BETWEEN JANUARY-MARCH 2019, WE ARE PARTNERING WITH YOUNG ADVOCATES ACROSS INDIA AND THE POPULATION FOUNDATION OF INDIA TO DEVELOP ADOLESCENT AND YOUTH-FRIENDLY GUIDELINES THROUGH SIX REGIONAL CONSULTATIONS. THESE CONSULTATIONS HAVE BEEN STRONGLY FOCUSED ON BRINGING TOGETHER FRAGMENTED VOICES & EFFORTS ACROSS AND AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE WORKING ON ADOLESCENT HEALTH. THE SIX CONSULTATIONS WERE IN NAWADA, IMPHAL, BHOPAL, KALAHANDI, DELHI AND MUMBAI, AND WILL CULMINATION IN A NATIONAL CONSULTATION IN NEW DELHI.
15 young people and civil society representatives from Jharkhand and 19 representatives from Bihar came together to identify the needs of adolescents across the two states and the gaps in SRHR policies in the region. One of the major aims of the consultation was to map innovative recommendations and draw a comparative analysis of SRHR policies across regions, which were then communicated to Ms Sheetal Rahi, Assistant Commissioner – Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Mr Prabhu Das, a representative of CARE, the Technical Support Agency on adolescent health in Bihar.
Problems highlighted at the Consultation ran across a range of issues, including nutrition and tablet distribution; early child marriage; sexual and reproductive health services, including accessibility of counselling centres, availability of sanitary napkins, and access to sexuality education; and systems and infrastructure of adolescent health policies, going into granular detail about peer educator training and activation of State and District Committees.
In the role of the facilitator, TYPF supported the youth advocates to refine their recommendations and streamline their dialogue with the government representatives. Recommendations were organised across the 6 themes of the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram in order to provide a more compelling argument for addressing them. Framing the discussion along these themes also strengthens the need for an intersectional and holistic approach to adolescent health.