Danagadi : Tata Steel Foundation’s RISHTA Project organised a one-day ‘Saathiya Samaroh’ at Hotel MIPL near Military Chowk in Danagadi block of Jajpur on Friday.
Rexona Jena, Chairperson, Child Welfare Committee, Jajpur graced the occasion as chief guest in the presence of Niranjan Kara, District Child Protection Officer (DCPO), Jajpur, Kantha Dehury, Additional Block Education Officer (ABEO), Danagadi and Allen Kim Joseph, Unit Head, Tata Steel Foundation, Kalinganagar.
65 adolescents from 15 Gram Panchayats across Danagadi and Sukinda blocks participated in the one-day event. The event was organised to felicitate these 65 Saathiyaas/peer educators on successfully completing an advanced training programme organised earlier. To participate in the training programme, these 65 Saathiyaas/peer educators were selected out of the total 230 Saathiyaas/peer educators working across 209 villages in both the blocks. After receiving the advanced training, these Saathiyaas/peer educators are in turn delegating the knowledge to the other Saathiyaas/peer educators.
During the event, participants were distributed ‘Saathiya Kits’ containing Information, Education and Communication (IEC) material pertaining to reproductive health.
The day-long event included various engaging activities, including ‘Nukkad Natak’ (street play) that conveyed important message on reproductive health & child marriage, and captivating cultural performances. The event also provided a platform for the youth to interact with government officials and share their experiences.
The ‘Saathiya Samaroh’ represents a significant step forward in empowering adolescents with knowledge and resources related to reproductive health.
Project RISHTA is a community-based and youth-led programme that aims to reduce early marriage in rural areas. The programme trains peer educators to counsel youth on child marriage prevention, Adolescent Reproductive Sexual Health (ARSH) education, and youth development opportunities.
Implemented in 2013 in Jajpur district, RISHTA Project has now reached 209 villages across 48 Gram Panchayats in Sukinda and Danagadi blocks of Jajpur. Much progress has been made in reducing the number of early marriages in the past few years. It has increased awareness about Adolescent Reproductive Sexual Health (ARSH) education in communities and improved the overall health of adolescents by identifying and training peer educators among them.