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Should Child marriage be a punishable offence ?

MAMTA

Introduction

MAMTA is a national level NGO committed to integrated health and development issues in the context of poverty, gender and rights with ‘Life Cycle Approach’. The organization initiated its work in an urban slum, Tigri (Delhi) in 1990 by providing clinical services to women and children with an aim to enhance their health status and improve pregnancy outcomes. The experience of working with the communities provided us with an understanding that considering health of adolescents/ young people along with women and children is significant in terms of overall health and development status of the community. Having realized the intergenerational effect/impact, the young people became our important stakeholders with passage of time. While working with young people we also realized the significant concerns that they had relating to sexual and reproductive health issues, which mostly remained unarticulated and un-addressed due to lack of information and services, parental/community support and understanding. This prompted us to initiate a broad based integrated approach to addressing these issues with a gender and rights perspective. Gender mainstreaming was taken up within the organization at the level of individuals, programmes and organizational policies with support from UNIFEM.


Since then, in a span of fourteen years, the organization has evolved to expand its operations into newer areas including adolescent health, education, entrepreneurship development and empowerment of the young people with a thrust on community participation for better health outcomes. In the process, MAMTA has not only enhanced its knowledge base in terms of working with adolescents/ young people belonging to diverse socio-cultural background but also positioned itself to undertake the multi-pronged functional strategies to address their health and development issues at different levels in the country and globally.

 

Our Mission

Empower the underserved and marginalized individuals and communities through gender sensitive participatory processes, for achieving optimal and sustainable health and development

Our Strengths

When profiling MAMTA’s journey it is interesting to note how an organization, which began working with communities at a micro level, has grown into an organization with a presence at national and international level. The work with young people and adolescents was initiated at a stage when the concept of ‘adolescence’ was still very ‘foreign’ in the Indian context and was hardly recognized as a distinct and vulnerable stage in the Lifecycle.

 

The experiences of implementing the interventions for young people in the field provided us an insight into their felt needs and concerns, which we understood well and addressed through innovative strategies. We shared these experiences with other institutions (private and public) and organizations and helped in building their capacities to work with similar issues. We initiated and strengthened the network on YRSHR across the states of India in order to expand the outreach at the micro level and at the same time used our learning from the micro level to feed into macro level efforts like advocacy at the national and international level and capacity building at the regional level (through the International Training Program for SEAR).

 

In the process, MAMTA has also enhanced its information base in terms of working with adolescents/ young people belonging to diverse socio-cultural background and is attempting to disseminate information on key issues through its informatics strategy. In order to address the health and development issues of adolescents at different levels in the country and globally, MAMTA at its own level has conducted research and documented it in the form of a series of working papers as well as other publications. This helps us identify the successful approaches as well as loop holes so that effective methodologies could be used in the future.

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