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THE GOLDEN 1000 DAYS

The first 1,000 days between conception and the child’s second birthday are crucial for the health and well-being of the mother and child, with the period often referred as ‘the golden 1000 days.’ A crucial and vulnerable period, this phase carries with it a significant risk of maternal and child mortality and morbidity. Proper health and nutrition practices in this golden period not only impact survival, but have a profound impact on the child’s cognitive and physical growth. The Antara Foundation’s interventions focus on zeroing down on the neediest mothers and children across this golden period, and ensure full service delivery to them – from timely identification to proper management at the village or facility-level, to adequate follow-ups. We work closely with and through the government, and in close collaboration with communities to design and implement the solutions.  Our vision is to ensure “every mother and each child has an equal start to a healthy life”. Through this visual
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Driving impact at the grassroots: Know our team

Our team is at the heart of our mission. Antara Foundation comprises a dynamic, diverse and entrepreneurial team, conjoined by an overwhelming sense of purpose to – ‘ensure every mother and each child has an equal start to a healthy life’. Our people come from different corners of India, with varied backgrounds and skills, all passionate towards a shared vision. We pride ourselves on our culture. Antara Foundation is all about putting the community first. It’s about creative thinking, being open to feedback, the willingness to learn, and transcending our comfort zones. We strongly live by the values of humility and integrity. We apply business thinking to social problems, with a sharp focus on execution at the grassroots (a ‘dirt under our fingernails’ approach). In this article, we highlight some of our key field-based roles, and how they all come together to drive impact at the last-mile. Program Officers Our program officers handle different blocks within our districts, each loo

Donor Spotlight: Kms4Good’s support towards TAF’s COVID-response

In May 2021, a group of alumni from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad’s class of 1992 (IIMA-92) came together to raise funds for The Antara Foundation’s (TAF) fight against COVID-19. We spoke with them to learn more about their philanthropy and their partnership with TAF. Interview with Kms4Good Your reasons for supporting TAF’s COVID-relief work. We chose to partner with TAF for three key reasons – trust, transparency, and their focus on  preventive maternal, child health and nutrition (MCHN) at the grassroots. TAF’s experienced leadership, a remarkable team of passionate individuals, and their track record in effectively implementing interventions infused a tremendous amount of trust. We greatly value transparency across our partners, especially in terms of ensuring and reporting the right utilization of funds towards the promised cause. With TAF, we were assured that data from the field would always be up-to-date and accurate. Lastly, TAF’s focus to improve MCHN outcomes,

The promise of virtual training platforms in grassroots health interventions

A silver lining during the COVID-19 pandemic has been the dramatic rise of technology as an enabler for service delivery. Virtual meeting tools and software have transformed sectors – for example, tele-medicine in health, virtual schools in education and digital marketplaces for agriculture. In this article, we talk about the promise of virtual platforms to deliver maternal and child health interventions, highlighting three innovations from our work across remote and rural villages of India. The Antara Foundation (TAF) strengthens health systems to improve maternal and child health. Our programs train community health workers (CHWs), make data-sharing more effective, build supervisory capacity and improve health facilities. The lockdowns and safety measures imposed due to COVID-19 caused a slowdown in several program activities due to travel restrictions, limitations on holding large group meetings and the unavailability of health workers because of additional COVID-response duties.

Fighting COVID-19 in India’s villages: July 2021 Update

Fighting COVID-19 in India’s villages July 2021 Update In our May 2021 newsletter, we spoke about Antara Foundation’s emergency COVID response, focused on ‘prevention at the village level’ and protecting community health workers (CHWs) in vulnerable communities. We took a three-pronged approach – bridge supply gaps, build capacity and mobilize communities for COVID vaccination ( link to article ). So far, we have provided essential safety and screening equipment to more than 32,000 CHWs and supervisors (~90% of our target), covering ~6,600 villages and ~12,600 health facilities , benefitting a population of more than 10 million across five districts in Madhya Pradesh. Across districts, we actively train CHWs on COVID protocols and proper use of screening equipment through batch-wise virtual meetings, on-site demonstrations during equipment distribution, and through a cascade approach (where we ‘train the trainers’). We have conducted more than 190 training sessions till date, cov

Do field officers work from home?

Aditi Revankar “Moooo,” I hear before I see ASHA Sahyogi* Shalini’s smiling face. A thick vermilion streak of sindoor*  parts her hair. Shalini Verma. In Chhindwara, people always ask your last name. Squatting, she picks round, full bulbs, mostly white, a little lavender, from the ground. “ Madam ji, pyaaz ka kaam chal raha hai, socha thoda ghar ka kaam kar loon. ” (it’s time for the onion harvest, thought I’d do some housework). Her lanky son sits nearby, phone in hand, and follows my instructions on how to download the app we use to monitor AAA* meetings. She has a short window during which to use the phone, before the younger children come by to claim their source of entertainment; the same kids who some weeks ago, deleted the app while playing games. Her son is quick, he only needs to be told once. He’s wearing a red baseball cap. His mother is proud. We say bye. The cow demands our attention one last time before I hang up, “Moo…”.   And then silence. On my laptop, I’m faced with t

Fighting COVID-19 in India’s villages

India’s second COVID wave created a devastating impact on the nation. The unprecedented surge in cases stretched the healthcare system beyond its limits and amounted to huge suffering and loss. Many of us were personally affected. Our prayers and thoughts are with everyone.   There has been an outpour of support by organizations to help the country deal with the crisis. Several relief efforts addressed the sudden and steep shortages in oxygen, medicines, and access to treatment. This was no doubt the need of the hour as many Indian cities reeled under the steep demand for COVID treatment. However, the virus began spreading rapidly from urban to rural India. Almost two-thirds of India’s population lives in more than 600,000 villages across the country, and these villages pose a unique challenge. Most Indian villages are small and dispersed, with poor access to health facilities. Rural health facilities are often ill-equipped, with insufficient staff, supplies and infrastructure. Village