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MSDS-Astitva's Woman & Child Program


Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." – Dr. Seuss

Project Astitva, empowers women and children of four tribal hamlets in the Nilgiris with health and nutrition awareness and enhancement. We run a holistic education module for the adolescent girls of these hamlets, supporting them to become strong and surefooted ambassadors of change. To find their wings and fly!

These hamlets are some of the poorest and have some of the highest incidences of malnutrition, non-communicable diseases such as HIV, TB and a range of social issues such as child marriage, teenage pregnancies, high fertility etc. Most women in the hamlets are also severely anaemic and underweight, while the children are stunted and wasted.

The Project provides all women with millet-rich dry rations and recipes to help them cook their favourite food using nutritious ingredients. It gives the expectant and lactating mothers and children hot cooked nutritious meals and cooked supplements like nutri-laddoos, while teaching them the importance of a healthy and diverse diet. Project Astitva supports them grow their own nutritious vegetables and basic medicinal plants and run their community kitchen garden so they can continue to cook and eat healthy food.

The Project also counsels them and facilitates the construction of covered toilets so they can avoid disease. We support them find livelihood that will bring in sufficient money to run a home and train them on hygiene and sanitation with or without a pandemic raging at their doors.

The Project aims at helping women pursue a livelihood that will provide them with adequate funds to run their families independently.

Project Astitva works with adolescents to help them to help them recognise their own strength – physically, mentally and emotionally. We have sought to create a positive menstrual attitude, end stigma about mental health, and create an environment conducive to tackle mental health conditions. We also impart critical knowledge about sexual and reproductive health among adolescent girls and young mothers. All women and children are trained in menstrual and reproductive health and hygiene, and the importance of birth control, birth spacing.

Project Astitva works with the complete support of the District Collector and the District Administration in tune with the district's ICDS (Integrated Child Development Service) program.

As soon as the tribal women become self-sufficient and self-sustaining, the project will move on to the next cluster of hamlets, to repeat our model.

This project is in the capable hands of a team of professionals hired for their knowledge of the area and subject matter expertise, as well as an active advisory team of Nutritionists, Public Health Specialists and others working in Tribal Development. Astitva is run by a group of XLRI Alumni who provide strategy and direction.

Astitva runs on contributions from our generous donors like you. Please spread the word and support us. Thank you very much!

Contact Person: Mrs. Malati Mukherjee, Project Director. Mobile: +91 9442236410.