Our presence - West Bengal
Currently, Kushal's presence is in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal state in India. We cover 25 villages, mostly bordering Bangladesh or on the fringes of the Sundarbans ecosphere. Ably supported by 8 grassroots organisations of the PAT network (Partners Against Trafficking), our frontline social entrepreneurs are community leaders from local women's self-help groups. Wellbeing and mental health workshops are conducted in ICDS centres, roofs and courtyards of villagers' homes or local primary schools.
In 25 villages dotted across 8 blocks of North 24 Parganas, Kushal India organises pregnancy well-being and mental health workshops once a week. Madhabpur, one such, is a small village in the district. Most villagers here rely on cultivation and 1 in 4 women in the village cannot read or write. The nearest train station is 10 km away. Begumpur is also a village in the North 24 Parganas district, not far from the Ichamati River that borders Bangladesh. Most women in this village work as agricultural labourers.
Click to read Pravati's story as told by Pravati Roy. A respected community leader, she actively champions Kushal's support for pregnancy well-being and mental health in her village.
Our work in these villages is driven by community spirit and led by community members.
Kushal India initiated activities in Andhra Pradesh, a southern state in India, in 2019. Market research highlighted a gap in mental health and wellbeing support services for pregnant women. The gap cuts across all demographics, irrespective of socioeconomic status. The focus on prenatal medical interventions with little or no consideration for a wholistic approach to a life changing event was also evident.
Interestingly, despite there being a significant digital gender divide, women who participated in the pilot showed their keenness to engage with technology, and there was enthusiasm for digital tools and resources.
At the same time, the COVID-19 situation with no support for pregnant women led us to take action and focus on COVID-19 and pregnancy issues. We sources reliable outlets and developed web and audio-visual resources in Telugu with the information that was available globally. These resources were used in antenatal wellbeing sessions that were designed and conducted in hospitals and communities of Vijaywada, capital city of Andhra Pradesh.
Leveraging our initiative, partner organisation Vasavya Mahila Mandali has received a three year grant from Wipro Foundation to implement the Kushal programme in 70 Urban Health Centres in Vishakapatnam, a large and vibrant port city in Andhra Pradesh.
Curious to know what to expect when pregnant?
Kushal leverages digital technologies to enhance interpersonal solutions for better health and the emotional and psychological wellbeing of mothers-to-be. We do not hesitate to travel that extra mile to support under served young women from disadvantaged communities, and our services are delivered in local languages. Find out more about our activities.