| National Policies and Programmes
Addressing Adolescent Health
Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports
National Youth Policy, 2003
The National Youth Policy has identified five areas of focus fealted
to health: (i) general health; (ii) mental health; (iii) spiritual health;
(iv) HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, substance abuse; and (v)
population exercises. General health focuses on nutrition, iron deficiency,
anemia, hygiene and sanitation, and physical exercises. For mental health,
the policy advocates a system of education enabling young people to
fae the challenges of life and establishment of state-sponsored and
free counseling services. Spiritual health through yoga and meditation
has been recommended. Recognizing the vulnerability of adolescents to
high-risk behaviour affecting their reproductive and sexual health,
education and health services have been stressed. The need for delaying
age of marriage and understanding responsibility in checking the high
rate of population growth through responsible sexual behaviour has been
emphasized in population education. Goal - Galvanize the youth to rise
up to the new challenges, keeping in view the global scenario and motivating
them to be active and committed participants in the exciting task of
Youth in the age group of 13-35 years covered with sub-groups 13-19 years (adolescents) and 20-35 years.
Active participation of youth, including adolescents, visualized at all levels.
Youth empowerment recommended through education, nutrition, leadership development and equality of opportunity.
Inter-sectoral approach considered pre-requisite for dealing with youth-related issues.
Gender justice recommended through education, access to services including reproductive health and decision-making process to productive resources and economic opportunities.
Holistic approach towards health, mental, physical and spiritual, after careful assessment of health needs, recommended.
State-sponsored and free counseling services for youth, particularly adolescents, recommended. Establishment of adolescent clinics in large hospitals, proposed.
For HIV/AIDS, two pronged approach of education and awareness for prevention and proper treatment and counseling for cure and rehabilitation.
Peer education strategy proposed for promoting health services. Role
of young people as "Health promoters"
has been envisioned.
National and State Youth Centre proposed to provide young people
a common platform to express their opinions.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
::National Health and family welfare
Goal - provision for an acceptable standard of good
health amongst the general population of the country through equitable
access to health services.
Female adolescents are not identified separately but grouped with children and pregnant women within Maternal and Child Health services.
Nutritional needs of adolescent girls recognized.
Need for health and population education recognized.
Priority to school health programmes aimed at preventive health education, health check-ups and promotion of health seeing behaviour.
Efforts to bring about behavioral changes to prevent HIV/AIDS and
other life-style diseases.
:: National Population Policy 2000
Goal - Population stabilization at a level consistent with
the requirements of sustainable economic growth, social development
and environmental protection.
Mention of adolescents in information, nutrition, contraceptive use, STDs and other population related issues.
Adolescents recognized as an under-served population group with special sexual and reproductive health needs. Critical role of adolescents in population stabilization recognized.
Health package for adolescents recommended as operational strategy but not spelt out.
Problem of early marriage, teenage pregnancy and spacing addressed. Recommendations for enforcing the Child Marriage Restraint Act in order to reduce teenage pregnancies. Promotional and motivational measures considered for couples below the poverty line which marry after the legal age of marriage.
Problem or social in justice and gender discrimination recognized. Need for higher retention of girls in schools emphasized.
Marginalized adolescent groups prioritized in terms of geographical
location and reach of services.
:: National AIDS Prevention and Control Policy 2000
Goal - prevent the epidemic from spreading and reduce
the impact of the epidemic not only upon the infected persons but also
upon the health and socio-economic status of the general population
at all levels.
Covers a wide range of 18-40 years. Street children and sex workers identified as vulnerable groups.
Risks adolescents identified and harm minimization approach involving education and services recommended.
Peer education as a strategy advocated. Specially packaged progammes for students, out-of-school youth and sexual partners of migrant workers recommended. HIV/AIDS to be included in Population Education.
Widespread abuse of human rights and discrimination against people
living with HIV/AIDS recognized. Measures for adopting a rights-based
Ministry of Human Resource Development
:: National Policy on Education, 1986
(as modified in 1992)
Goal - Equalizing education opportunities in the age
group of 15-35 years, free and compulsory elementary education for all
children up to 14 years of age, and functional literacy to adult illiterates.
