Our Goal Is To
Adolescents are one-third of the total country’s population. This age accompanies wide spread of adventure, school drop outs, sexual activeness, early marriage, teenage pregnancy and exposure to peer pressure. One of our studies in Gadchiroli (Hyperlink “Resource Centre – Women’s Health) showed that 46.7% of the unmarried girls examined had sexual contact. There was a high prevalence of gynaecological disease among the rural women (Hyperlink “Resource Centre – Women’s Health). A common culture of tribals to have live-in and pre-marital sexual relationships resulted in teenage pregnancy, abortions, miscarriages and unwanted pregnancies.
Physical discomforts were backed by superstition. A woman with white discharge was tagged as having an extra marital affair. A menstruating woman was supposed to stay in a hut situated outside the village for 4-5 days till her flow ceases.
With 20 million adolescent youth in Maharashtra waiting to enter into reproductive life, Adolescent Sex Education became the need of the hour.
Answer the dire need to increase awareness about reproductive and sexual health and sexuality among young adults so as to empower them with information to conduct themselves as responsible citizens of the country.
Conduct co-learning of students, both girls and boys, ensuring that a healthy environment is developed within the society where there is mutual respect for both genders.
It was within this context that SEARCH started the Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Programme in 1995 – Tarunyabhan – which literally means awareness about adolescence. We serve school and college going young men and women from grade eight to final year of graduation. A three day camp is conducted in schools, colleges and villages, in various parts of Maharashtra.
Dr. Rani Bang says,
“Being a women, a mother of two and a gynaecologist, I felt the need that the curiosity that everyone, children and adults alike, has about sex and reproduction needs to be discussed and questions need to be answered”.
The sessions have been carefully designed by Dr. Rani Bang, focusing on relation with parents, information on sexual health, talks on the differences between love and infatuation and risks of premarital sexual relations.
The topics generally covered in all camps are: changes occurring during puberty, anatomy and physiology of male and female reproductive organs, conception, pregnancy and childbirth, risks of abortion and childbirth, STDs and HIV and methods of prevention and sexual abuse. All of these backed by scientific knowledge.
Physical examination in camps
Village level camps
School and college level camps
Strategy for drop outs
Follow-up of participants and impact analysis
Dr. Rani Bang: Gynaecologist, Obstetrician and Co-Director of SEARCH. Read more
Dnyaneshwar Patil is project leader of Life Skill Education and works to create healthy, righteous and motivated youth through interactive training programs in adolescent health education and sports group activities. Joining in 1994, he has also achieved training on Rational Emotive Therapy, Information, Education and communication, and Seven Habits. He’s a great communicator, listener, counsellor and not to say the least one of the best leaders in SEARCH.
Rajendra Isasare is a social worker and trainer, for the same vision, has also been working with SEARCH since 1994. Being an organiser by talent he conducts cessions and leads group discussion for workshops. “Never give up” is his motto and surely he follows up with the youth for counselling after workshops. He has a lion’s share in organising and conducting workshops, sports events and camps. He, too, has been trained on Rational Emotive Therapy, Information, Education and communication, and Seven Habits.
Sunanda Tushar Khorgade is a master trainer with Family Life Education Programme conducted by the department, since 1993, and a counsellor for adolescent boys, girls and their parents, sickle cell anaemia, HIV AIDS patients, nutrition for pregnant women, parents of malnourished children, infertility couples, newly married couples and addicts. She has been involved in research subjects such as medical termination of pregnancy, Sex Determination, Cu T and vasectomy and tubectomy failure. Her earlier work profile consists of Chief Trainer of ICDS workers and trainer of Sahyogini at Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal.