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issue 2 | april 2014

Seva Setu takes Tiny yet Giant step towards curbing malnutrition - donates 10 Weighing Machines
As promised, Seva Setu made a small yet highly significant material contribution last week to Bihars protracted struggle against malnutrition by donating a total of 10 weighing machines-3 for adults and 7 for infants- to 9 different Anganwadi Centres in the Patna district. Seva Setu extends sincere gratitude to its esteemed donors for their monetary contribution and to all the local stakeholders Anganwadi Workers, ASHAs and ANMs who participated in the event. A brief context of the issue follows here: "What gets measured gets managed". This is the core philosophy underlying regular growth monitoring of children to manage the colossal problem of malnutrition in our country. Growth monitoring involves following changes in a child's physical development through regular measurement of weight, and sometimes length. It is an important tool in individual care, for early detection of health and nutrition problems in growing children. Each Anganwadi Centre (AWC) is supposed to have one weighing machine for infants and another for the rest of the population, primarily for pregnant ladies, adolescent girls and children. This helps in measuring and monitoring the level of malnourishment and under-nourishment in the community on a regular basis. However, we have found that most of the AWCs in the Phulwari block of Patna district dont have a functional weighing machine. Over 100 of the total 204 AWCs in the block are constrained by this lack of required equipment. While we clearly understand the enormity of the task at hand, we are happy to have taken the first few steps with this small contribution. At this point, we would like to highlight that our work doesnt end here. Apart from making more such donations in coming months, our next course of action would be take steps to make the AWCs utilize these machines effectively & also keep raising and highlighting this issue strongly and regularly with the concerned state authorities. Keep watching the space for more!

programs and services updates:


citizen care
Owing to the successful execution of services in the last 2.5 months in more than 15 villages in Bihar, Citizen Care program is now has received 330+ requests. With our existing infrastructure setup tools and processes, we are all set to take the services of Citizen Care to 100+ villages (around 10,000 house holds in the first phase) in Patna & Vaishali district from 1st to 31st May 2014. We would be using numerous modes of communication such as pamphlet distribution, mini Aam Sabhas, awareness session at Aanganwadi Centres, etc. Challenges are numerous, resources are limited but with hope & resolve we are determined to reach our target and make a marked difference. Currently, we have disseminated information for all requests received, facilitated about 70 requests (closed) & 220 (ongoing).

mother care
In the last 1 month, service coverage of Mother Care Program in Vaishali region has seen a tremendous surge from 30 mothers to 600+ mothers. Patna region has moved from 275 to 350+ mothers in the same time. This has been possible thanks to the concerted efforts by Seva Setus field team in coordination with the local district administration

kids care
With dedicated efforts on field, the services of Kids Care have reached 380+ kids in Phulwarisharif & 165 kids in Vaishali District of Bihar in last 1 month. Also, in the last month, we have identified & admitted 13 more SAM kids, in Vaishali district, to the local NRC in 2 separate batches. So far we have succeeded in identifying & admitting 40+ SAM children in NRCs across Bihar & Rajasthan.

Seva Setu successfully innovates an Aggregation Strategy for executing its programs
Any program or service is as good as its execution. This statement assumes greater significance when it comes to working in remote villages where there are issues of connectivity, communication, collaboration, etc. Hence, at Seva Setu, we constantly try to innovate in search of more effective ways and means for executing our programs on the field. As you are aware, we are running programs such as Mother Care, Kids and Citizen Care. All these programs involves a number of activities, database preparation and most importantly direct communication with a larger audience at a time to increase our reach and get direct and quick results. In order to do this, we innovated and executed an Aggregation Strategy at common gathering points Aanganwadi Centre (AWC) being the prominent one. As part of this strategy, our field workers identified Immunization Events and THR (Take Home Ration) events where villagers especially women and children gather in large number. An immunization event is carried out at multiple Anganwadi centres on different days of a week while a THR activity is done once in a month at multiple centres. Seva Setus field team covers 8-10 immunization events in a week and 4-5 THR events in a month, having a cumulative reach of around a 1000 women. At the THR events and immunization events where women and children are gathered by Asha workers of AWCs in large number from different villages, Seva Setus field personnel conduct the following activities:

