The Family Planning Convergence Program equips young married couples with essential information about reproductive rights, autonomy over their bodies and fertility choices so that take informed decisions on family planning both as individuals as well as couples.
PCI India is the technical partner in this joint endeavour of the Bihar Rural Livelihood Promotion Society and the State Health Society Bihar. The program goal is to ensure access to family planning services as a basic right and felt need of the young couples, combined with the fact that family planning is instrumental for gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Covering, two blocks each in five districts in Bihar, namely Aurangabad, Jehanabad, Lakhisarai, Sheikhpura, and Sheohar in the first phase of program, it addresses the underlying challenges posed by a low median age of marriage for girls and a high fertility rate. In Bihar, the median age of marriage is as low as 17.4 years, while the fertility rate stands at 3.
The Family Planning Convergence Program, emphasizes on the significance of “Khushhaal Pariwaar” (Family with Prosperity) and leverages the collective strength of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) to bring a shift in attitudes among older and younger generations regarding early marriage, pressure to prove fertility, and the preference for sons, all of which negatively impact women’s reproductive health.
The program also aims to abridge the gap between the demand and supply of family planning information and services by converging the community-based cadre of JEEViKA and Health. The JEEViKA cadres, creates an enabling environment for family planning, while addressing the social norms acting as barriers to reproductive choice of young couples. Health cadres work hand in hand with beneficiaries, dispelling myths and misconceptions about contraceptive usage and facilitating access to services.