tag-iconThis program helps people in extreme need

Help women in remote villages of Odisha get access to maternal health care by Swasthya Swaraj

This program helps people in extreme need

Help women in remote villages of Odisha get access to maternal health care


Chanchala crosses two rivers by foot braving heavy currents to deliver Jeepa's baby

Jeepa Majhi lives in Rupen village with her husband.

**The nearest district hospital from Rupen village is close to 105 km. The nearest maternal health clinic is approximately 32 km. The town has poor roads and no mobile network connectivity. **

Jeepa was very excited about her first pregnancy. She was diagnosed to be anemic during her routine check-up. The doctor advised regular antenatal care check-ups for a safe pregnancy. The doctor was expecting a high-risk pregnancy due to her health situation.

Things became serious when she developed labor pains at 2:00 am.

Getting timely medical help was the only way that Jeepa and her baby could be saved. The only way to reach Jeepa’s home in Rupen was by crossing two rivers. The currents in both rivers had become very strong because of incessant rains.

Her husband came to the Swasthya Swaraj’s clinic in Kerpai which is 7 km from Rupen village asking for help at 6:00 am. There were no other medical facilities nearby to help.

Chanchala, the nurse at Swasthya Swaraj’s clinic decided to help Jeepa. So, she set out on foot to Rupen. She crossed the knee-deep water and heavy currents risking her own life to bring a new life into the world.

Chanchala reached Jeepa’s home by 2:00 pm and delivered the baby. The baby was born at 2:30 pm with a healthy birth weight of 3 kgs.

Jeepa and her husband expressed their sincere gratitude to Chanchala. They were thankful that she decided to help them even in extreme weather conditions.

Without the help of the Swasthya Swaraj, Jeepa and her baby would have been at risk of losing their lives.

You can also help poor women living in rural areas get access to medical facilities. You can donate so that more infants in risk-prone areas can be saved from preventable deaths. You can give with confidence because every program listed is GIVEASSURED.


By donating to this program

you will be sponsoring the overall costs incurred to support the beneficiaries

About The Program

What the beneficiary gets
Maternal Care
What you get
Tax Exemption
Periodic Reports
Program Description

Swasthya Swaraj works in the Thuamul Rampur block of Odisha and aims to reduce maternal and newborn mortality due to preventable causes. Donations to this program will contribute to a fund that will cover the salary of nurses who will provide maternity and emergency support. Maternal deaths are unacceptably high in Odisha's underdeveloped tribal pockets. An official report mentions that 30 mothers died in 2016 in the Thuamul Rampur block which has a population of just 77,000. This makes the maternal mortality ratio to over 800 per 100,000 live births. The Thuamul Rampur block has 78 villages which are representative of most backward tribal communities. The infant mortality rate in these villages is 107 per 1000 live births, and 62% of this high mortality is due to the death of newborns (up to 28 days). The major causes of high maternal mortality are early motherhood and maternal illiteracy. The rural society is conditioned to early marriage. They are not receptive to health education and do not avail antenatal care facilities. The overarching causes for high maternal mortality and morbidity in these villages are poverty, lack of access to health care services, non-availability of emergency obstetric care and poor infrastructure with no roads or telephone connectivity. Swasthya Swaraj through this project aims to reduce maternal and newborn mortality due to preventable causes. The outreach for this program is done across 78 villages with the help of "Swasthya Saathis". These are women elected from each village and trained by Swasthya Swaraj to do door to door health check-ups. These Saathis are trained systematically every month for 3.5 years and are the first line of defense in the comprehensive primary health care model Swasthya Swaraj has set up. Though these Saathis are illiterate women, they can identify high-risk pregnancies and other diseases like malaria, diarrhea etc. Additionally, language is a huge barrier as each tribal community has its own dialect. Therefore the work of these Saathis is crucial for acceptance of Swasthya Swaraj in the tribal belts. Through their door to door visits, the Saathis connect Swasthya Swaraj and its skilled doctors and nurses with the expecting mothers. At present, only 22% of deliveries happen in hospitals in Swasthya Swaraj territories, this also leads to many high-risk pregnancies. Swasthya Swaraj helps with the safe delivery of around 300 babies on an annual basis. Main activities conducted under this project are Prenatal Care clinic (outreach clinic) which caters to more than 500 mothers from the tribal community in a year Training of village health workers (Swasthya Sathi) Distribution of safe delivery kit, mosquito nets for control of malaria Promotion of institutional delivery Setting up of a home delivery squad Training of traditional birth attendants Training of community health practitioners Provide transportation facility to pregnant women to reach the closest hospitals in time Setting up emergency obstetric care Provide postnatal care to new mothers Provide home-based newborn care, provide family planning services When you donate to this program, you help in saving the lives of children who are at risk of death due to preventable causes.

