Empowering Baran: Project Navodaya’s District Workshop in Rajasthan


Action Against Hunger (ACF) India organized a two-day workshop to share the learning and experiences of Project Navodaya, supported by the SBI Life Insurance, in Baran, Rajasthan, which is an aspirational district. As this was the exit year of the project, ACF also used the opportunity to hand-over the project to the district administration which was represented by the District Medical Health Officer, Dr. Sampath Raj Nagar.

Dr. Nagar appreciated the efforts of ACF in helping administration upgrade the skills of ASHA and Aanganwadi workers (AWWs) as well reaching out to beneficiaries with targeted interventions for pregnant and lactating mother, low-birth babies, and malnourished children under the age of 5. He also emphasized the contribution that ACF made in the most backward tribal areas of the district namely Kishanganj and Shahbad.

Dr. Nagar also highlighted that while earlier there were issues with the record keeping and proper documentation of ANC & PNC check-ups as well as screening data by ASHA and Aanganwadi workers, the same saw major improvements thanks to ACF field and technical staff who for almost around five years provided day to day support to ASHAs and AWWs, monitoring and supervision assistance to the administration, and timely reporting of crucial data to the top district officials.

While handing over the project to the Baran administration, ACF India’s Chief Operations Officer Dr. Ulhas Vasave hoped that ACF’s prioritization of maternal and child health in Baran as per 1000 days approach will remain relevant for the district administration to execute their programs and plans. He further said that the learning and experiences of ACF’s work in Baran will help the organization to further its agenda eradicating malnutrition from the areas where we work.

Project Navodaya, that was a five-year grant from the SBI Life Insurance, comes to an end in Baran and Dhar districts of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh where it targeted pregnant & lactating mothers and malnourished children. Project’s emphasis on system strengthening and behavioral change through community engagement saw some high impact outcomes. ACF team feels confident that the improvements that the project saw in these two districts are of sustainable nature as the focus of Project Navodaya was always on empowering frontline workers and communities rather than treating them just as some service recipients or beneficiaries.