Kalinganagar: A three-day ‘Saathiya Training’ programme by Tata Steel Foundation’s RISHTA project successfully concluded at Sukinda Block Conference Hall on Friday.

The training programme was organised for Sathiyas, the youth from the community who are active and are willing to bring down the rate of child marriage and develop awareness regarding adolescent reproductive sexual health among other adoloscents. 35 saathiyas from Sukindagarh, Amploba, and Sansailo Gram Panchayats under Sukinda block participated in the training programme. They are groomed by TSF to enable reduction in child marriages in their community by developing peer pressure.

The three-day training programme was attended by Rexona Jena, chairperson, Child Welfare Committee, Jajpur, Niranjan Kar, district child protection officer (DCPO), Swetelina Ratha, welfare extension officer (WEO), Namrata Modi, Block Development Officer (BDO), Sukinda, and Narayan Das, Block Education Officer (BEO), Sukinda. Appreciating the initiative, the dignitaries emphasized on the importance of spreading knowledge at the village level. The dignitaries also lauded the dedication of the Saathiyas, and pledged support for future endeavors.

The training aimed to enhance Saathiyas’ leadership qualities, communication skills, problem-solving abilities so that they can play a pivotal role in societal changes. The training also aimed to have physical participation of the Saathiyas in Village level Child protection Committee (VLCPC) and assisting dropout students in enrolling in nearby schools.

This training was based on Rashtriya Kishore Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) Module which includes topics such as changes during adolescence, reproductive organs, menstrual hygiene, consequences of early-age marriage & teenage pregnancy, gender equality, safe abortion, family planning, RTI/STI & HIV/AIDS, peer pressure, addiction, and nutrition during adolescence, etc.

On the concluding day of the training programme, the participants were distributed ‘Saathiya Kits’ containing Information, Education and Communication (IEC) material pertaining to reproductive health.