guest column:
What will you do about it?
-by a Teach for India Fellow Almost 50% of the children in this country will never go beyond 5th grade. Take a moment to understand what that number means. In the largest democracy in the world and one of the fastest growing economies, every SECOND child you see is not going to study beyond 5th grade. For India, this means that 135 million children in this country will not go beyond 5th grade. The reason I am a Teach for India fellow is because this bothers me. When 11 year old Sana who I taught two years ago, started menstruating, coming to school was a nightmare. There are no functional toilets in school. There is one common toilet for boys and girls but even then there is no means to dispose off the waste, she said. In a school consisting of 400 odd children, there was only one toilet in the whole school. Even though as a country we have solved the problem of access to education, with only 4% of children having never gone to school, we are still grappling with issues like dropout rates and absenteeism in schools. One of the many reasons for girls dropping out or not attending school is the lack of facilities in school. As a teacher, I have seen this statistic play out in the classroom I taught. In the following years, after I left the school, despite efforts by us, I heard that 3 more girls had left school for similar reasons and with increasing grades the dropout rate was increasing alarmingly. It is at times like these that I ask myself the question, What can I do about it and it is high time we asked ourselves this fundamental question, because much as we would like to ignore it, the reality is that half the children in this country will not go to school, will never realise their true potential. The reality is that our health indicators are so bad that our rates of child malnutrition are worse than that of Sub Saharan Africa. 1 in every 3 children in India is malnourished while 21 million tonnes of wheat rots every year in this country. The reality is that in the global gender report, India is ranked 101 among 136 countries in terms of gender equality. The reality is that more children under the age of five died in India, than anywhere else in the world. It is pertinent for us to remind ourselves that these are not just numbers in reports but actual human beings whose lives and quality of life is at stake. I think we have wasted enough years in this country, blaming -the government, politicians, principals and teachers, parents who bring children into this world without thinking, circumstances and the country at large. In the process we have constantly failed our children, our women and our elderly because we have been busy thinking about whom to transfer the blame to.

Awareness sessions on malnutrition & Mother and Child Protection (MCP) Card for women and children Identification of Severely Acutely Malnourished (SAM) children and women by field personnel who carry weighing machines and Mid -Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) tapes to villages. This comes under both Mother Care and Child Care Programs Collect data (name, place, contact number, due date etc.) of pregnant mother for providing Mother Care services Our field people carry birth certificate application forms which they distribute to parents of newborn children. They also guide people on how to get birth certificates for their children and also follow up with them seven days later. This is part of Citizen Care program of Seva Setu

In short, by identifying events/activities that brings together large number of villagers at the same place and time, Seva Setu has succeeded in aggregating various activities under multiple programs and disseminating them to people in one go and thereby scaled up its reach to large number villages.

news room:
Seva Setus field facilitates a new competitive Auto service for ferrying pregnant women to hospitals for delivery in the Rajapakar block, Vaishali, Bihar. This was done because for the entire block (covering more than 70 villages) there is only one Government sponsored 102 Ambulance Service which is highly insufficient

900+

It is time to ask What will I do about it?

women across 70 villages reached under Mother Care

40+

Severely Acutely Malnourished children admitted & cured at NRCs in Bihar

50+

Anganwadi Centers (AWCs) collaboratively working with Seva Setu

Registered Office: SevaSetu Arpana Bank Colony, Phase-2, Ram Jaipal Nagar, New Bailey Road Patna-801503 Contact: Nishant Ojha (+91 9663367484)

Head Office: SevaSetu 54/1, Block-UA2, Jawahar Nagar, New Delhi-110007 Contact: Neeraj Saransh (+91 9868425466) Ajay Kumar Ojha (+91 9873738043)

Regional Presence: Bangalore (Karnataka) Gurgaon (Haryana) Alwar (Rajasthan) Patna (Bihar)