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About The NGO

Swasthya Swaraj
Swasthya Swaraj Logo
Swasthya Swaraj

Swasthya Swaraj is a secular, not-for-profit, organization working towards making health a reality for the poorest and unreached. Swasthya Swaraj has set up a model community health programme - Swasthya Swaraj Comprehensive Community Health Programme in the tribal-dominated Thuamul Rampur Block of Kalahandi district in Odisha, India. Thuamul Rampur block is the most backward and underdeveloped part of Odisha with the closest emergency obstetric care facility is 150 km away. Adult literacy is 26%, and adult female literacy is 5% in the dominant tribal villages. The children are miserably poor and undernourished. They are too familiar with deprivation, dejection, sicknesses, and deaths. Gross illiteracy and a superstition bound culture prevent them from seeking health care even when it is made available to them. The number of deaths from preventable causes occurring in this small population is high, but they are unreported silent deaths. Swasthya Swaraj's focus areas are Health and Education. Their Comprehensive Community Health Programme is active in 76 villages and adopts a unique community empowering model to expand their reach. Swasthya Swaraj dreams of a people's movement for SWARAJ in health - a just and equitable society, free from the shackles of ill health, illiteracy, and poverty.

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Founded in 1991
NGO Leadership

Gemma Joseph

areas of operation
Area of Operation
Area of Operation

Maternal Health | women

location of work
Location of Work
Location of Work


last audited
Last Audited
Periodic Compliance Checks by GiveIndia

Renewals FY 19-20

Program Updates

Program Updates

23 May, 2022

Training local traditional birth attendants and Swasthya Sathis to reduce maternal mortality and improve newborn survival.


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Activities and work undertaken in the last 5-6 months

  1. Out of the total 127 births that happened during the reporting period, 71% of the deliveries took place at home. Of these births, 25% of the deliveries were conducted by trained birth attendants. This is the first time that home deliveries were decreased by more than 80%.

-A total of 169 pregnant women were reached through ANC U5 camps and clinics in the 6 months from July 2021 to December 2021. 94% of the pregnant women registered in the 1st trimester and received their first ANC checkups. Among the total pregnant women registered, 51 have high-risk pregnancies.  20 ANC U5 camps (including mini-camps) were conducted during the period, and 79 pregnant women came for the regular checkups.  During these camps, pregnant mothers were screened for anemia and malaria, and those with positive reports were provided with anti-malarial drugs and extra nutrition supplements. 2. Refresher training courses were conducted for the trained birth attendants in December. It was a full day of training conducted in Kaniguma and Kerpai by our in-house trainers. 65 TBAs attended the training. Ongoing training for Swasthya Sathis is conducted every month. The topics covered during the period under reference are antenatal care, danger signs during the antenatal period, intranasal care, danger signs during labor, postnatal care and danger signs, newborn care, danger signs in the neonatal period, family planning, and delivery preparedness.  As these were topics revised in great detail, a major evaluation of the topics was carried out for each swasthya sathi on their knowledge, skills, and communication skills in the field. All the swasthya sathis scored above 60%. 3. Covered areas: 79 villages from ten GPs in the Thuamul Rampur Block of the Kalahandi district of Odisha. 4. Number of people affected: 169 pregnant women who attended Antenatal-Under-five camps, more than 50 pregnant women who attended health centers, 70 Swasthya Sathis, and 65 traditional birth attendants. Indirectly, some 15,000 people were impacted. 5. How were they impacted or helped? The team provides health education, training to frontline volunteers, training of trainers, nutrition support, and treatment through Antenatal-Under-five camps held regularly in ten hard-to-reach locations. Safe Delivery kits prepared by the Swasthya Swaraj team are distributed to all pregnant women nearing term.  Training: • In both the Kaniguma and Kerpai clusters, traditional birth attendants received one-day refresher training. • Swasthya Satya received ongoing training every month. of their knowledge, skills, and communication skills were conducted. • Swasthya Swaraj prepared safe delivery kits, which she distributed to all women approaching their due date. • Nutritional assistance to all pregnant women attending ANC camps •14 field animators were trained in a one-day nutrition workshop conducted in Bhawanipatna. The components of the workshop included identifying the causes of undernutrition in the community and measures to overcome the same. During the workshop, the animators discussed the practical measures to be employed in the future in the community to curb the issue of undernutrition.

