Innovation for Child Survival

Villages in Gaur Nyaya Panchayat in Bargarh development block of Chitrakoot are scattered over a vast area, without any contact with the main road. Very poor people, mainly belonging to Scheduled Castes and Tribes inhibit these villages. Sarvodaya Sewa Ashram is working to improve health, education and economic condition of these villagers for the past several years.

The health scenario posed a special challenge for SSA as the primary health centre is located some 15 km away from the main area and hence inaccessible for most of the villagers. The four sub-centres, mainly meant for providing mother and child healthcare, were dysfunctional. As a result, pregnant women faced considerable difficulties and as a result health of mother and children was very poor. Though pregnant women were somehow immunised, other care was simply not available. There was virtually no gap between the two children and people virtually had no knowledge of family planning.

In this rather grim scenario, SSA set up an innovative safe delivery centre, named Apna Ghar, literally meaning Own Home, to improve upon the health of the community, to ensure immunisation and timely check up of pregnant women, to ensure safe delivery, to provide post natal care to mother and child and to make available nutritious food. Apart from these immediate objectives, the wider objective was to create awareness among the community about all these matters so no child died.


Over the years, Apna Ghar have ensured the following to the village populace:

  • Registration of the pregnant women
  • Ante and post natal care
  • Immunisation of pregnant women
  • Safe delivery
  • Round the clock services to the community

Apna Ghar provides treatment to close to 250 people in a year. It has provided prenatal care for all the pregnant women and ensured safe deliveries. As a result, there has been a marked decline in infant and maternal mortality as reflected by the following table:

Year No. of Children Born Children Dying in 0-12 Months No. of Pregnant Women Women Dying during Delivery
1997 930 85 839 41
1998 895 80 812 36
1999 845 76 219 38
2000 813 69 359 19
2001 602 50 799 12
2002 563 46 719 9
2003 403 30 803 5
2004 439 24 678 3
2005 346 12 456 2
2006 283 3 335 1

In complicated pregnancy cases it is providing referral services.