The Society for People’s Action for Development (SPAD) is a partner NGO that has been working with the Maternity Home Monitoring Committees (MHMC) set up by the Public Affairs Centre (PAC) in Bengaluru. SPAD has made several conscious efforts to strengthen these committees and ensure their sustainability beyond the project period. One such initiative is the formation of solidarity groups consisting of marginalized caste and religious groups in these communities that act as a support structure for MHMC members. They also welcome community members who are active and take up social causes to join the MHMC.
In addition, SPAD, an active member of the Jan Aarogya Andolan (People’s Health Movement) in Bengaluru and Karnataka, involves MHMC members in activities of the larger movement. MHMC members recently participated in Jan Aarogya Andolan campaigns against privatization and for free drugs in the public sector. This has helped them understand the larger issues around health policy and make better demands from the health system.
SPAD also encourages leaders from these communities to make an annual community level action plan. Community leaders are brought together once a year and trained in assessing community needs. They go back to the community, carry out a needs assessment and come back together to discuss an action plan which is then implemented with SPAD providing necessary support.