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News Updates 2005

Early Marriage: A childhood interrupted
Married at 13, Shanti got pregnant immediately afterwards and lost her underweight, prematurely delivered baby. She is pregnant again. “This time, we hope she pulls it off,” says her mother-in-law.

UNICEF aids Small Scale Salt Producers to ensure Universal Salt Iodization
Despite Gujarat being the largest salt producing state in India, an analysis of the salt samples tested in various districts revealed that inadequate or nil iodine content was found in the salt being produced by the small scale salt producers.

Workshop on Women and Sanitation
Married at 13, Shanti got pregnant immediately afterwards and lost her underweight, prematurely delivered baby. She is pregnant again. “This time, we hope she pulls it off,” says her mother-in-law.

Mitigating Fluorosis Scourge in Madhya Pradesh
Fluorosis, caused by ingestion of excess fluoride, most commonly through drinking-water and food crops irrigated with fluoride contaminated water, affects the teeth and bones.

East Midnapore – 100% toilet coverage
The Demand Driven Sanitation Strategy was conceived, designed and initiated by UNICEF and RKMLP in collaboration with the Government of West Bengal and the Midnapore Zilla Parishad.

Safe water sources becoming a reality in arsenic-affected districts of Bihar
Arsenic was first found in Bihar in 2002, and extensive testing has since then been carried out, especially along the river Ganges. This has confirmed the presence of arsenic in 11 districts.

Bihar's Nirmal Gram – A Women's Movement
The women of Barkichilmi, Goitha, Maile and Muzaffarpur – four panchayats (village clusters in the state of Bihar) have made history by winning the most prestigious award for cleanliness and hygiene – the Nirmal Gram award.

Improved water and sanitation to speed up the achievement of all eight MDGs
Approximately 400,000 to.500, 000 children below five years of age die due to diarrhoea annually in India. Young children bear a huge part of the burden of disease resulting from the lack of hygiene and sanitation.

Reading Festival in Kerala
This UNICEF supported initiative in 198 Upper Primary Schools in Malappuram, Wayanad and Kottayam districts of the state aims at developing learning and language skills among children.

Community Radio airs environment issues
A unique “community radio” programme titled “Hamaar Sab Ke Baat” ("our issues") was launched by UNICEF on Sunday, 5 March 2006. The programme, aired on the Vividh Bhararti channel (102.5 FM) of All India Radio, will be broadcast every week on Sunday

Integrated District Approach through Village Planning
Village Planning is an endeavour focusing on people, especially the most vulnerable: the children, the women and the disadvantaged. Fundamentally, the endeavour is a people driven approach to bring about a significant change in the quality of life

Village Planning Initiative in Guna, Madhya Pradesh
Dirouli village has almost spick-and-span lanes and neatly swept earthen courtyards. And, there is a perceptible enthusiasm amongst the people of the village, young and old. The village seems to be in the grip of a strong wind of change.

Women Lead Total Sanitation Drive in Maharashtra
Sakhara, with barely 72 households of adivasi Gond community, falls in Pandharkawada block in Yeotmal district. Recently this village has earned recognition in the district, as the first ‘open defecation free’ village in the block

Women mobilising village communities
Married at 13, Shanti got pregnant immediately afterwards and lost her underweight, prematurely delivered baby. She is pregnant again. “This time, we hope she pulls it off,” says her mother-in-law.

Declining sex-ratios – a matter of concern
Married at 13, Shanti got pregnant immediately afterwards and lost her underweight, prematurely delivered baby. She is pregnant again. “This time, we hope she pulls it off,” says her mother-in-law.

Universal sanitation gains momentum
“The key to reforming the water and sanitation sector lies with the local authorities and we are counting on UNICEF’s continuous support to do so” ,said Ms. Sunila Basant, Secretary of Department of Drinking Water, Ministry of Rural Development

UNICEF hands over School Furniture to the Nagapttinam District Collector
The new furniture represents a much improved school environment for these young students, who have shown improved attendance levels and regularity in the light of these changes.

India now has a road map to deal with paediatric AIDS.

'Meena' - animated spots on girls' education go on Air
State-owned radio and television channels in India are airing spots promoting girls’ education featuring Meena, an animated character developed by UNICEF.

Violence Against Children – a study provides opportunity for children to be heard
The study on Violence Against Children is an effort to provide a detailed global picture of the nature, extent and causes of violence against children, and propose clear recommendations for action to prevent and reduce such violence.

