Jan 20, 2015

Empowerment of 6000 girls in India:Quart. report

Dear donors, thank you very much for your continued support.

In our last quarterly report we had described how we have undertaken painstaking research to design and develop a scale to measure empowerment among adolescent girls.

The problem that we are trying to address:

About 1 million adolescent girls are married before they reach 18 years of age. A majority of these girls become mothers before 18 years as a result of which they suffer a huge burden of morbidity and mortality.

The solution that we are implementing:

Our research indicates that ‘Life Skills Education’ results in improvement - knowledge, self esteem, self efficacy, communication and decision making and negotiation skills. As a result of this empowerment they are able to negotiate with their parents to continue formal education and delay their marriage. With your continued support we have been able to empower 1200 adolescent girls.

This quarterly report is presented in 2 parts.

In part 1 of this quarterly report we would like to share details of “Life Skill Education”, which has resulted in improved self esteem and self efficacy of adolescent girls. We measure the change with the scale developed by us.

In part 2 of this report we would like to share details of the “Integrated, urban, reproductive and sexual health and family planning project for empowering adolescent girls and protecting young married women, which was initiated in 10 slums of Pune city in October 2014”.

 Part 1:

In 16 villages of Aurangabad district 800 girls have completed Life Skills Education. In these villages, 24 Life Skills Education teachers have organized 47 Girls Clubs (Kishori Mandals). The Kishori Mandals are implementing development projects in their villages.

In October 2014, another 412 adolescent girls were enrolled for the Life skills education course. They have been organized into 20 Kishori Mandals. In the last three months the following five modules of the Life Skills education course were taught - 1) Healthy life style 2) Local institutions 3) Team building 4) General skills 5) Laws related to women and girls.

Once a week, over a period of 6 months the Girls clubs conduct participatory activities such as visit to the bank, police station and post office; data collection, report writing, etc. Several Girls Clubs (Kishori Mandals) have organized street plays on the importance of delaying marriage and continuing formal education for adolescent girls. This community based activity has had a measurable impact on increasing awareness in the community about the risks of child and early marriage. Participatory activities organized by the girls are influencing the social norm related to age at marriage.

Self esteem and self efficacy among adolescent girls is measured at the time of enrolment in the Life Skills Education course and after its completion.

At the community level 20 orientation meetings were organized for mothers. The orientation meetings were attended by 321 mothers of adolescent girls.

You will be delighted to learn that Institute of Health Management Pachod (IHMP) has received a grant from a GlobalGiving UK corporate partner – “STA Travel Foundation”.

We wish to put on record our appreciation for the efforts made by GlobalGiving and are grateful to STA Travel Foundation for making a grant of Pounds 2000 for the purchase of 65 bicycles to start a bicycle bank to enable vulnerable girls at risk of early child marriage to attend secondary school. IHMP plans to mobilize funds from other donors as well and we hope that finally more than 300 girls will benefit by using bicycles to go to neighbouring villages that have secondary and higher secondary schools.

During the last quarter 31 girls received training in arts and craft. At the request of adolescent girls and their parents tailoring classes were started in 10 villages. Of the girls that attended sewing classes, 8 adolescent girls completed the course and have become professional tailors in their respective villages.

We wish to provide examples of the impact of this project through two case studies, which will give our supporters an idea of how Life Skills Education has resulted in raising the self esteem of adolescent girls in our project villages.

Case study 1:

Uzma lives in Adoor village (names changed). Her mother is a housewife and father is a farm worker. He is engaged in harvesting sweet lime fruit (Mousambi).

Uzma joined the second batch of life skill trainings and enjoyed it thoroughly. She brought her friends too for this course as she wanted them to benefit from it as well. She was a very attentive student. She took initiative in all the life skills education activities. Her friends nominated her to be their leader. One day their Life Skills teacher asked them to enact a street play for their village community called– “First you don’t like it but end up loving it”. Uzma took a lead in organizing the play.  This play was also presented in front of the evaluators from GlobalGiving. Uzma played the role of a doctor and also anchored the programme.

According to Uzma, Life Skill Education has given her great confidence, which is why she was able to take part in the street play. She feels confident in voicing her opinion on various issues, something that she could never do before the life skills education. Uzma wants to study further and aspires to become a doctor for her village. Her parents enjoyed to see her perform in the play and are very proud of her leadership skills. They appreciated her increase in self confidence and are sure she will achieve all that she aspires for in life.

