Community Development

Community Development

SEWA Punjab conducts community outreach programs in slums and low-income areas. By interacting with the community members, helping them to identify their problems and involving them in brainstorming for solutions, SEWA undertakes a holistic, interactive, and participatory approach wherein the community members themselves are empowered to take charge of the development.

Community Empowerment Development in Saketri

SEWA Punjab, in collaboration with Rotary Club Chandigarh is running a community upliftment program for the residents of Saketri, a slum community near Panchkula. The key focus areas identified for the community empowerment program include women’s health, livelihood generation, children’s health, nutrition and education, along with water and sanitation. The objective of the program’s intervention has been towards improving socio-economic indicators in Saketri.

Women’s Health

Door to door monitoring and counseling sessions conducted with pregnant women and their families have led to a marked improvement in the number of women having deliveries at hospitals as opposed to home natals. This has helped prevent grave health risks for infants and the mothers. Further, family planning sessions are conducted regularly, and pregnant women are given nutritional supplements such as iron folic tablets. As a result of more families opting for hospital natals, the number of adhar and ration card holders from Saketri also increased.

Livelihood generation

In Saketri, with consistent efforts, including discussions on women’s employment and skill development options, there has been a change in mindset of families who did not prefer their women to be working. Two skill training programs were started by Rotary Club, one in stitching and the other in henna application and these have helped several women and youth in earning an extra income. In addition, a community market was established as an experiment to assist the women in their livelihoods. 

Children’s Health

Severe malnutrition observed in children of the community was addressed and controlled through regular weight check-ups, diet planning and nutritional counseling.  With constant effort and monitoring, the overall malnutrition rate in children in Saketri had been reduced by 53% in less than a year’s time.

Education supported by Bhavan Vidyalaya (Education partner)

The education of children in Saketri is given paramount importance in this program. Parents are helped in enrolling their children to schools. Till date, 27 non-schooling kids have been enrolled in Government school, Saketri. In addition, after school classes are conducted for children above the age of fourteen by Bhavan Vidyalaya. During the COVID 19 lockdown, the project team made sure that the children continued to receive education via mobile phones with teachers conducting classes and homework through WhatsApp.

Water and Sanitation

To address the issues of water accessibility, the program team engaged with the local government and managed the installation of water points. The health and hygiene of the community has been improved through endeavors such as making of a soak pit, laying drains and creating a proper waste management system.

Lockdown Relief Aid

During the lockdown, SEWA Punjab ensured the well-being of the community members wherein they were provided with packets of cooked food and dry ration with the help of Rotary Club’s fundraising. Milk packets were given to children under the age of five and to all pregnant women. Health awareness sessions were conducted, and contraceptives and menstrual pads were distributed, along with distribution of necessary supplements to pregnant women. Further, eight women of the community were provided livelihood opportunity through SEWA Punjab’s mask making initiative.