The current health scenario of the general population of India is a sad one. According to The Lancet a new index developed to assess each country’s achievement on a range of health indicators, India ranks at 154 in a list of 188 countries. A staggering 70% of the population still lives in rural areas and has no or limited access to hospitals and clinics. In addition, India has 48 doctors per 100,000 persons which is fewer than in developed nations. The country has the third highest child mortality rate among SAARC countries with 48 deaths reported per 1,000 live births and the total life expectancy is 68.3 which gives India a World Life Expectancy ranking of 123. A two pronged approach – first to bring quality health care services to doorsteps of the needy and second to promote healthcare awareness and contemporary health care seeking behavior among the underprivileged has become the most important need for the people at the moment. To take healthcare to the poorest of the poor and to the remotest of places Atharv Welfare society initiated a unique delivery model with practical mechanism called DISTRIBUTION MECHANISM This is a unique mobile camping programme that seeks to address problems of mobility, accessibility and availability of primary healthcare with a special focus on Epidemic diseases like Chikunguniya/ Dengue/ Japanese Enceplitis etc. among all walks of society, in urban slums and remote rural areas. More than 10 lakh children and families have benefitted so far from the free medicines distributed provided through Atharv Exclusive distribution programme.
The growth of the non-profit sector in India in the last two decades has been phenomenal. India has possibly the largest number of active non-government, not-for-profit organizations in the world. From relief services to educational initiatives, from healthcare projects to housing organizations, grassroots NGOs work in numerous spheres which touch the daily lives of marginalized communities across the country. Engaging directly with the people, these NGOs are able to participate in the thought-making process of the communities they work with, and thus have the capacity to bring about long-term change. As such, the sector has had a substantial contribution in the nation building process. But accelerated development soon reaches a stagnant point if it is not sustainable. Ensuring sustainability of initiatives requires a reorientation of NGOs focusing on their capacity building to attain competitiveness. This is not an easy transition, requiring NGOs to rethink and reform their programme designs, planning, fund mobilisation, fund management, and effective programme delivery. There is also a need to guide these NGOs to be able to identify and adapt with the changing national and global socio-political and economic developments which affect them. To equip and facilitate grassroots NGOs in the country to address these issues and eventually aim at achieving sustainable development at the grassroots and community level, Atharv Welfare Society initiated Empowering Grassroots. Empowering Grassroots is not only an effort to strengthen the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid in India, but also an attempt to bring transparency and accountability in the workings of the development sector at the grassroots level. So far, Society has built the capacities of more than 5000 grassroots teams under the initiative.