Total Sanitation Campaign in Gujarat
A State level conference was organised in Ahmedabad, the state capital, jointly by the Government of Gujarat and UNICEF to promote Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC).

Nurturing young tsunami survivors
At 11 kg-and-100 grams Arun is a handful for his mother. But Saroja is not complaining. Her baby had almost died when the tsunami struck her village in Nagapattinam in December 2004.

Improving school environment in Car Nicobar
Seena cannot stop smiling. The shiny new desks in place of the old muddy mats in her classroom came as a wonderful surprise for her and her friends.

Building Back Better - UNICEF promotes water harvesting in Car Nicobar
UNICEF played a key role in arranging the supply of clean drinking water to tsunami-hit communities across affected areas in India within 48-hrs after the disaster, and saw the need for sustainable drinking water solutions, rainwater harvesting being one.

Building Back Better - Ensuring a healthy start for children in Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Married at 13, Shanti got pregnant immediately afterwards and lost her underweight, prematurely delivered baby. She is pregnant again. “This time, we hope she pulls it off,” says her mother-in-law.

Building Back Better - after the tsunami
UNICEF is assisting the tsunami ravaged areas of Cuddalore and Nagapattinam district in Tamil Nadu to `build back better’.

Orissa felicitates girl students from disadvantaged groups
Married at 13, Shanti got pregnant immediately afterwards and lost her underweight, prematurely delivered baby. She is pregnant again. “This time, we hope she pulls it off,” says her mother-in-law.

Student Council draws attention to child-specific issues in West Bengal
The Chief Minister of West Bengal, Shri Buddadeb Bhattacharjee , spent time with representatives of the Student Council to hear their views on child-specific issues

Girls from tribal villages gaining access to higher education
Tribal villages in the Yavatmal district of Maharashtra have been witnessing an increase in the number of girls trying to gain access to higher education. The girls’ hostel at Patanbori, 22 kms away from Dublipod, houses around 60 tribal girls.

Colourful furniture brings cheer to tsunami affected schools in Andhra Pradesh
UNICEF has committed to ‘build back better’ the necessary infrastructure during the post-tsunami recovery phase by raising the quality of education for children in tsunami affected areas, UNICEF has developed a package of quality interventions.

Alternate schools enable children to enter formal schools
The Alternate School process was initiated as a pilot project in the Arni taluka of Yavatmal, one of the poorest districts in Maharashtra. Alternate Schools offered out-of-school children the opportunity to enter the stream of education.

Children observe Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) Prevention Day in Gujarat
UNICEF Gujarat office launched an IDD awareness campaign on Global IDD Prevention Day at a Higher Secondary School in Gandhinagar in collaboration with Health and Education Departments of Government of Gujarat to promote consumption of iodized salt.

Human chain highlights awareness on HIV/AIDS in Maharashtra
Four thousand students, carrying placards and banners with key messages on the causes and prevention of HIV and AIDS, came together to form a human chain in the city of Nagpur in Maharashtra on 26 October, to highlight awareness on the disease.

Universal Salt Iodization caravan goes to Ambaji in Gujarat
Global Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD) Day was observed on 21 October. On the full moon preceding the event, an IDD tableau-caravan was driven to Ambaji, in the state of Gujarat, to educate the thousands of pilgrims visiting the Ambaji temple.

The ‘Iodine Salt Run' in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, on Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders Day
2000 children from various schools of Hyderabad, the capital city of the state of Andhra Pradesh in India, enthusiastically trooped into the heart of the city wearing blue caps and white T-shirts, to run a 2 km sprint to mark the Global IDD Day.

UNICEF spreads HIV/AIDS awareness during Navratri
Navratri, a nine-night-long festival of song and dance in October, is celebrated by millions of people in the Indian state of Gujarat. UNICEF Gujarat, together with local partners, organised a multimedia campaign within the festival itself, on HIV/AIDS.

Project ‘Dular’ (Love) Goes to More Children in Jharkhand
With 24,000 anganwadi sevikas in attendance, Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda, on October 2 launched the UNICEF-supported Dular project in three additional districts of the state of Jharkhand.

Girls recount positive stories - a public hearing of a different kind in Rajasthan
The theme this year for the Girl Child week in Rajasthan was the celebration and recognition of girls who, against great odds, have fought to go to school.

Convergent Community Action Empowers Women in Yavatmal district, Maharashtra
The CCA intervention sought to empower women by creating a platform to come together and provide opportunities for them to demand and negotiate for their rights. The women also realized the importance of working with the village youth and other CBOs.

