Adolescent Reproductive & Sexual Health (ARSH)
Overview

In West Bengal even today, adolescent boys and girls is living with poor or no access to reproductive and sexual health services. Early marriage and teenage pregnancy coupled with poor access to family planning technique consequently lead to serious reproductive health crisis among girls in West Bengal. Moreover, they are commonly coming under the formidable grip of health depressions like Reproductive Tract Infections (RTIs) and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), which leave a permanent scar on the individual even as an adult. Many of them do not have the proper information about or access to the care and treatment they need regarding RTI and/or STI. Sometimes various “self-nominated reliable sources” provide misconceptions and misleading information, which make them very reluctant to gain proper knowledge and seek need based treatment and care. Thus they are very much unconsciously allowing themselves to face negative reproductive and sexual health consequences, which have detrimental effect on their life and day-to-day productivity.

The Purnima Foundation (TPF) has started working to change this grave reality in the district of North 24 Parganas and Kolkata in West Bengal since December’2015. The project of Adolescent Reproductive & Sexual Health (ARSH) is launched by TPF collaborating with Khalisady Anubhab Welfare Association (KAWA) and Sharanya in North 24 Parganas and Kolkata respectively. The programme aims to improve adolescents’ rights to access information on reproductive and sexual health and use of quality and sustainable reproductive and sexual health services. Thus, ARSH project is trying to create an impact upon minimizing social vices like child marriage, early pregnancy, STIs/HIV/AIDS, gender based violence apart from helping the adolescents to develop various life skills that are going keep them safe in future. The target population of the project is adolescent girls and boys, both school going as well as dropouts dwelling primarily in slums around Tollygunj and New Alipore Railway station in Kolkata. The other area of intervention is the Haroa Block in 24 Parganas (N)

The Basic components of the TPF’s programme:
1. Sharanya, Kolkata

Drop in Centre that is run by Sharanya, a local organization in Kolkata under the aegis of ARSH Programme has successfully catered adolescent boys and girls of 10-19 years those who are dwelling primarily in slum areas located along the Tollygunj-New Alipore Railway track in Kolkata. This centre has rendered strong forum for both school going and out of school girls and boys for multifarious activities including reproductive health awareness and life skills education and recreational activities. Adolescent boys and girls are direct recipients of the programme whereas their parents and teachers are being labeled as indirect recipients.

2. Khalisady Anubhab Welfare Association (KAWA)

Drop in Centre that is run by KAWA, Haroa, 24 Parganas (North) under the aegis of ARSH Programme has successfully catered adolescent boys and girls of 13-19 years from those who are dwelling primarily in villages coming under the jurisdiction of Haroa block. This centre has delivered a strong forum for both school going and out of school girls and boys for different activities including reproductive health awareness and life skills education and infotainment based activities. Adolescent boys and girls are direct recipients of the programme whereas their parents and teachers are being labeled as indirect recipients.

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