MoU signed between Lady Irwin College & MoRD for Roshni

Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM), Ministry of Rural Development  and Lady Irwin College, have signed  a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) here today for establishing ROSHNI – Centre of Women Collectives led Social Action. ROSHNI is technically and financially supported by UNICEF India serving as a technical support unit at national level for DAY-NRLM and is embedded in the Department of Development Communication and Extension, Lady Irwin College, New Delhi.

DAY-NRLM aims to reach out to 8-10 crore rural poor households (based on SECC 2011) in a time bound manner, and, stay engaged with them till they come out of abject poverty. It envisions breaking the self-perpetuating cycle of malnutrition- illness- out-of-pocket expenditure for treatment-poverty through its savings and enterprise approach and layering of Food, Health, Nutrition and WASH (FHNW) interventions through Self-help groups (SHG) and their federations.

This is also referred to DAY-NRLM’s Dashasutra (10 principles) strategy. Since launch, 5.39 crore women have been mobilised for SHGs and over 47 lakh SHGs created. DAY-NRLM is also MoRD’s nodal agency for implementation of the convergent action plan under the POSHAN Abhiyaan, which in addition to MORD includes the Ministry of Woman and Child Development and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The four areas of convergence are – mobilisation for fixed day health, nutrition and WASH camps (Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Day-VHSND), convergence through behaviour change communication, convergence through common use of infrastructure and promotion of nutri-based livelihoods for women collectives.

The adverse and irreversible impact of poor women’s nutrition for their own well-being and future generations is well established. While India has made significant strides in improving maternal survival many challenges still persist for all women and generations to achieve their development and economic potential- almost one in 10 girls marry too young, every fifth woman of reproductive age group is undernourished and every second woman anemic.

A model that brings the much needed undiluted focus on women’s nutrition and demonstrates layering of FHNW interventions on DAY-NRLM platforms is Swabhimaan. It makes the last mile delivery of FHNW interventions, which has been considered a voluntary function for field mobilizers for too long, an invested service. Launched in 2016, Swabhimaan is a collaborative initiative of DAY- NRLM and UNICEF India in five poorest DAY-NRLM resource blocks in four districts of three Indian states: Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

Roshni aims to work with women collectives for social action on FHNW interventions in alignment with DAY-NRLM Dashasutra strategy and supporting implementation of convergent action plan under POSHAN Abhiyaan. Roshni will learn from Swabhimaan and similar models, and extend support to DAY-NRLM for expanding the scope of FHNW interventions. The Centre will lead knowledge creation, capacity building for scale-up of convergent action plan, learning and re- learning in Swabhimaan sites and provide policy guidance to DAY-NRLM on POSHAN Abhiyaan initiatives.