With the objective to improve the nutritional and health status of adolescent girls in the age group of 11-18 years and empower them by providing education in life-skills, health and nutrition, the Government of India introduced the Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls - SABLA in November, 2010 through ICDS in 200 backward districts of India where BITAN is responsible for Mal, Matiali, Alipurduar I and Alipurduar Urban areas of Jalpaiguri district and Dinhata I, Dinhata II, Mathabhanga I, Tufanganj I, Sitai and Sitalkuchi blocks of Coochbehar district in West Bengal.
Till date, more than 30,000 Sakhi-Saheli and Kishori Samooh have been trained with ARSH, HIV-AIDS, Nutrition and Life Skills under this excellent government scheme where an excellent partnership of G.O – N.G.O has been executed. It has been also felt that, only the trainings could not be sufficient to make them aware of their rights and hence, the girls have also been exposed to different public service providers through exposure visits viz. Police Station, Post Office, Bank, BPHC, Panchayat office etc where they realized about their entitlements in the society.
During the SABLA implementation, BITAN felt that the adolescent girls have many things which remain unheard and unexplored to us. Organizing District level dissemination workshop was a step to explore those qualities of the girls and put them in front of the stakeholders at different level. Publication of magazine-UJAAN was also a key step where the voices from the ground were documented and placed from block, district up to state level stakeholders, which also received enormous appreciation. Media coverage was also done to reach a broader mass and aware them about the scheme, its importance and effectiveness.
• International Womens’ day has been celebrated with the adolescent girls & ICDS functionaries across 10 project areas of Jalpaiguri & Coochbehar.
• BITAN developed IEC, Chart Posters in Bengali & Hindi for maintaining the uniformity of topics & convey the key message to the girls across two districts.
• DPOs of Coochbehar & Jalpaiguri visited the field level training and appreciated the Field Trainers who were providing training in Bengali, Nepali & Sadri at a time.
• Some girls who were trained as Sakhi- Saheli by BITAN under SABLA in last financial year, becomes the Field trainer in this year and hold sessions efficiently.
• Many girls have opened Post Office account & Bank account after the exposure visits.