 Case study 2:

Pooja (name changed) is another participant of Life Skills education. She is 17 years old and is studying in 12th standard. Her parents are marginal farmers. Pooja walks a long distance to go to her school. After joining Life skill education, Pooja went through training in leadership development, kitchen gardening, and various crafts. Along with other adolescent girls she visited the local bank, post office, police station and village council office. She joined the tailoring center and has learnt to design and sew women clothes. Pooja has taken up tailoring and has started earning for the family.

Pooja said “I was always interested in doing something productive but I did not have the required skills. Life skills education gave me the required skills and a chance to earn. Pooja said “I have earned the respect of my family and community and that had increased my self confidence immeasurably. After completing 12th class Pooja wishes to do Diploma in Education and become a teacher.

 Part 2

The second part of our quarterly report deals with the ‘Integrated urban reproductive and sexual health and family planning project for empowering adolescent girls and protecting young married women from the adverse consequences of early motherhood’. The project was initiated in 10 urban slums on 1st October 2014”.

In the last quarter house listing, mapping, census and listing of target populations was undertaken in the project slums. Details of 4846 households with 20,301 population were recorded.

Similarly, basic details of unmarried adolescent girls below 19 years and young married women below 24 years were recorded in all the project slums. Of the 1469 unmarried adolescent girls that were identified in 4846 household, 796 were found to be in the age group 11-14 years, and 673 were 15-19 years of age.

A total of 420 girls (28.6%) in the age group 11-19 were found to be out of school. The proportion of non school going girls was significantly higher in the age group 15-19 (48%) as compared to the girls in the age group 11-14 years (12%). It is apparent that a large proportion of adolescent girls drop out of school after reaching the age of 15 years.

A total of 1235 young married women below 24 years of age were listed in the project slums of which 183 were married adolescent girls less than 19 years of age.

The information collected by IHMP provides a glimpse of how meticulously community based data is being used for planning and implementation of the project in the slums of Pune city.

In the current quarter we hope to initiate implementation of the project by enrolling at least 400 unmarried adolescent girls for life skills education. Non school going girls will be given priority. Simultaneously, we plan to provide health services to a minimum of 1000 young married women. Married adolescent girls will be prioritized.

If you feel our work is worthy of it then please become a regular donor.

Please visit our facebook page here -https://www.facebook.com/AdolescentGirlProject ; – like it, share it and help us reach out to others who are interested in issues concerning adolescent girls in India.

Thank you very much for your continued support of IHMP.

Dr. A. Dyalchand


Institute of Health Management, Pachod (IHMP)

32/2/2;   Kharadi Road; Chandannagar;

Pune 411014;Maharashtra, India.

91 20 6410 0790 / 91 20 2026 4833

Oct 21, 2014

Empowerment of 6000 girls in India

Unmarried adolescent girls undergoing life skills
Unmarried adolescent girls undergoing life skills

Thanks to your support we are able to touch the lives of hundreds of girls.

 We would like to celebrate a fantastic milestone with you:

 We have designed a culturally appropriate scale to measure self esteem and self efficacy in unmarried adolescent girls. Girls with low self esteem and self efficacy can now be identified and given special care. This scale is also being used to evaluate our Life Skills Education for empowering adolescent girls. We wish to celebrate this great achievement with all of you. This is how the scale was developed:

First a literature review was undertaken to find out the definitions and scales used for measuring self-esteem and self-efficacy among adolescents internationally.

Definition of Self Esteem:

  •  “An overall evaluation of one’s worth or value.”(Rosenberg)

Definition of Self Efficacy:

  • “Person’s belief in one’s ability to cope with daily hassles and stressful life events”(Albert Bandura)

 The second step was a study undertaken with 82 adolescent girls in the age group 13 to 18 years, from different villages. The girls were asked about their perceptions regarding self esteem and self efficacy. Below we present some excerpts of their perceptions related to self esteem and self efficacy.

 Examples of perceptions of adolescent girls related to self esteem and self efficacy

 Q: Who has self efficacy? “A girl who makes mistakes but tells her parents has self confidence.”

 Q: What kind of decisions do adolescent girls make on a daily basis? “What to cook; meet friends or not; attend school or not; continue education or not”.

 Q: How does a girl come to know that she has good skills? “If a girl has skills, she shows them to others and receives praise. She comes to know that she has skills, and it increases her self confidence.”

 Q: Who can be a leader? What is leadership? Someone who can control a group, who is smart. Someone who is not shy while expressing herself. Someone who can take decisions.

 Q: Does gender discrimination affect your self esteem? “Gender discrimination makes a girl feel she has no importance in the house. She feels her family members do not love her”.

