In 1980, Indu Capoor, a trained nutritionist, started the Centre for Health, Education. Training and Nutrition Awareness (CHETNA) in Ahmedabad, India. CHETNA works towards creating an equitable society where women from disadvantagedcommunities are empowered to live healthy lives through a holistic life-cycle approach.
The life cycle approach looks atthe full life of a woman, from before conception to death, and examines interconnected issues women face during each life stage. By using this comprehensive life cycle approach of advocacy, CHETNA is able to bridge the gap betweenpolicies and the people empowering communities.
CHETNA’s strength lies in its recognition of the social determinants of health and the impact of gender integrating these in all its approaches.. In consultations to determine various government policies and programmes, Indu and her team,by reviewing drafts and ensuring feedback by marginalized communities who are likely to be affected by those policies, make these policies more inclusive and actionable.
In order to improve food and nutrition security throughout the country, Indu's team at CHETNA supports Government and NonGovernment Organizations through sensitizing and building capacities of nutritionhealth,education/ practitioners/ frontline service providers/ supervisors/ community stakeholders. The objectives of these trainings also include valuing the girl child, improving the sex ratio, maternal and newborn health and comprehensive development of adolescents and youth. This comprehensive training enables other non-profit organisations to implement their programmes related to children, young people and women from a holistic and gender perspective and advocate for people centred policies.
In addition, by examining, documenting, sharing and building on field tested models, CHETNA Outreach envisages to workwith multiple stakeholders across sectors to share, document, debate and dialogue on the best ways to scale up evidence based approaches at the state, national and international levels. To ensure synergy and advocacy for evidencebased approaches,products and publications, CHETNA forges partnerships with a wide spectrum of stakeholders like other NGOs, corporates and the media.
Under Indu’s leadership, within public policy, CHETNA has contributed in design and release of the National Policy for Children,National Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Policy drafted by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD),Government of India (GOI). CHETNA has also contributed to the National Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health Strategy,National Youth Policy, and Gender policy for the Government of Gujarat through holding consultations with youth from themost marginalized communities. Indu believes that policies are generally made through academic consultation, disconnected fromthe ground realities, but CHETNA is determined to change that reality by bringing in voices of disadvantaged communities into the debate.