– Dr. Vithal Prabhu
The changes in the body of the adolescents take place in the age of 9-19; there is physical, mental and sexual development of the body which leads to increased curiosity, fostered by other social changes such as mass media, alcohol and substance abuse, urbanization and other factors which create a new level of need for adolescents. Another impetus for placing priority on adolescents is the alarming increase of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) including HIV/AIDS and premarital pregnancy. Young people are contracting STIs/AIDS out of proportion to their numbers.
Considering all these factors Niramaya has launched ‘SPARSH: Sensitization Program for Adolescents in Reproductive and Sexual Health’ a sensitization program in the year 2005. Focus of the program is enhancing and educating ‘Reproductive and Sexual Health’ targeting; adolescents to make them informed and responsible adults of better future and to guide them to lead a normal and healthy reproductive life. Along with eliminating myths and misconception regarding sex and sexuality, intense educational sessions are being provided through innovative ways. The sessions are participatory and enriched with Information Education and Communication (IEC) material that has been developed by the team.
This program is specially designed for adolescents in low socioeconomic strata keeping in mind their needs. The Program functions in private schools and communities in Mumbai.