 Q: Which changes are noticeable in girls who have gone through the Life Skills Education? “They developed a liking for higher education; Can speak against the wrong decisions of parents such as marriage before 18 and stopping education; Can express opinion without fear; have more knowledge and skills; can take decisions”.

 In order to adapt the international scales for rural adolescent girls in India it was necessary to translate them into the local language. The scales were translated with the assistance of adolescent girls by using the local lexicon suggested by them.

 Examples of local lexicon related to self esteem and self efficacy elicited from adolescent girls

 A girl who can take a decision in the face of adversity has “himant,” “dhairya”. A girl who has the confidence of being a leader has “Dhadas”. Someone who can work independently is self-reliant “Nischaya”. A girl who can speak in front of many people is - “Dhit”. “If you want to be a village leader you have to be brave “Dhadas”.

 “If someone is creating obstacles for a girl, she should have confidence “himant” to overcome those obstacles by making that person understand”

 A composite tool was designed by incorporating factors from the international scales that were translated by the girls as well as factors derived from the study conducted with the adolescent girls. Once the draft instrument for data collection was designed, it was pretested with a few adolescent girls

 Empowerment of unmarried adolescent girls through Life Skills Education

 A total of 800 adolescent girls were enrolled in the first batch for Life Skills Education, out of which 721 girls have completed the course. I think this sentence is unnecessary.

 Before the life skills education was conducted 790 unmarried adolescent girls underwent the test for self esteem and self efficacy. Prior to life skills education 9 percent adolescent girls had very low self esteem and 14 percent had extremely low self efficacy. These girls and their parents were given special counseling and preferential enrolment in leadership and assertiveness training.

Six months later after the girls had completed the life skills education course 721 girls underwent the same tests for measuring their self esteem and self efficacy.


SELF ESTEEM SCORES                   Before Life Skills Education                         After Life Skills Education

                                                                              790 Girls tested                                       721 Girls tested

Girls with Low Self Esteem                                      9 %                                                                 2 %

Girls with High Self Esteem                                    57 %                                                                 69 %

The proportion of girls with very low self esteem reduced from 9 to 2 percent and the proportion of girls with moderate to high levels of low self esteem increased from 57 to 69 percent.


SELF EFFICACY SCORES                Before Life skills Education                         After Life Skills education

                                                                            790 Girls tested                                            721 Girls tested

Girls with Low Self Efficacy                               14 %                                                             3 %

Girls with High Self Efficacy                               48 %                                                             60 %

The proportion of girls with very low self efficacy reduced from 14 to 3 percent and the proportion of girls with moderate to high levels of low self efficacy increased from 48 to 60 percent.

 We believe that an improvement in self esteem and self efficacy will benefit the girls in all walks of life and will result in an improvement in their overall quality of life.

 One of our colleagues has shared the experience of an adolescent girl from one of our slums who had undergone life skills education. It is a powerful story about the benefits of empowering adolescent girls. Please press Ctrl and Click on this link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q680GL6I5iM

 Protecting married adolescent girls from the adverse consequences of early motherhood

From 1st April to 30th September 2014, twenty Community Health Workers (CHWs) assessed the health needs of married adolescent girls during household visits and reported their needs to health providers. A total of 482 Married Adolescent Girls are registered, out of which 437 (91 %) Married Adolescent Girls were visited for the monthly assessment of health needs.

 At the village level, 41 group meetings were conducted last month, where health information was disseminated. These meetings covered about 58 % of the target group, which has been the average coverage for each of the last three months.

 Over 21 % of young married couples are using contraceptives to plan their families. Last month 54 Married Adolescent Girls were identified with reproductive tract infections of which 44 (81 %) sought treatment. This has been the average coverage for each of the last three months.

 IHMP made a power point presentation on the issue of “Protecting married adolescent girls from the adverse consequences of early motherhood” for the Dasra Girl Power Award, which we won in 2013. To access the presentation press Ctrl and Click on this link -


 Usha International is one of the oldest manufacturer’s of sewing machines. Under their CSR programme the company has trained 10 teachers from IHMP’s project villages. These 10 teachers were given sewing machines by the Usha International company. Over the last three months the 10 teachers have trained 64 adolescent girls who have completed the life skills education course.

 We hope to raise funds for subsidizing the cost of sewing machines for the girls that show interest and have acquired the capacity to take up sewing as a means of livelihood.

 This quarter we hope to establish a bicycle bank and loan bicycles to at least 100 adolescent girls so that they can continue their formal education by going to neighbouring villages that have secondary schools and higher secondary schools.

