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Sector Expert Consultation on Adolescents Issues

The adolescents (10-19 years) are almost 23% of total population in Rajasthan. In this age young people are very vulnerable to influence and pressures. According to the National Family Health Survey 2015-16 (NFHS-4), 35.4% women in the 20-24 age group tied the knot before 18 years of age. However, the State has relatively much smaller budget outlay for adolescents program and not much attention has been given for providing a special focus on adolescents issues across the spectrum and geography. 

A sector expert consultation on Adolescents issue was conducted for Rajasthan Priorities at Conference Hall of Indian Institute of Health Management Research University IIHMR, Jaipur on 8th August 2017. The consultation was organized by India Consensus in partnership with IIHMR University, Jaipur and well attended by experts from IIHMR, State Government, medical college, civil society, development partners and other academic and research institutions.


 Rajasthan Priorities: Sector Expert Consultation on Adolescents Issues


During the discussion, the following problems were shared and brainstormed by the experts:

  • Child / early marriage and teen pregnancy
  • Sexual and reproductive health
  • Mental health
  • Risky behaviors: drugs, violence, injuries
  • Nutrition and physical health
  • Adolescent health
  • Building healthy habits for the future
  • Early drop outs and skill development, quality of education
  • Family interaction
  • Lack of fora for adolescents to express themselves
  • Social norms and exclusions
  • Addiction to screen time
  • Poor reproductive health and protection

Key Initiatives

At present, the Government of Rajasthan has the following schemes/program for adolescents:

  • Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) -Addresses multiple dimensions of adolescent health—non-communicable diseases, nutrition, mental health, violence, substance abuse and sexual and reproductive health
  • An Adolescent Health Day in the state every quarter.
  • Fairs are organized where health camps are conducted.
  • Awareness drives on hygiene, nutrition, sexual and reproductive health, mental health, injuries, violence, substance misuse

Interventions

During the discussion, close to 70-80 interventions surfaced from all the participants and out of them, following 29 interventions were collectively chosen by all, as they seem to be most effective with the ability to be implemented considering scale, cast and practical issue related geography and diversity of the State.

  • Sanitation in schools
  • Counselling at schools for adolescent issues
  • Family counseling with parents and adolescents
  • Increase access and intensity to sexual and reproductive health + SRH counseling
  • Reduce child marriages via education, incentives
  • Counselling at health facilities for adolescent issues
  • Create a platform to hear adolescents
  • Toll-free helpline services for suicide and mental health issues
  • Provide nutrition to adolescent girls
  • Transfer assets and skills to girls
  • Link skill generating Institute to schools
  • Use civil society to implement programs and improve access to them
  • Promotion and awareness for counseling services
  • Audit of existing interventions to see ‘what works’
  • More women teachers particularly for STEM subjects
  • Training for teachers to address mental health
  • Education about identifying mental health symptoms and psychometric tests
  • Integration of life skills into curriculum
  • Provide transport to girls to attend schools
  • Conditional transfer for school and health services attainment
  • Scholarships and in-kind transfers (e.g. bicycles) to stay in school
  • Dropbox at schools and aganwadi for grievances + promotion
  • Village health and sanitation committees strengthened
  • Build ‘residential’ schools
  • Community decision making/oversight of school quality and teachers
  • More spaces for adolescents to play
  • Girls only schools in some areas
  • Cash incentives to whistleblow about child marriage
  • Increase quota for political posts and jobs

List of Participants 

  • Ankita Luharia, Program Officer, Action Aid
  • Dr.Dharmesh Kumar Sharma, Asst. Professor, Com. Medicine, SMS Medical College, Jaipur
  • Dr.Divya Vyas, Research Officer, IIHMR
  • Dr.Monika Rathor, Professor Community Medicine, SMS Medical College, Jaipur
  • Dr.Nidhi Purohit, Consultant RVSK, NHM
  • Dr.P.R.Sodani, Dean Training, IIHMR University
  • Dr.Priyamvada Singh, Policy & Outreach, IPE Global
  • Dr.Rajeev Singh Dhakad, Research Officer, IIHMR
  • Dr.Shobita Rajagopal, Associate Professor, Institute of Development Studies
  • Dr.Sonica Sharma, S.M.O Gandhi Nagar Dispensary, Department of Health & Medical Service, Jaipur
  • Dr. Kanchan Mathur, Professor, Institute of Development Studies
  • Manish Singh, ED, CECOEDECON
  • Mansi Chaudhary, Consultant Adolescent Health, UNFPA
  • Ms.Ayushi Rai, Program Officer, IIHMR
  • Nutan Jain, Professor, IIHMR University, Jaipur
  • Prof.V.S.Vyas, Prof Environment IDS, IDS Jaipur
  • Rajeev Tewari, Program Director, Bhoruka Charitable Trust
  • Rajendra Bhanawat, Chairman, Doosra Doshak
  • Sunil Thomas jacob, State Program Coordinator, UNFPA
  • Suresh Joshi, Nil, IIHMR
  • Dr. Mamta Chauhan, Associate Professor, State Institute of Health & Family Welfare
  • Priyamvada- IPE Global- priyamvadasingh@ipeglobal.com
  • Dr. Charu Mathur, Faculty member, IIHMR
  • Dr. Mohan Bairwa, Faculty member, IIHMR
  • Dr. Kailash Brijwasi, Executive Director, Jatan Udaipur
  • Dr. Sameer, Faculty member, IIHMR
  • Dr. Anil Agarwal, Head- Health, UNICEF Jaipur
  • Dr. Kailash Brijwasi, Executive Director, Jatan Udaipur