Challenges faced and next steps

  1. Because the public transportation system was shut down due to the pandemic, pregnant women were unable to travel to their ANC appointments.
  2. ANC-U5 camps had to be postponed for an indefinite period due to the COVID regulations for 3 months in the district. However, clinic staff tried their best in their capacity to reach people through field visits and conducting camps in small clusters, following COVID protocols.

3.0 A large fraction of childbirths are still taking place at home. TBA training and Swasthya Sathis, on the other hand, aided in the achievement of 25% of home deliveries being led by TBAs. 4. The nurses at Swasthya Swaraj have always been vigilant and active in attending to the distress calls and obstetric complications occurring in home settings.  5. Malaria is still persistent among 4% of pregnant women despite awareness activities and screening. All pregnant women are screened for malaria and hemoglobin levels in both clinics and ANC U5 camps at each visit. Medicines and nutritional supplementation were provided along with education on care to be taken during pregnancy. 6. Focus is put on early registration of pregnancy and completion of at least 3 ANCs by each pregnant female during pregnancy. The training of Swasthya Sathis is focused on highlighting the importance of improving antenatal care and motivating pregnant females to comply with the antenatal visits to the clinic.  We aim to promote awareness of the spacing of pregnancies in at least 100 lactating mothers by intrauterine device insertion and improve the chances of child survival.  The empowerment of adolescent girls has started and will continue in the months ahead when 1500 adolescent girls from our project villages will be provided knowledge on sexual and reproductive health. These trainings are aimed at increasing the awareness among adolescent girls about the right age of marriage, birth spacing, and ANC, and encouraging them to have nutritious food.

Stories from the ground

Malanti Majhi was conceded to Swasthya Swaraj with extreme general weakness. Malanti reported a history of weakness for more than one week and pregnancy of 4 months. It was likewise noted that she had missed the antenatal care as well. This was her fourth pregnancy, of which only two were due. According to the history elicited from

From the patient (who was too frail to talk) and from the neighbors, she had a fever for which she had no cure.

I consulted the traditional healer (guru-mei), who is the female guru in the tribal tradition.

On examination, Malanti was emaciated, pale, with sunken eyes, and unable to sit up or talk. The baby in utero was alive. After investigation, we arrived at the diagnosis of pregnancy with starvation. She was successfully managed, and in 3–4 days, she was up and walking about and was able to converse well.

While the mother was in the hospital, Malanti’s youngest son was brought by her husband to the hospital. The child was found to be suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM). The boy was wasted, severely anemic, gloomy, and refused all the food offered to him. 

The nutritional needs of the child were taken care of by the team at Swasthya Swaraj. After receiving help from Swasthya Swaraj, the boy started recovering, consuming food, and becoming physically active.

28 November, 2021

Training local traditional birth attendants and Swasthya Sathis


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Activities and work undertaken in the last 5-6 months

A total of 169 pregnant women were reached through ANC U5 camps and clinics in 6 months from January 2021 to June 2021. 94% of the pregnant women registered in 1st trimester and received 1st ANC checkup. Among the total, pregnant women registered 51 belongs to high-risk pregnancies. Totally 19 ANC U5 camps were conducted during the period and 79 pregnant women came for checkups. During these camps, Malaria in pregnancy was detected as 4.7 per cent and they were provided with Antimalarial drugs and extra nutrition supplements. These Malaria positive mothers were under continuous surveillance by our swasthya sathis and field animators. Apart from Malaria and the hard work of the tribal mothers in the hills throughout pregnancy and the constant food insecurity lead them to poor weight gain during pregnancy and lactation period which eventually lead to low birth weight babies and poor child survival. There is one maternal death identified in the 6 months of reporting. During the ANC U5 camps held in the hard to reach areas and in the health centres all the pregnant mothers receive routine health checkups and active screening for malaria and anaemia, diagnosing other pregnancy-related problems. Nutritious lunch and take home nutrition supplements along with free medications. Nutrition supplements of Rice-5kg, chana-1kg, moong-1kg, oil-1lit, Iodized salt-1pkt, soap-2) were provided to all pregnant women. Health education on care to be taken during pregnancy like using mosquito nets, taking TT, the importance of nutritious diet and care during delivery was explained. Swasthya Sathis, field animators and clinical staff are into regular monitoring of these pregnant mothers to identify high-risk pregnancies & other comorbidities and provide the support they require. Out of the total, 200 births that happened during the reporting period 73% of the deliveries still happened in homes. Out of these births, 49% of the deliveries were conducted by trained birth attendants.Training: The traditionally trained birth attendants were given a 3-day residential training centrally in both Kaniguma and Kerpai clusters. 73 TBAs were trained by doctors and nurses on safe deliveries and ANC. TBA kits were distributed to them to equip themselves before attending any deliveries. 3 pieces of training were conducted to Swasthya sathis during the reporting period on safe delivery, ANC and on use of the safe delivery kits. These pieces of training were conducted as regular knowledge gaining training for them.Safe delivery kits were prepared by Swasthya Swaraj and provided to all the women nearing their delivery time.