 Gender sensitisation of Boys and Young Men

 The third component of the project with boys and young men aims to improve gender inequitable attitudes in young men thereby reducing the prevalence of sexual and domestic violence perpetrated on girls and young women.

 Monthly group counselling for boys and young men are being organised in 24 villages, which were attended by 683 youth.

 In each village 2 peer educators have been selected who are organising group meetings in their villages. A total of 48 peer educators have been oriented and are functioning. The peer educators have started a campaign for re-defining masculinity in more gender equitable terms:

 “Real men marry women, not adolescent girls”

“Real men are sensitive and caring towards girls and women”

“A real man would NEVER think of perpetrating violence against girls and women”

 Engaging parents and community members

 Twenty meetings were conducted for parents at the community level which were attended by 321 parents.

 If you would like to support us to achieve these goals, we would be grateful for any donations. Please go to the GlobalGiving link to donate.


 If you are a located in India you can donate through a bank transfer, cheque or demand draft payable to the following bank account.

Name of Account                  Ashish Gram Rachna Trust

Account Number                   20219000888

Bank Name                            Bank of Maharashtra, Pachod

Branch                                   Pachod Branch

IFSC Code                             MAHB0000203

Account Type             &nCollecting perceptions of unmarried adol girls

Collecting perceptions of unmarried adol girls
Married Adolescent Girls are receiving services
Married Adolescent Girls are receiving services
Married Adolescent Girls are receiving services
Married Adolescent Girls are receiving services

Jul 18, 2014

Empowerment of 6000 Adolescent Girls in India

CHWs being trained
CHWs being trained

Baseline survey: A baseline survey was conducted among married adolescent girls ≤19 years of age to find out the current situation in the project area. A total of 166 adolescent married girls <=19 years of age were interviewed. The findings are as follows:Mean current age of the respondents is 17.2 years. More than one in four girls are illiterate or educated up to the fourth class. The mean age at menarche is 13.4 and mean age at marriage is 15.1 years. About 63.4 % respondents were married before or at 15 years of age and 36.6% between 16 to 18 years. The average age at first conception is 15.9 years. The majority of girls (68.9%) had their first conception before the age of 16 years. The prevalence of any one complication during pregnancy is 77.7% and 65.5% reported at least one postnatal complication. About 21.2% young mothers reported that their babies had low birth weight and 57.3% reported neonatal complications. Merely 21.3% married adolescent girls reported that they are using contraceptives. A significant proportion (22.6 %) of married adolescent girls reported domestic violence.

Project Implementation: Capacity building: Project activities are being implemented through 24 trained community health workers. Trainings are being organized for CHWs for skills development in health care, behavior change communication and life skills education.

Empowerment of unmarried adolescent girls through Life Skills Education: A total of 797 adolescent girls are enrolled for the first batch of ‘Life Skills’ education by 24 CHWs. On an average 30 adolescent girls attend life skills education in each CHW area. A total of 81 adolescent girls have undergone training to develop kitchen garden by using the waste water of their homes. After the enrollment of adolescent girls for the Life Skills education a pre-test was conducted for 793 adolescent girls. Once the course is over the same tool will be used to evaluate the impact of the life skills education.

Protection of young married women from the adverse consequences of early marriage: On an average of 87.6% MAGs are visited by the CHW every month. About 48% MAGs attend group meetings at the village level. Nurses have started conducting antenatal clinics in 30 villages. They examined about 67.8% pregnant women and 482 MAGs received MNH and RH services last month.

 Case Study: Kavita (name changed) is a resident of village Kadethan (Bk). She got married when she was 15 years old and became pregnant for the first time when she was 16 years old. She has studied up to 9th class and works in her agricultural fields. During her house visit the IHMP nurse found that Kavita was at high risk as her weight was only 35 Kg during pregnancy. The nurse found out that her mother-in-law and husband were planning to have her delivered at home. After counseling by the nurse her husband and mother-in-law agreed to take her to the hospital for delivery. Kavita got premature labour pains that stopped after a short while and she was advised to undergo a Caesarean section. At the time of birth her baby weighed was only 1.5 Kg. Both mother and baby are doing well and now. This is a typical case study of how married adolescent girls are benefitting from this project.

Adolescent girls undergoing Life Skills Education
Adolescent girls undergoing Life Skills Education
A street play enacted by adolescent girls
A street play enacted by adolescent girls
CHW providing neonatal care during house visits
CHW providing neonatal care during house visits
CHW providing antenatal care
CHW providing antenatal care
CHW providing post natal care
CHW providing post natal care
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