On 25th October 2021, a division-level training for Master Trainers from 11 districts of Nagpur and Amravati division under 'Aarambh' initiative was inaugurated at Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS), Sevagram. Hon’ble Mrs Rubal Agarwal, Commissioner ICDS (Integrated Child Development Scheme) Maharashtra was the chief guest of the function. Mrs Prerna Deshbhratar (Collector, Wardha) and Dr Sachin Ombase (CEO, Wardha) were the guests of honor. Shri PL Tapadiya (Vice President, Kasturba Health Society), Dr BS Garg (Secretary, Kasturba Health Society), Dr NM Gangane (Dean, MGIMS), Dr SP Kalantri (Medical Superintendent, Kasturba Hospital), Dr Subodh Gupta (Head of Department, Community Medicine) and Mrs Sharmila Mukherjee (Consultant, UNICEF) shared the dais with other dignitaries.
Aarambh – an initiative to build the capacity of parents and other caregivers by MGIMS – emphasizes on Early Childhood Development and aims to provide parenting information to the underprivileged community. This initiative will be implemented throughout Maharashtra by the Department of Women and Child Development through ICDS scheme.
UNICEF is providing support to MGIMS, Sevagram to sustain a state-level resource team as well as 30 key trainers at Sevagram to facilitate this scale-up. These state resource team and key trainers will train 250 master trainers; the master trainers will train 3000 ICDS supervisors who in turn will train approximately 112,000 Anganwadi workers in the state and expand the reach of the program to each household in Maharashtra.
“With 250 master trainers, 3000 supervisors and 1.1 lakhs Aaganwadi workers, I can foresee a bright future for all children in Maharashtra,” said Mrs Agrawal addressing the master trainers who have come to participate in the training. She commended on the efforts of the entire team and assured her support for the successful implementation of this project. “I shall be happy to witness Aarambh rolling out throughout our country in the next two years”, she added.
“Through Aarambh and its profound training programmes, we have been successful in reaching out to our communities and thereby helping in shaping the early childhood development of the children in our district”, said Mrs Deshbhratar. “This initiative not only focuses on health and nutrition but also on key aspects of development like emotional, intellectual and social wellbeing of children”, she added.
“MGIMS always stands as a testament for community empowerment and social service”, said Shri Tapadiya. “This Aarambh initiative is a beautiful symbiosis of public-private partnership of MGIMS, UNICEF, Govt of Maharashtra and district administrations.
Master trainers from 11 districts of Maharashtra have assembled in a five days training programme at MGIMS. “The foundation for Aarambh was laid in 2010 with a project supported by World Health Organization and INTERVIDA. This project initiated at MGIMS in 2010 to empower parents and family members with just a handful of ASHA and Angawadi workers has today become a pan Maharashtra model for early childhood development”, said Dr Gangane. Mrs Mukherjee invited all district level ICDS officials to ensure quality training programmes so that the initiative can be implemented smoothly across the state.
“Through Aarambh, we aim to bring holistic development of children in their formative years”, informed Dr Subodh Gupta who is also the face behind the idea of this project. Our team of passionate faculty members, project team, ASHA and Aaganwadi workers along with their supervisors have worked hard for the last two decades. It is a moment of pride to see this scale-up throughout Maharashtra. We feel an idea as powerful as this will definitely get scaled-up beyond Maharashtra.”, Dr Subodh informed.
Dr Abhishek Raut (Professor of Community Medicine) proposed the vote of thanks and Dr Bahulekar (Social Scientist, Community Medicine) compered the programme.