Challenges faced and next steps

Challenges:1. Covid related lockdown crippled the health-seeking of the pregnant women, not able to travel at all as all public transport facilities had stopped. Due to the covid regulations for 3 months in the district- we couldn't conduct ANC U5 camps. Clinic staff tried to reach these people through village visits and conducting camps in small clusters.2. 73% of the deliveries are still happening in homes - Training to TBAs and Swasthya Sathis helped us in achieving 49% deliveries conducted by TBAs, 3. Our nurses were ever ready to attend the distress calls and attend the obstetric complications in the houses. 4. Malaria is still persistent among 4.7% of pregnant women apart from awareness activities and screening - All the pregnant women are screened for Malaria and anaemia levels in both clinics and ANC U5 camps at each visit. Medicines and Nutritional supplementation were provided along with care to be taken during pregnancy. 4. Early pregnancy registration is continuing at 94%- We are focusing on early registration and completing at least 3 ANC during pregnancy. The training of Swasthya Sathis gives a lot of importance to improving antenatal care and motivating pregnant women to come for antenatal clinics. We aim to promote awareness on the spacing of pregnancies in at least 100 lactating mothers by intrauterine device insertion and improve child survival. In the coming days, we are planning to empower 1500 adolescent girls from our project villages and provide knowledge on sexual and reproductive health. These pieces of training are aimed at informing the adolescent girls on the right age of marriage, birth spacing, ANC and encourage them to have nutritious food

Stories from the ground

Sumitra Majhi, a 26-year-old married female, residing in Bijapada village of Kaniguma gram panchayat Thuamul Rampur block. She was 4 months pregnant and was admitted to Kaniguma health centre hospital due to fever, cough, diarrhoea, weakness. This was her 5th pregnancy with three live births(7 and 4-year-old girls, 2.5-year-old boy) and 1 abortion previously. It was found out that she was suffering from this condition for 15 days, what is locally known as “Basanto” and did not want to eat anything. She was not consuming anything solid and was just having “Mandiyapage”(liquid food made of finger millets) in small quantities once a day. Her water intake was also reduced slowly. She attended 1 ANC check-up in Kaniguma centre and was planning to deliver at home. On seeing her sick condition she was admitted to the Kaniguma health centre for 15 days. It was detected that she was suffering from a starvation related condition. She improved with fluid replacement and high-calorie nutritious food. Her child was detected with severe acute malnutrition and was also admitted for treatment. . After getting discharged, she was provided with substantial take-home nutrition supplements consisting of raw cereals and pulses with eggs and oil and was advised regular intake of food. After discharge, she was regularly visited by our Nurses and Swasthya Sathi. It was observed that she was feeling healthy and was not suffering from any ailment. She reported regular consumption of food and her baby too.

23 March, 2021

Reaching out pregnant mothers to reduce Maternal, Newborn and Child mortalities in Thuamul Rampur block, Kalahandi dist of Odisha, and provide nutrition supplementation for improving their nutritional status.