HIV – AIDS Awareness Caravan in Andhra Pradesh
A month long UNICEF-supported awareness campaign AASHA (AIDS Awareness and Sustained Holistic Action) against HIV –AIDS has just concluded its first phase in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

UNICEF-supported workshop in Rishi Valley hopes to bring children back in classrooms in The Andaman & Nicobar Islands
The Rishi Valley Institute for Educational Resources (RIVER) organised a workshop for teachers from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands that were affected severely by the December tsunami. The tsunami hit the education sector on the islands hard.

Out-of-school girls receive schooling support in Yayatmal district of Maharashtra
Married at 13, Shanti got pregnant immediately afterwards and lost her underweight, prematurely delivered baby. She is pregnant again. “This time, we hope she pulls it off,” says her mother-in-law.

UNICEF animators make positive behavioural difference in Shivpuri district, MP
Ramshri is on of the three hundred animators supporting UNICEF’s behavioural interventions in district Shivpuri. She is based in village Nohri Kalan. Shivpuri is one of the forty-eight districts in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India.

UNICEF-supported Bhavai performance creates awareness on Iodine Deficiency Disorders in Gujarat
UNICEF has joined hands with Song & Drama Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to launch a public awareness campaign on use of iodized salt through Bhavai, which is a popular medium of behaviour change communication in the state.

Prosperity, not poverty behind female foeticide
New data released by the Census office shows that prosperity and not poverty leads to a preference for the male child and to selective abortions of the female foetus.

No more ‘teacherless’ schools in Bihar
In Bihar, 60,000 odd schools need teachers. Under a joint programme, UNICEF and the Bihar government have recruited and are training 80,000 teachers across the state. Fifty percent of these are women teachers.

Neighbourhood leaders help reduce maternal and child mortality in Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh
Neighbourhood leaders, identified under the community monitoring project, are helping reduce maternal and child mortality in Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh

It is school time again in Vellapalam and Serudhur!
The enrollment campaign in tsunami-affected villages got underway after UNICEF held a series of co-ordination meetings with the government, district education officials, and NGOs in Tamil Nadu

Child-centred Village Planning in Gujarat – A Powerful Tool for Child Survival and Development
A five-day child-centred village planning process, initiated by UNICEF in partnership with Vasudhara Dairy was held in Valsad district in Gujarat. Meetings were strategically held at the milk collection centres in the mornings and evenings.

Pilgrims’ Progress: Children get vaccinated in Bihar en route to Shravani Mela
Shravani Mela in Bihar becomes an opportunity for UNICEF to undertake a month-long polio immunisation campaign along the paths leading to Deoghar, and at the holy city itself.

Radio Jockeys (RJs), Presenters and Musicians learn to integrate entertainment with HIV Awareness messages – at workshops in Chennai
Two workshops for young radio jockeys (RJs) organized by UNICEF and Internews Europe, in partnership with Formedia and Deutsche Welle, were held in Chennai. These workshops provided initiative for young people to carry HIV awareness messages.

Child reporters from villages in Orissa advocate and monitor social and environmental changes
100 Ankur child reporters between ages eight and fourteen years, report on issues related to children in their villages, in the remote Koraput district of Orissa.

Routine Immunisation – a promise of good health to children of Bihar
Bihar reported a routine immunization of 11 per cent in 1998-99. A massive statewide campaign has been launched by the Health and Family Welfare Department in partnership with UNICEF to ensure that deaths preventable by vaccine are actually prevented.

School children in Andhra Pradesh launch UNICEF assisted campaign of self-expression on HIV /AIDS
In Southern India’s state of Andhra Pradesh, with one-tenth of the country’s HIV positive people, a vigorous campaign was recently launched to get children to express themselves freely on HIV/AIDS and related subjects.

Indian media join hands with UNICEF in the battle against HIV-AIDS
Editors, publishers and senior journalists came together in a summit in Andhra Pradesh to agree on a strategy on media reporting that would increase awareness on HIV-AIDS and remove the stigma attached to the deadly infection.

‘People-friendly Police Project’ - a UNICEF funded project with the Karnataka State Police
The People-friendly Police Project was mooted to the Karnataka Police by UNICEF in 2001, as an opportunity to enhance the attitudes, skills and knowledge of police station level personnel, particularly in their treatment of women and children.

