With the objective to improve the nutritional and health status of adolescent girls in the age group of 11-18 years and empower them by providing education in life-skills, health and nutrition, the Government of India introduced the Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls – SABLA in November, 2010.
SABLA scheme replaced the erstwhile Kishori Shakti Yojana (the objective of this scheme was to improve the nutrition and health status of girls in the age‐group of 11 to 18 years, to equip them to improve and upgrade their home‐based and vocational skills, and to promote their overall development, including awareness about their health, personal hygiene, nutrition and family welfare and management)and Nutrition Programme for Adolescent Girls (under this programme, 6 kg of free food grain per beneficiary per month was given to undernourished Adolescent Girls).
The objectives of the scheme are to:
a) enable self‐development and empowerment of AGs
b) improve their nutrition and health status;
c) spread awareness among them about health, hygiene, nutrition, Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health (ARSH), and family and child care;
d) upgrade their home‐based skills, life skills and vocational skills;
e) mainstream out‐of‐school AGs into formal/non formal‐education;
f) Inform and guide them about existing public services, such as PHC, CHC, Post Office, Bank, Police Station, etc.
Brief description of the services to be provided under the scheme:
a) Nutrition: Each AG will be given Supplementary nutrition (SN) containing 600 calories, 18-20 grams of protein and micro-nutrients, per day for 300 days in a year. The out of school AGs in the age group of 11-15 years attending Anganwadi Centres AWCs and all girls in the age group of 15-18 years will be provided Supplementary nutrition in the form of Take Home Ration (THR). However, if hot cooked meal is provided to them, strict quality standards have to be put in place. The Take Home Ration as provided to Pregnant & Lactating (P & L) mothers may be provided for AGs also, since the financial and calorific norms of Supplementary nutrition for both is same.
b) IFA Supplementation: Under Reproductive & Child Health (RCH-2) of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), school children (6-10 years) and adolescents (11-18 years) have been included in the National Nutrition Anaemia Control Programme (NNAPP). States will establish convergence with the programme being implemented by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to provide 100 adult tablets of IFA to each beneficiary through supervised consumption. IFA tablets will be distributed to AGs on Kishori Diwas.
c) Health check-up and Referral Services: There will be general health check up of all AGs, at least once in three months on a special day called the Kishori Diwas. The Medical Officer/Auxiliary Nurse & Midwife (ANM) will provide the de-worming tablets to the girls requiring this (as per State specific guidelines). Height, weight measurement of the AGs will be done on this day. Kishori cards for every girl will be prepared and maintained by marking major milestones. The weighing scales provided under ICDS will be used for weighing AG.
d) Nutrition and Health Education (NHE): NHE will be given to all AGs in the AWC jointly by the ICDS and health functionaries and resource persons/ field trainers from NGOs/Community Based Organisations(CBOs). This will include encouraging healthy traditional practices and dispelling harmful myths, healthy cooking and eating habits, use of safe drinking water and sanitation, personal hygiene, including management of menarche, etc. The adolescent girls will be informed about balanced diet and recommended dietary intake, nutrient deficiency disorders and their prevention, identification of locally available nutritious food, nutrition during pregnancy and for infants. This would also include imparting information about common ailments, personal hygiene, exercise/ yoga and holistic health practices.
e) Life Skills Education and Accessing Public Services: Its ultimate aim is to enable AGs in self development. Broad topics to be covered in the training for development of life skills may include confidence building, self awareness and self esteem, decision making, critical thinking, communication skills, rights & entitlement, coping with stress and responding to peer pressure, functional literacy, etc.