TARUNI: Empowering young women to gain control of their fertility

Location and population coverage: Taruni-2 is being implemented across 11 clusters covering a population of 5,23,333 in 479 villages of Udaipur & Rajsamand districts. Each cluster covers 35,000 – 50,000 population and is mobilized by community mobilizers or Taruni Preraks, who select, train and support entrepreneurs at village level to serve 700-1000 persons.

Time frame: 2014- run up to 2020

Introduction: Lack of access among poorer young women to information, counseling and services for reproductive health underlies low use and high unmet need for contraception. This lacuna is compounded whenever they face uncertainty and anxiety about becoming pregnant. Preventing or dealing with unwanted pregnancy often entails psychological or social costs, which when coupled with the inability to seek information or calmly take informed decisions, can lead to avoidable stress and non-use of services among young women.
The Taruni intervention being implemented by Action Research & Training for Health (ARTH) since Dec 2014, enables women to readily self-assess their pregnancy status, seek information and commodities from neighbourhood entrepreneurs, consult a telephone helpline, and easily access RH counseling and services at primary care clinics backed by escorted referral to specialists. All these interventions aim to enable reproductive choice and greater adoption of contraceptives and other reproductive health services, on part of young women aged up to 30 years. The1st phase was implemented in a population of 1,80,000, the 2nd phase has scaled intervention across 2½ blocks and utilizes field experience as a platform for communicating and advocating the safeguarding of choice and reproductive rights within India’s Family Planning Program in the run up to 2020.

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