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The bulk of diseases in areas where particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTG) live is communicable diseases,  and undernutrition contribute to their low immunity status and increased disease burden. Though there is a gradual decrease in maternal mortality through the  6 years of Swasthya Swaraj interventions, further attention is required to control these deaths  and near miss deaths in these under privileged communities.
From April to November 2020, 282 pregnant mothers were registered from the 78 project villages of Swasthya Swaraj.  Swasthya Swaraj  instead of waiting for the pregnant mothers to walk all the way to health centres, reaches  out to them and their underfive children regularly through  ANC-Underfive camps in 10 hard to reach locations. Only 21 such ANC-U5 camps could be held during this period due to the lock down restrictions in the months of April, May and June. From July to November 2020, we restarted the regular outreach programmes .   In these camps which are attended by our doctors, nurses, paramedics and community nurses health checkups and active screening for malaria, anemia  and other co morbidities are carried out. Free medications, take home nutrition supplements (Rice-5kg, chana-2kg, moong-1kg, oil-1lit, Iodized salt-1pkt, soap-2), and hot cooked meal were provided to all the mothers. During these camps health education and nutrition educations are given to all mothers. 
The less number of outreach camps is due to covid as there were no camps in April and June 2020.  When we restarted the programme, monsoon hindered our trips in many places. The two health centres continued to function 24x7 throught the lock down period and was a big solace to all. All the pregnant mothers received nutrition kit and hot cooked meal when they came to hospital for regular health checkups and also during the ANC visit.
Swasthya Sathis, Field Animators and clinical staff  participate in regular monitoring of the pregnant mothers through the mother tracking system of swasthya swaraj. They  identify high risk pregnancies and provide clinical  support and close supervision they require.  52% of our pregnancies are high risk pregnancies.  27% had severe anemia and they received Iron sucrose infusions in the field setting.

5 July, 2020

Pregnant women getting help of the schemes and healthcare in the tribal areas


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Pregnant women getting help of the schemes and healthcare in the tribal areas

Number of antenatal-underfive (ANC-U5) camps organized in hard to reach locations- 20.
No. of women who underwent antenatal care.malaria screening, counselling & health education, nutrition supplements & take home nutrition supplements - 210
No of pregnant women detected with malaria - 9
3 cycles of PLA (participatory learning & action) meetings held in all 78 villages- on involving the community in improving maternal health.

3 December, 2019

Care and support being provided


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Care and support being provided

22 July, 2019


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Program Update

Swasthya Swaraj organizes ANC under 5 camps in remote 10 locations of tribal area in the block. This camp is mainly organized to cover pregnant women and children who are not able to visit any health centre due to long distance from health facilities. One location covers 6-7 nearby villages. In the camp all under 5 children are monitored for growth and checked whether they are malnourished or normally growing in terms of height for age, weight for age and weight for height. In last quarter 4 outreach camps were organized for pregnant women and under 5 years age children. Total 298 women and children were covered through camp of which 26 women were pregnant. All pregnant women were provided essential antenatal checkups and necessary lab tests were done to identify anemia and other abnormalities. Of 26 pregnant women 31% were anemic and one pregnant woman was malaria positive. All pregnant women were given take home ration with free Iron folic acid and multivitamin tablets for two months.

Story from the field

Kemtadi Majhi wife of Lashu Majhi, aged 26 years was in labour pain since 24 hours. She lives at very remote pocket of tribal hamlet named Rupen. She was a high risk pregnancy as she had history of one abortion, one child death. Our field animators who are incharge of 6-7 villages stay in these remote tribal areas. Lashu Majhi gave information to our field animator, Ghasiram Majhi regarding the labour pain of his wife. Kemdati was in labour pain since 24 hours and our field animator came to health center to inform nurses. Nurse went with him to examine and deliver the case at home. When nurse examined, she found that delivery will take time as cervix was not fully dilated. Our nurse and field animator decided to take woman to our health center, the distance between Rupen and Swasthya Swaraj health centre is around 10 km. It is very difficult and risky to take a pregnant woman who is in labour in bike in such hilly terrain with no proper road. They had to cross two rivers also on the way to health centre. Till Kemtadi Majhi reached health centre she became psychotic and started behaving abnormally and labour did not progress. Nurses started uterotonic drugs with some sedation to the patient. After some time patient calmed down and due to uterotonic drug cervix started dilating. 3 hours after the hospital admission the lady gave birth to healthy baby by normal delivery. Though it is a risk to carry pregnant woman in the bike to hospital but there are no other means of transport which can carry patient to the health center. If our team had not carried her to hospital she would have died as labour was not progressing even after 24 hours of pain.

What is the expected total number of beneficiaries in this program for FY18-19?4
What is the number of beneficiaries/ benefits provided in this program, Year-To-Date6
Village/City/State where project is locatedThuamul Rampur, Kalahandi, Odisha
Total Budget for the project for FY18-19384000
Total Expenses for the project YTD326000