Transforming lives by generating awareness on adolescent issues such as child marriage, child protection and nutrition through digital platform “E-Charcha”. An initiative supported by UNICEF India and directed to bring stakeholders to action.

Early marriages are prevalent in the rural communities of the states of Rajasthan and Haryana. This informal union through institution of marriage before age of 18 is a common customary practice for both boys and girls, although girls are disproportionately more at risk. It also affects society as a whole since child marriages reinforce a cycle of poverty, perpetuating gender discrimination, illiteracy and malnutrition including high infant and maternal mortality rates. Although child marriages are declining with awareness and education, the rate of change is incidentally slow, calling out for more collaboration and partnerships within and across to effectively handle the issue.

In the light of above, FDI with support from UNICEF-Rajasthan created a digital platform through the website “E CHARCHA” for generating awareness on issues of child marriage, child protection and nutrition. The effort was directed to create awareness and bring stakeholders to action. The role of print, online and electronic media, thus becomes, particularly important in supporting and enriching the quality of discourse on different aspects, for effective outreach and sensitization for the masses.

In order to spread adequate awareness and involve media to support this effort, FDI set up a content distribution channel through a website –

Ø The content of the website was packaged to sensitize journalists on development issues and to generate awareness on new media and building  their capacity by identifying and motivating accredited media institutions.

Ø An app version for the website was also created and made live through Google Play Store :

The project also empowered, particularly,  32 grassroots journalists from Udaipur district of Rajasthan through digital platform and tools with a support mechanism of field activities.


Ø Workshops for journalists: Training workshops for grassroots journalists to sensitize and involve them on issues of education, child marriage, nutrition child protection and social protection schemes were conducted.

Ø Orientation sessions on key aspects of reporting on child protection, nutrition, child marriage and education including child rights were conducted by specialists with participation of  32 journalists

Ø Rural Journalism Award: As a means to encourage and motivate journalists to effectively follow the outcome of training programme in their reporting, their stories were acknowledged and best ones were awarded with ‘Journalism Award’.

Ø Online media campaigns: Sensitizing stakeholders specifically on child survival and its challenges in Rajasthan.

Various social media handles were also created for E CHARCHA.

Ø YouTube: Stories and outcomes of reportage were also uploaded on : for wider dissemination.

Four videos were also  uploaded on this channel for public awareness and sensitization receiving more than 3,400 views with their details underneath:

Ø Facebook:

Four videos and three articles have since been published with more than 150 unique likes on the page.

Ø Twitter:

Four videos have since been published

Ø Instagram handle :

Ø WhatsApp: Group has been created and two videos shared.

The “E-CHARCHA” website has achieved an all India ranking of 87,938 on Alexa, a global tool for website rankings. Through our digital media campaign on child survival and child rights, we have been able to reach out to around two million people across the country so far.

By effectively implementing this initiative, the Foundation has helped bridge communication, information and knowledge gaps among the grassroots journalists in far-flung districts by connecting them to subject experts and front runners in the media field. This has, in turn, enhanced their understanding of concepts on priority issues and key messaging including potential barriers and challenges that are evident and on strategies to overcome them.

I would like to, in particular, thank UNICEF, Rajasthan for their support and in trusting us in taking forward this important project. Without their support, we would not have been able to achieve the desired project outcomes that we could in a short period of time. The success of the project, in a large part, is due to Suchorita Bardhan, communication specialist, UNICEF, Rajasthan whose continued support mattered the most in successful completion of the project.

As we move forward into the next fiscal, we aim to further strengthen our efforts, accelerate our pace and bring on board concerned stakeholders  to collaborate and address some challenging issues of our society with far reaching bearing on positive social outcomes. Our activities and initiatives are well aligned with national development priorities and sustainable development goals agenda and we are prepared to play our role in a humble and a small way.

I would also like to thank our partners, collaborators, colleagues and members of the  board of FDI for their continuing support and look forward to a more meaningful engagement  over the period of next year and beyond.

POSTED BY admin | Dec, 10, 2019 |