Exclusive Breast Feeding – for survival and healthy development of infants
Realising the importance of exclusive breast feeding as a strategy which can make a dent in the IMR, the Government of Gujarat has organised, with UNICEF support, a state level workshop to launch a state-wide campaign to promote ‘exclusive breast feeding’

Indian film idol Jackie Shroff in Bihar to launch HIV/AIDS awareness programme
Jackie was in Patna, at UNICEF’s invitation, to launch a campaign on HIV/AIDS awareness. The campaign is being jointly run by UNICEF and the Bihar AIDS Control Society

UNICEF initiates `healing through joy’
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is helping tsunami-affected children overcome their grief and sorrow using the novel approach of healing with fun.

Trained Anganwadi workers reassure communities
As part of the Integrated Management of Childhood Diseases (IMNCI) programme jointly run by UNICEF and the government of Gujarat, field-level workers are working towards reducing the state’s infant mortality rate of 60 per 1,000.

UNICEF-supplied chlorine tablets and packets of ORS distributed among flood-affected households in Rampura village, Gujarat
Rampura, an interior village of Anand district, with a population of 600 persons was marooned in the recent floods. UNICEF Gujarat air-lifted 5 million chlorine tablets and 30,000 packets of ORS to the flood-affected households in Anand district.

UNICEF's immediate distribution of chlorine tablets and ORS packets prevents water borne epidemics in Anand, Gujarat
UNICEF Gujarat office had been in constant touch with the state authorities and acted immediately to air-lift supply of 5 million chlorine tablets for distribution to the affected population to prevent any epidemics caused by contaminated drinking water

UNICEF makes a difference - water borne epidemics prevented in Anand, Gujarat
Anand, known as the “milk capital” and seat of cooperative movement in India, was one of the worst affected districts of Gujarat in the recent floods. All 365 villages and five municipality areas of Anand district were cut off from the outside world.

UNICEF rushes supplies to flood affected areas of Katni and Panna in Madhya Pradesh
UNICEF rushed supplies of essential items into the flood affected areas of Katni and Panna district in North Eastern Madhya Pradesh.

Universalizing Quality Child Care and Development Services in India
A two-day National Consultation on Child Survival and Development was held in New Delhi on 6 July ’05 . The National Consultation was organised by the Department of Women and Child Development, Government of India with UNICEF cooperation

UNICEF action in flood affected areas of Madhya Pradesh
Kamla and her three-year old son are in a ‘school turned shelter camp’ in Katni town. Her erstwhile home is under water - nowhere to be seen.

UNICEF pro-active in Gujarat floods
Gujarat was lashed by unprecedented heavy rains since 21st June 2005, resulting in floods in South Gujarat and parts of Saurashtra. More than 8,000 villages in 19 districts of Gujarat have been severely affected by the calamity.

Cricketer Ravi Shastri bowled over by polio mobilisers
UNICEF National Goodwill Ambassador Mr. Ravi Shastri was in Lucknow to motivate field workers of Social Mobilisation Network (SMNet) which is the cornerstone of communication support to the polio eradication effort in Uttar Pradesh (UP). June 2005

Auto-disable syringes boost up immunization in Saharanpur district
A UNICEF-supported programme to boost immunisation against preventable diseases in Saharanpur has introduced new “auto-disable” syringes and a new vaccine delivery system. These measures have substantially increased the number of children vaccinated.

UNICEF strengthens community initiatives in Car Nicobar
The role of leaders like Ireena together with UNICEF's presence as the only international organization assisting the Government of Andaman and Nicobar right from the early relief phase has been quite unique.

HIV control strategies for adolescents
Estimates indicate that 34 percent of reported AIDS cases are in the 15 to 29 year old age group. Clearly, adolescents and young people have to be given the knowledge and skills to protect themselves against HIV infection.

View from the Field – on the recent ban on non-iodised salt
East Champaran (Bihar): A large number of districts of Bihar – East and West Champaran included – are known to be Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD)-endemic districts. Low awareness levels about IDD have also added to the increased threat of IDD.

India bans non-iodised salt - A Significant Step
The Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. A. Ramadoss announced the Government of India’s decision to re-instate the ban on the production and sale of non-iodised salt for human consumption.

India to focus on children & youth in HIV/AIDS awareness drive
India’s Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss, was in New York recently where he was interviewed by Dan Thomas at the UNICEF House. Dr. Ramadoss spoke of the various HIV/AIDS awareness programmes targeted towards the youth



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