Abstract of Dissertation

Keyword : ISSNIP; ICDS; Integrated Child Development Services; Pregnant Women; Lactating Women

Objective : 1) To assess the extent of participation and experience of Pregnant and Lactating women in the CBEs. 2) To assess the family involvement and the perception of the family members regarding these events as per the PLW group. 3) To check the awareness of the PLW group about various practices discussed during the events. 4) To know the level of implementation of practices discussed after gaining knowledge at CBEs by beneficiaries. 5) To know the challenges faced by the PLW group attending events and following the practices. 6) To recommend strategies to magnify the involvement of beneficiaries in these events organized at AWC.

Background : Launched on 2nd October 1975, today, ICDS scheme represents one of the world's largest programs for early childhood development. ICDS provides preschool education (PSE) on one hand and breaking the vicious cycle of malnutrition, morbidity, reduced learning capacity and mortality, on the other. Being the world's largest outreach program it is targeting infants and children below 6 years of age, expectant and nursing mothers. The program includes a network of Anganwadi center (AWC), provides integrated services comprising supplementary nutrition, immunization, health checkup, referral services to children below 6 years of age and expectant and nursing mothers. To strengthen the ICDS system and policy framework, ISSNIP has come into action and under this community based events are organized for the behaviour change communication and capacity building among the community people to bring a change in their perceptions and behaviour. The two events celebrated under ISSNIP are God Bharai and Annaprashan, which are celebrated for a pregnant lady in her 7th month of pregnancy and for a child who has completed 6 months respectively to teach them the right practices.

Methodology : • Type of Study – A qualitative exploratory study. • Duration of study – Three months (1st February 2017 to 30th April 2017). • Location of Study- Across Four states namely; Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand. • Method of data collection – FGDs (Focus Group Discussions) • Data Collection Tools – Guided Checklist • Area Sampling – Geographical selection of places (States, Districts, blocks) was done using randomization techniques. • Participants Sampling- Participants for the FGD were selected depending upon the availability. • Sample selection- 3 districts selected from each state.1 FGD per District at Anganwadi Center of selected Block. A total of 12 FGDs done, 9 participants per FGD. • Source of Data collection- recordings done while conducting FGD • Data analysis – Using Atlas ti software

Findings : This study shows that across all the 4 states the PLW groups are well aware of the events organized and they also participate in these events. Although the importance is not much known to them and they see it as the traditional events and less as the informative events. It is all about how the AWWs are communicating the message and how the publicity of these events has been done. PLW are well aware of the practices told to them during the events and have incorporated into their routines, but face some challenges following them.

Recommendations : From this study we can conclude that although events are being celebrated at the AWCs across all the 4 states, but still the main motive of their celebration is not much clear to the PLW group, they see it as a traditional event being celebrated and don’t try to remember much of the information. Although it’s been noticed that once we probe them to give the information, they could tell after that. They are allured to attend the event by giving them goodies. Various recommendations have been given in this study assuming that this will help in required direction.