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Swasthya ebam Rojgar (SAROJ) — “Health and Livelihood”

The project will be implemented in 30 villages of Sakra Block, within the Muzaffarpur district of Bihar State in India. In this region, more than 80% of the rural population depends upon agriculture as their only source of livelihoods, working as day laborers in the fields. As agriculture is seasonal in the area, this limits their potential for earning a steady income throughout the year. In addition, low sanitation standards and lack of access to clean water makes community members susceptible to illness. Kalazar (a parasitic disease from the bite of a sand fly) and malaria are the most common vector borne diseases in the area, and it is reported that there is almost one member in every family affected with one of these diseases.

The Project

Through partner Christian Medical Association of India (CMAI), the project aims to increase the income levels of the target population to enable them to have better access to institutional and quality health care services, particularly related to reproductive health (including maternal health) and communicable diseases such as Kalazar and malaria.

The project will involve organizing communities, especially women, into self help groups (SHG) to develop their understanding and capacity for group leadership and management, savings, credit, and record keeping. In addition, the groups will focus on building knowledge on preventive health practices.

Efforts will also be made to link SHG members with subsidized community health insurance available from the local government, as well providing those members with an opportunity to raise awareness with local authorities to their health and livelihood challenges.

Objective #1

To organize 600 women into 50 Self Help Groups (SHGs) and strengthen their capacity on functional literacy, leadership, micro-credit, emergency health fund management and accessing health insurance programs by 2014.

Objective #2

To increase the average family income from Rs. 5100 to Rs. 6500 for 600 dalit women through increased capacity in micro enterprises, exposure, and linkages to financial institutions by 2014.

Objective #3

To increase the awareness of 600 women on preventative health care practices (including maternal health care) and available Kalazar and malaria health services through training, family-based counseling, and community meetings.

Objective #4

To increase awareness of government officials with regard to the urgency of Kalazar and malaria health services for their constituents by 2014.