Supportive services to ensure girls receive elementary education an adolescents receive non-formal education are proposed.
Visualizing education as a tool in promoting women's empowerment.
Role of adolescents in population stabilization and parenthood recognized.
:: National Policy for the Empowerment of Women,
Adolescent girls identified as a vulnerable group.
Inequities recognized at the macro and micro level. Gender discrimination acknowledged.
Including the adolescent girl within the ambit of ICDS proposed for a safe motherhood status.
Mechanism for Nutritional Surveillance through National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau (NNMB) advocated.
Need for tackling cycle of poverty recognized for education and improved health status.
Importance of education for social empowerment recognized.
Gender-based violence recognized as a contributing cause requiring legal action.
Early marriage recognized as a problem of infant and maternal mortality.
Removal of gender stereotypes encouraged through media.
:: Programmes Implemented by the Government
Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports
Youth Affairs Schemes
Scheme for Promoting National Integration seeks to provide a common platform to the youth from different parts of the country and from diverse religious and cultural background to interact with each other and become aware of the underlying unity amidst diversity. Other schemes are for promoting youth activities and training; promotion of adventure;
There are about twenty-one schemes under Sports schemes. Some of the schemes are designed to select physically fit children and adolescents and groom them to excel in sports.
National Service Scheme
Popularly known as NSS, National Service Scheme has over 2 million student volunteers spread over 176 universities and 22 senior secondary schools. NSS has two types of programmes: Regular Activities and Special Camping Praogrammes undertaken b its volunteers. Under Regular Activities, students are expected to work as volunteers for a continuous period of two years, rendering community service for a minimum of 120 hours per annum. The activities include improvement of campuses, tree plantation, constructive work in adopted villages and slums; work in welfare institution, blood donation, adult and non-formal education, health, nutrition, family welfare, and AIDS awareness campaigns. Under Special Camping Programme, a 10-day camp in conducted every year in the adopted villages/areas on specific themes like Youth for Aforestation and Tree Plantation, Youth for Mass Literacy, and Youth for Rural Reconstruction.
Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan
Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) is an autonomous organization of the Department of Sports and Youth Affairs, with its offices in nearly all the districts of India. NYKS is the largest grassroots level apolitical organization in the world, catering to the needs of more than 8 million non-student rural youth from nearly 500 districts from across the country. NYKS work sin the areas of community mobilization of adolescents and youth for the overall development and active participation in nation building. Social messages are imparted using local folk art and culture of rural India through nukkad nataks, skits, one-act plays, fold dances, folk songs and puppetry. Projects and programmes are taken up I collaboration with other ministries, international agencies in the field of self employment, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, volunteerism, disaster management with active participation of youth people through youth clubs and Mahila Mandals.
Scheme of Financial Assistance of Development and Empowerment of
Adolescents Started in 2004, the scheme aims at providing financial
assistance to organizations of the development and empowerment of adolescents.
It hopes to stimulate action for adolescents from the economically and
socially neglected sections of society. The objectives of the scheme
are: to build and develop an environment which recognizes the special
needs of adolescents and provides for adolescent-friendly services;
and to sensitize stakeholders - parents, teachers, government functionaries,
media, community, youth-about the needs and problems of adolescents
through sustained awareness building and advocacy. Main elements of
the scheme comprise of - environment building, life skills education,
counseling, career guidance and meals, research and technical resource
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) programme -
This programme in its second phase (2005-2010), is an integrated programme
that combines family welfare, women and child health services. A two-pronged
strategy will be supported for adolescents under the RCH 2. Strategy
one falls within the overall scope of the RCH 2 programme in all the
states. The Department of Family Welfare will incorporate adolescent
issues in all the RCH training programmes and all RCH materials developed
for communication a behavioral change. Strategy Two will be implemented
in selected districts (around 75 in the pilot phase). The aim would
be to reorganize existing services in order to increase friendliness
of services towards young people to improve access and utilization.
