Secretary, Health and Family Welfare launched the SAATHIYA Resource Kit including ‘Saathiya Salah’ Mobile App for adolescents as part of the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) program.
One of the key interventions under the programme is introduction of the Peer Educators (Saathiyas) who act as a catalyst for generating demand for the adolescent health services and imparting age appropriate knowledge on key adolescent health issues to their peer groups.
In order to equip the Saathiyas in doing so, the Health Ministry has launched the Saathiya Resource Kit (including ‘Saathiya Salah’ Mobile App).
Our country is home to 253 million adolescents which is largest in the world in terms of absolute numbers and when RMNCH programs were launched globally, India was the first country to add the ‘+A’ i.e. adolescent component to the RMNCH, making it today’s RMNCH+A program’.
To address and cater to the health and development needs of the country’s adolescents, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) in January 2014. RKSK identifies six strategic priorities for adolescents i.e. nutrition, sexual and reproductive health (SRH), non-communicable diseases (NCDs), substance misuse, injuries and violence (including gender-based violence) and mental health.
The most important component and driving force of RKSK program are its Peer Educators and this resource kit has been launched to enable them to communicate with the adolescents of their community.
The ‘kit is being launched to enable the 1.6 lakhs Peer Educators towards taking their job forward and answering all the queries in the minds of an adolescent in-spite of the plethora of media (Magazines, TV, internet etc.) available’.
The Peer Educators will be trained across the country in a phased manner, ensuring optimum use of the resource kit, which is a ready source of a range of communication material specially designed to help the Peer Educator to be recognized and respected as ‘saathiya’, a good friend for the adolescents.
This Resource Kit comprises i) Activity Book, ii) Bhranti-Kranti Game iii) Question-Answer Book and iv) Peer Educator Diary.
In addition to the kit is the mobile app ‘Saathiya Salah’ (downloadable from Google play-store) which acts as a ready information source for the adolescents in case they are unable to interact with the Peer Educators.
The mobile app is also linked to another important piece of cost-effective information platform of a toll-free Saathiya Helpline (1800-233-1250) which will act as an e-counselor.
While the short films will be played by the Peer Educators at their group meetings, the activity book and games will bring about discussion and resolve adolescent queries. Encashing on mobile technology, the shy adolescents or those unable to interact with the peer educators due to family reasons, can access the information through the free mobile app as well the toll free helpline.