MAMTA has been working at the policy initiatives/ changes with an
aim to bring about changes at the state and the national level by
demystifying the perspective, concepts and ideas relating to
adolescent health and development, sensitising and orienting the
key constituents orienting the key constituents involved with policy
and programs and facilitating discussion and dialogue between
Following the general elections in 2004, the people of India have sent many new faces to the Indian Parliament. MAMTA is in process of profiling young Member of Parliaments and also those Member of Parliament who have been elected from constituencies where MAMTA and its network partners are working.
Linkages with media – both print and telecasting – are being strengthened. MAMTA is planning to sensitise media on young people’s issues and help media address young people’s perspectives and concerns.
Thematic Meet on Rights of Young People. This will be the first conclave of its kind in India – attracting around 150 NGOs from all across the country. In addition to NGOs, key stakeholders like ministries of Government of India, media, policy makers, intelligentsia will also be involved.
The need for policy
initiatives was felt while conducting the policy review on ‘Adolescent
health and development’ in the country context with the support of
UNFPA, under the aegis of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,
Government of India. The Planning Commission (Government of India) has
considered these policy recommendations as the base document to set-up
Technical Sub committee on Adolescent Health
national level and incorporated some of the recommendations in the
Tenth Five Year Plan to address the needs of adolescent boys and
We are now undertaking
a ‘National Policy Review of Existing Child Related Policies: Toward a
Child Centred Approach to HIV/AIDS’. The main objectives of this
child-centred policy examination is to map and review of the existing
national and state policies (explicit and implicit) related to
children and HIV/AIDS, identification of policy gaps and
recommendations for addressing the concerns and needs of children
affected and infected by HIV/AIDS with a rights-based perspective and
to develop an advocacy plan for the promotion of child related
policies. A review of policies and programmes relevant to early marriage and
early pregnancy has been carried out in Rajasthan under MacArthur
funded implementation project (2002 – 2003). This will form the basis
for advocacy efforts and facilitate developing functional strategy in
the project area.
Media Advocacy has
been an equally important strategy to reach out to policy makers,
bureaucrats and the legislators and we have been addressing these
issues at regular intervals. We have initiated efforts for convergence
of advocacy efforts at the state level being taken up by the network (SRIJAN)
partners with that at the central level (through MAMTA).
Advocacy under YRSHR began with establishing and strengthening
linkages with key people in leading political parties, ministries of
Government of India and media. The highlight of the advocacy
initiatives in the first phase was exchange of ideas and updates on
young people’s health and development between Swedish Parliamentarians
and Indian Parliamentarians.
The Swedish Parliamentarian interacted with about a dozen of senior
parliamentarians like Dr. Manmohan Singh and Mr. Prithviraj Chavan of
Indian National Congress, Mr. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Mr. Venkiah Naidu
(Party Spokesperson), Mr. Balbir Punj, Mr. Arun Shourie (then Minister
for Information & Broadcasting and later Minister for Disinvestments
in NDA Government) of Bharatiya Janta Party, Mrs. Chandrakala Pandey
and other politburo members of Communist Party of India (Marxist)
amongst other prominent leaders. Some of the leaders from CPI (M)
showed keen interest in the issue and shared with the Swedish
Parliamentarians, the successful model of adolescent education in
Kerala. This first in a series of interactions helped MAMTA identify
political leaders who are sensitive to the issue and helped in
reorganizing its Advocacy strategy.
of the achievements during the current phase have been:
Formation of a Young People’s Forum with nation wide representation. This National Young
People’s Forum interacted with key policy makers like Mr. Oscar
Fernandez of Indian National Congress and voiced their concerns.
Incorporation of young people’s issues in election manifesto of key
political parties. Both the leading
political parties of
India – INC and BJP
incorporated issues of young people like rights, education, health and
early marriage into their manifesto and committed to further intensify
their efforts to address young people.