ARC - Advocating Reproductive Choices

World Population Day, which draws attention to the urgency and importance of population issues, was observed in Jaipur, on 11th July, 2017. The ARC Rajasthan State Chapter was an active participant in the commemoration organised by the Department of Health and Family Welfare (DoHFW), Rajasthan. In line with its ongoing practice, the DoHFW, uses this occasion to recognise and award the best performing Districts, Panchayats, Gram Panchayats, CMHOs, ASHA’s; share their accomplishments of the past year; and also launch key initiatives/programmes for the upcoming year. This is a state level event in which development partners also participate and display their IEC / BCC materials.

Participation of ARC at the WPD

The Rajasthan State Chapter was able to successfully advocate with the Project Director, Family Welfare, DoHFW, for their inclusion at the state WPD event. The ARC members – Population Services International (PSI), Population Foundation of India (PFI), Pariwar Seva Sanstha (PSS), Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust (HLFPPT), MAMTA Health Institute for Mother and Child, Shikshit Rojgar Kendra Prabandhak Samiti (SRKPS) and the National Institute of Rural Affairs Samiti (NIRA) shared the common platform of ARC to display their IEC / BCC materials on family planning; the Foundation for Reproductive Health Services India (FRHS formerly MSI) and Engender Health displayed their communication material separately with the ARC logo on their respective stalls.

The IEC / BCC materials displayed, presented a rich pool of resources on family planning issues. The diverse collection included, information pamphlets on basket of choice, counselling tools on Family Planning (FP), different kind of contraceptives methods, manuals on different FP methods, a uterus module, CD’s on adverse case management, and a compendium of all FP advertisements, infographs, posters and flyers.

The Hon’ble Health Minister, Mr. Kali Charan Saraf; Hon’ble State Health Minister, Mr. Bansidhar Khandela; Zila Pramukh, Mr. Moolchand Meena; Principal Health Secretary, Dr. Veenu Gupta; Mission Director of the National Health Mission (NHM), Mr. Naveen Jain; Additional MD, NHM, Director Public Health & Commissioner Food Safety, Director Family Welfare & Director of the State Institute of Health and Family Welfare (SIHFW), key health officials and other guests visited the ARC stall and showed keen interest in the coalition’s knowledge materials.

The visibilty of ARC was strengthened as the Coalition positioned itself as an entity that provided a common platform for improving family planning services in the state. It also gave them the opportunity to showcase their work before key health officials.

The Hon’ble Health Minister launched the injectable contraceptive under the brand name ”Antara” in the state as well as the Centchroman Pill, branded as “Chaya”. He announced an expansion of the Adarsh PHC’s in the state, an escalation of IEC activities for Mission Parivar Vikas (MPV) districts and film on induction module and role of ASHA.