This report is intended to give an update of progress of ongoing project “Amplify Change” which is network based named as “Sanjha Prayas” where 10 voluntary organisation from Uttar Pradesh is working as a network partner in their respective districts. The objective of Sanjha Prayas network is to strengthen the SRHR movement especially for access to safe abortion services in Uttar Pradesh. It is an advocacy-based project having 3 major components, firstly Capacity Building, Evidence Finding and Advocacy Action. The project is supported by UP Voluntary Health Association and funded by Ipas Development Foundation.
Abortion is one of the leading causes of maternal deaths all over the world. However India is the country where abortion laws are very liberal and since the early 70’s abortion has been legalized through the MTP Act. The MTP Act came into effect from 1 April 1972 and was amended in the years 1975 and 2002. Even then a large proportions of abortions continue to be conducted illegally, using dangerous methods and it contributes a large proportion to the over one hundred thousand maternal deaths that take place in the country every year. The women’s are unaware about that abortion is illegal and the access to safe abortion services were lacking in most rural areas in U.P.
Keeping in view the objective of the project, organisation implemented some activities in community with the different stakeholders where we did Focus Group Discussion (FGD) with married males, married females, unmarried females and In-Depth Interview (IDI) with Service Provider, ASHA, ANM, CMO and Media. During the discussion, some facts related to abortion and contraception came out. With the facts and findings, the organisation started advocacy and sensitisation of key stakeholders.
With the help of CHC and ICDS department, we organised an orientation programme for community health intermediaries (ASHA and Anganwadi) to aware them on MTP so that the women of community get the right information and access the safe abortion services at the health facilities from the registered MTP service providers. We also organised a District Level Workshop at CMO office where the participants were the key stakeholders and policy makers of the Lucknow district like State Director (Health and Family Welfare), CMO, MS, Joint Director (Health Department), Media, other NGO and ASHA for sharing of the Sanjha Prayas activities done so far in Lucknow district. The objective of the District Level Workshop were:
- To promote women reproductive health’s right in Lucknow District of Uttar Pradesh.
- To identify gaps and improve services at health department.
- To develop a concrete and comprehensive action plan to address the gaps and barriers to access safe abortion services.
- To build enabling environment for SRH and abortion services at district level.