Project Saksham

The adolescent age group is the population on which a country’s future is based upon. A healthy and productive adolescent individual can lead to strong and impactful development of self and the population as a whole. India’s adolescent population which is about 243 million amounts to almost a quarter of the entire country’s population with more than 120 million being girls. This group will decide the future of India in various sectors like medicine, engineering, communication, etc. Ensuring quality education and health of this group are thus a key action point.

*National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights

A high number of adolescent girls and women face adverse conditions when it comes to access to education or good healthcare, leading to various issues in their day-to-day life. United Way Mumbai's "Project Saksham" focuses on these aspects, principally in relation to adolescent girls and women from underprivileged groups, to improve their chances for a better future. The programme is being implemented at a shelter home for women and comprises 3 key components.

Saksham - Project Components

I: Providing opportunities for vocational training through a scholarship programme

Through the project, UWM promotes vocational training courses (animation, graphic designing, fashion technology, beautician courses, etc.) to women who demonstrate talent and commitment towards them. The program will select 20 women through aptitude tests, recommendations and interviews and provide financial support of INR 15,000/- to each of them so that they can pursue the course of their choice. The scholarship amount will be used for course fees and required stationery.

II: Adventure camp for personal safety training and stress release techniques

Most of the women from underprivileged groups regularly face harassment, including physical, mental, sexual, etc. UWM will organize a personal safety cum stress release camp for a group of women who are identified as vulnerable or have been victims of harassment. This camp will help to build their capacity for survival and to create network/support groups for necessary assistance.

III: Health enquiry, referral and health maintenance

UWM will also focus on providing support for women's health through multiple interventions including awareness training, health camps, referrals and provision of sanitation and hygiene material for daily use.

Awareness training sessions will include multiple methods like group training sessions, one-to-one discussions, etc. and focus on key aspects of preventive health, such as personal hygiene, sanitation, nutrition, menstrual health, etc. The women will also receive basic health screening by professional gynaecologists, free of cost voluntary blood testing for Complete Blood Count, diabetes screening and anthropometric measurements.

Women with medical issues will be referred to nearby public health clinics for further evaluation and will be accompanied by project staff to ensure treatment compliance. UWM will also provide the shelter home with monthly health and hygiene supplies, including cleaning solutions, sanitary napkins, personal hygiene products, etc. The aim is to promote personal hygiene practices to reduce the occurrence of infectious diseases.

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