The ‘Saathiya’ Resource Kit and ‘Saathiya Salah’ mobile app were launched by the Health Secretary C K Mishra on Monday. They are a part of the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) which introduces peer educators called “Saathiya”. It promotes adolescent health services and imparts appropriate knowledge on major adolescent health issues. This program will provide necessary support to adolescent groups in the domain of sex and productive education.
The Health minister emphasised that adolescents are critical assets for the country. The resource kit keeps this as an important aspect. The Resource kit includes an activity book, a game, a question-answer booklet, and a Peer education diary.
Section 377 is a part of the country’s statute books but contradicting to it, the Resource kit mentions it is ‘natural’ to feel attracted towards members of the same gender. It breaks the stigma of same-sex attraction and also emphasises on respect and consent.
The other key points on the Resource kit include the issue of contraception and gender-based violence. It tackles the issues of gender-based labelling and bullying.
The Health Ministry partnering with United Nations Population Fund and Population Foundation of India have prepared this resource material. At present, they will be training over 1.6 lakh peer educators who will educate adolescents at the root level. The program aims to bring about a change toward the sexual well-being of the adolescents and gender-based discrimination in the rural setup.
With this initiative, we hope several stereotypes will be broken and the country will become happier and healthier. If you need to help to cope with your emotions, you can Talk to the Experts at YourDOST.