It’s normal for adolescents to feel attracted toward members of the same gender but it is important to have consent in all such relationships, the kit says.
New Delhi: Health Secretary C K Mishra, on Monday, launched the ‘Saathiya’ Resource Kit and ‘Saathiya Salah’ mobile app. The resource kit and the mobile app are a part of the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK).
The main highlight of the program is the introduction of peer educators called ‘Saathiya’ who will serve to promote adolescent health services and will be responsible for imparting age appropriate knowledge on major adolescent health issues to their peer groups. The program aims to provide the necessary support to adolescent groups in the country through in the domain of sex and productive education.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri C K Mishra said that India is currently home to 253 million adolescents which is largest in the world in terms of absolute numbers. He emphasized that adolescents are critical assets for future. He said that the most important aspect of the resource kit.
The Resource kit comprises of an activity book, a game, a question-answer booklet, and a Peer education diary. Some of the key points mentioned in the resource material is that it is normal for adolescents to feel attracted toward members of the same gender but it is important to have consent in all such relationships.
While the resource material seeks to do away with the stigma of same-sex attraction in adolescents, it also puts special emphasis on respect and consent. The material also focuses on the issue of contraception and gender-based violence. Some of the other issues tackled in the material are gender-based labeling and bullying.
The resource material has been prepared by the Health Ministry in partnership with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Population Foundation of India (PFI). Currently, the ministry is in the process of training over 1.6 lakh peer educators who will educate adolescents at the grass root level. The aim is to bring about a change toward sexual well-being of young children and gender based discrimination in rural set up as well.
Other than the mobile app which will be available for download on android devices through Google Play, the ministry also launched a Saathiya Helpline.