plan, which they have themselves developed. They will leave out training with a 40 days plan, a 400 days plan and a 4000 plan. We hold them accountable to their plan.
Our volunteers could come from anywhere. They could be educated housewives, young women out of school or college. They could be from youth or gender movements. They could be members of active self-help groups. They could be field based animators and frontlines of community-based organizations. They could be Ashas, Anganwadi workers. They could be elected representatives of panchayats or aspirant leaders preparing to stand for election.
First thousand days of Life
We are focussing on the Ist thousand days of life. We are on to mothers and children and people who care for pregnant women and new -born children.