The menstrual hygiene management programme (MHM) of the Tata Trusts has got a big push in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, leading to a noteworthy increase in awareness levels at the community level in the two states.
In the year leading up to April 2021, the MHM programme has trained 12,955 women, 8,596 girls and 257 men and boys in Uttar Pradesh on the issue in an effort to dispel the stigmas attached to it. In Jharkhand, 7,737 women, 3,308 girls and 309 men and boys have been similarly sensitised.
The programme focused on empowering women and adolescent girls while building a conversation around menstruation. The initiative was extended to cover schools and the larger community.
The programme rests on four pillars: intervention with women and adolescent girls through schools and community outreach, reaching out to adolescent boys and couples to educate them about menstruation, setting up of sustainable supply chain mechanisms for eco-friendly menstrual hygiene products, and the safe disposal of sanitary waste.
The ignorance surrounding menstrual hygiene has become a graver risk during Covid-19. It was the seriousness of the situation that led the Trusts to step up the MHM programme across their project areas.
The India Health Fund (IHF), a Tata Trusts' initiative that works to help in India’s fight against tuberculosis and malaria, has roped in two startups in a bid to bolster the country’s defences against infectious diseases.
The artificial intelligence-driven TrakItNow Technologies and Stellar Diagnostics, are expected to strengthen IHF’s mission to develop and deploy breakthrough innovations and align these with the objectives of the Indian government.
The Tata Trusts will partner Procter & Gamble Health to advance the nutritional status of women and children in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh. ‘Yes to poshan’ has been planned as a three-year collaborative initiative and will be executed in five villages of Krishna district.
Malnutrition is a complex public health problem which has inter-generational repercussions. According to a survey in Andhra Pradesh of women between 15 and 49 years of age, 58.8% are anaemic and 14.8% have a low body mass index, highlighting the need for pointed nutrition interventions.
Commenting on the initiative, Milind Thatte, the managing director of Procter & Gamble Health, said: “This is a behaviour change programme that aims to complement the government’s efforts by promoting diet diversity and addressing the challenges of limited or age-inappropriate diet among pregnant and lactating women and children below two years.”
Rajan Sankar, senior advisor, nutrition, with the Tata Trusts, said: “Under ‘Yes to poshan’, we will endeavour in partnership with P&G Health to sustainably increase diet diversity. This programme will benefit from community involvement. The convergence of local government schemes and self-help groups will maximise its on-ground impact.”
More than 11,000 households in 95 villages across 11 districts of Nagaland have become ‘all-weather water sufficient’ thanks to a Tata Trusts-supported initiative to achieve sustainable water security and enhance the resilience of vulnerable mountain communities to climate change.
Designed and executed by the North East Initiative Development Agency, an associate organisation of the Trusts, in collaboration with the Nagaland government, the project provides an innovative model of public-private partnerships.
Mountain springs are the lifeline and the primary source of water for domestic and agricultural purposes in Nagaland. Demand and the need for water for drinking and agricultural purposes has increased in recent years. Despite the state receiving abundant rainfall, an alarming depletion in groundwater and mountain aquifers have been observed in the region.
The springshed management project, launched in 2018 on a pilot basis, has concentrated on rejuvenating springs. As many as 105 springs in 95 villages have been rejuvenated so far.
Phool, Zeroplast Labs, Loopworm, Swachha Eco-solutions and MuddleArt have been adjudged the top five winning startups at Techtonic — innovations in waste management, a joint initiative involving the H&M Foundation and Social Alpha, the nonprofit startup incubator supported by the Tata Trusts.
The winning startups focused on developing technology innovations that enhanced the lives and livelihoods of people working in the informal sector.
The winners were selected from more than 100 applications and were based on a set of criteria that took in technology innovation, impact, operational scalability and business sustainability.
“The winning innovations have demonstrated the potential to create impact and scale up across geographies, said Manoj Kumar, the chief executive of Social Alpha.
The Collectives for Integrated Livelihood Initiatives (CInI), an associate organisation of the Tata Trusts, has been awarded the platinum award at the ‘master transformation conference’ hosted by FGnC Consulting. The award was for CInI’s outstanding efforts to boost educational outcomes among tribal communities.
CInI was able to tap some 700 volunteers for its projects, which reached 50,888 students and more than 2,000 teachers. This happened at a time when the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns affected the education of tribal children. Being digitally deprived, most did not have access to devices or cellular networks, causing a gap in learning.
To overcome the challenges and to ensure continuity of learning, CInI launched several initiatives — among them a regional volunteering programme and the ‘jhola library’ — to enable digital lessons on YouTube for tribal children. Local leaders assisted the volunteers in contributing to the success of the overall initiative.