Grandmaas are new behaviour change agents in Dantewada to promote health and nutrition. An Innovative abhiyan “Bapi Na Uwaat”, led by the district administration and UNICEF, was launched recently in Dantewada.
Launching the initiative the district collector, Deepak Soni said “ People would benefit from the wisdom and knowledge of our elderly women and Dadis. BAPI Initiative connects Dantewada’s rich culture and traditions to promote health and nutrition. It will strengthen “Mukhyamantri Suposhan Abhiyan” to end malnutrition and anemia in the district”.
Job Zacharia Chief of UNICEF in Chhattisgarh said “ Baapi initiative could emerge as an innovative model for social and behaviour change at village level with the support of grandmas. This could be replicated across the country. It is the first time a cadre of village level influencers and communicators is created. Another salient feature of the program is that it uses local languages such as Halby and Gondi for communicating with people”. Zachariah added that Baapi initiative aims to promote 10 key behaviours related to health and nutrition. This would increase the demand for government services leading to reduction in malnutrition, anaemia, and child deaths in the district, he said.
A mascot and theme song of “Baapi” initiative was also launched and two communication vans were flagged off.
Under the program, there will be one Baapi/grandma in each village in the district, who will meet people, listen and talk to them about healthy behaviors. Baapi will be supported by village volunteers of Mahila Shakti Kendra.
CEO Zila Panchayat Ashwani dewangan, Abhishek Singh C4D specialist UNICEF, CMHO, District program officer Bijendra Singh and over 100 Baapis attended the event among others.