Empowering adolescents: India launches Saathiya resource kit
More than 1.5 lakh teenagers are being trained across India as "Saathiyas" to address queries of its 26 crore adolescents on reproductive and sexual health, substance abuse and mental health among other issues concerning their age. The health ministry has turned its attention to the 253 million adolescents growing up in contemporary India, many of whom are struggling to find answers to the questions thrown at them by their rapidly changing bodies.
The ministry has also launched a Saathiya Resource Kit to address the following:
-information about HIV and sexually transmissible diseases, explains basic facts about pregnancy and abortion, admitting thereby that teenage sexual encounters or pregnancies are not as uncommon as society would like to believe
- clear instructions about what consent means: a no is a no is a no
- knowledge on menstruation that leads to a severe drop-out among young girls from schools
- an attempt at removing stigmas and stereotypes attached to genders
- the kit claims that sexual attraction for members of the opposite sex is a fact of life, but also similar feelings for members of one's own sex are just as "normal"
- the kit also tackles the issue of reproductive health, especially the use of contraceptives, headlong and with unusual complexity
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