This strategy will require the Department of Family Welfare to undertake
special efforts to reorganize services at the primary health centers
on dedicated days and dedicated timings for adolescents.
National AIDS Control programme - A number of initiatives
have been taken up by the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO)
to provide information on HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention to in-school
and out-of-school adolescents:
A toll free National AIDS Telephone Helpline has been set up to provide access to information and counseling on HIV/AIDS related issues.
School AIDS Education Programme focuses on raising awareness levels, helping students resist peer pressure and developing a safe and responsible lifestyle.
Universities Talk AIDS (UTA) Project is a collaborative partnership
between the National Service Scheme (NSS), Department of Youth Affairs
& Sports and NACO. The project involves crating awareness among students
and the youth on issues related to HIV/AIDS through workshops, seminars
and written material especially designed for them. Apart from "Youth
to Youth" approach, the programme has a component called "Campus
Villagers Talk AIDS (VTA) programme for out-of-school youth is conducted
by NYKS network under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth Affairs
& Sports. NACO supports 700 NYK units spread over 410 districts in the
Ministry of Human Resource Development
:: Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD)
Kishori Shakti Yojana - This scheme for development
of the adolescent girls is implemented as a part of the Integrated Child
Development Services (ICDS) programme. The scheme extends the coverage
of the existing Adolescent girls' Scheme by enriching the content and
strengthening the training content, especially in skill development
aspects. Convergence with other sectoral programme is envisaged.
Swashakti - This rural women's development and empowerment
project of the DWCD works though Self-Help Groups. The target group
also covers adolescent girls in the age group of 15-19 years.
Swadhar Scheme - This Scheme addresses specific
vulnerability of women in difficult circumstances through a home-base
an integrated approach that helps trafficked girls to find alternative
sources of livelihood.
:: Department of Women Education
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan - This movement aims to provide
useful and relevant elementary education to all children in the 6 to
14 years age group by 2010. Another goal is to bridge social, regional
and gender gaps, with the active participation of the community in the
management of schools.
National Programme for the Education of Girls at the Elementary Level (NPEGEL) and Kasturba Gandhi Swatantra Vidyalaya (DGSV) builds special schools for girls in areas with low female literacy.
Mahila Samakhya programme - This is a women's and
girls' empowerment project in ten states which helps to create an environment
to seek knowledge and information in order to make informed choices
and create circumstances in which they learn at their own pace and rhythm.
National Population Education Project (NPEP) - In
the Tenth Five Year Plan, Population Education is being supported under
the Quality Improvement Scheme (QIS) of the government. ARSH project
using life skills approach - on a pilot basis, six agencies namely,
Council of Board of School Education (COBSE), National Council of Educational
Research and Training (NCERT), Central Board of Secondary Education
(CBSE), Navodalaya Vidalaya Samiti (NVS) and National Institute of Open
Learning (NIOS) are implementing a project supported by UNFPA to increase
students' access to Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health (ARSH)
related knowledge using life skills approach.
National Adolescence Education Programme - The Department
of Education and the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) will
be implementing a programme for preventing HIV indications among young
people and reducing social vulnerability to the infection. Focus is
also on sexual and reproductive health and life skills. UNICEF and UNFPA
are partners in this Programme.
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
Scheme for Providing Coaching to Students Belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes - This scheme provides coaching to students belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to enable them compete with socially and economically advantageous sections of society.
Scheme for Educational Complex. - Scheme for Educational
Complex for 136 districts in the country with less than ten percent
literacy rate among Schedule Tribe women.
Scheme of Child Helplines - Child Helplines in major
cities of the country to provide emergency assistance to children and
Services for Treatment of Drug Addicts - Scheme
for prevention of alcoholism and substance (drugs) abuse, treatment
ad rehabilitation services for the addicts through NGOs. Around 393
Treatment-cum Rehabilitation centers and 53 Counseling Awareness Centers
are working all over the country.
Workplace Prevention Programme - These programmes
have been set up in 15 Industries and enterprises.