The Scheme for Adolescent Girls (SAG) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the government which targets adolescent girls in the age group of 11 to 14 years. In this article, you will learn all about the SAG or SABLA scheme for the IAS exam. Government schemes are very important for the civil services and other government exams.
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What is the SAG Scheme?
The Scheme for Adolescent Girls (SAG) was devised in 2010 as a special intervention for adolescent girls of the age group 11 – 14 years to break the intergenerational life-cycle of nutritional and gender disadvantage and offer a supportive environment for the self-development of adolescent girls in the country.
- SAG focuses on out-of-school adolescent girls of the said age group.
- The scheme was rolled out in 2011 under the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
- The scheme was previously known as Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (RGSEAG or SABLA).
- The scheme replaced the Nutrition Programme for Adolescent Girls (NPAG) and Kishori Shakti Yojana (KSY).
- The scheme is implemented by using the Anganwadi services of the umbrella ICDS Scheme through Anganwadi Centres (AWCs).
- It is a centrally sponsored scheme implemented by the state/UT governments.
- The scheme is being implemented in a phased manner with the number of beneficiary districts increased with every phase.
- In March 2021, this scheme was included under the Mission POSHAN 2.0.
SAG Scheme Objectives
The overarching objective of the scheme is to provide nutrition and enhance the social and economic status of the adolescent girls in the age group of 11 to 14 years. The idea is to facilitate adolescent girls to become self-reliant and aware citizens of the country by educating and empowering them.
The stated objectives are as follows:
- Enable the Adolescent Girls for self-development and empowerment.
- Improve the nutrition and health status of Adolescent Girls.
- Promote awareness of health, nutrition and hygiene.
- Support out of school Adolescent Girls to successfully transition back to formal schooling or bridge learning/skill training.
- Upgrade their home-based skills and life skills.
- Provide information/guidance about existing public services such as Primary Health Centres, Rural Hospitals/CHCs, Post Office, Bank, Police Station, etc.
SAG Scheme Services Provided
Under the scheme, the following services are provided to the beneficiaries. The services are divided into the nutrition and non-nutrition components.
- Nutrition provision: Every out-of-school registered beneficiary would be provided with supplementary nutrition similar to that of pregnant women and lactating mothers under ICDS containing 600 calories, 18-20 grams of protein and micronutrients for 300 days in a year. This nutrition would be provided in the form of Take Home Rations or Hot Cooked Meals.
- Iron and Folic Acid (IFA) supplementation: Along with IFA tablets, the Adolescent Girls would also be offered information on food fortification, advantages of supplementation by IFA tablets for combating iron deficiency anaemia, and dietary diversification.
- Health check-up and Referral services: General health check-up of all Adolescent Girls at least once in three months.
- Nutrition & Health Education (NHE): Sustained information on health and nutrition will help enhance the general health of the beneficiaries and also their families which will help to break the vicious intergenerational cycle of malnutrition. This is given in the AWC jointly by the ICDS and health functionaries and resource persons/field trainers from NGOs/Community Based Organisations (CBOs). Information given includes information promoting healthy traditional practices while dispelling myths, good sanitation practices, safe drinking water habits, healthy eating and cooking habits, managing menarche, personal hygiene, etc.
- Mainstreaming out-of-school girls to join formal schooling, bridge course/skill training: Under this, out-of-school Adolescent Girls are identified and provided guidance to enrol or restart mainstream school. Families are provided with information on the benefits of a formal education. Under this, female role models are also highlighted for girls to emulate.
- Life Skill Education, home management, etc.: Beneficiaries are offered guidance on life skills and also home management (home maintenance, budgeting, saving, running the household, gender sensitivity, schooling of children, etc.) so that they can become productive members of society when they grow up.
- Counseling/Guidance on accessing public services: Awareness talks and visits are arranged in collaboration with PRI members, NGOs/CBOs, health functionaries, police personnel, bank officials, post office officials, school authorities etc.
Kishori Health Card
The Kishori Health Cards are maintained by the States in Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) to record the Adolescent Girls’ height, weight, BMI (body mass index), along with other services provided under the SAG scheme. The card also carries the details of the achievements or outcomes under the scheme.
Kishori Diwas: A special day is to be observed as ‘Kishori Diwas’ once in three months. This would typically be the day on which the general health check-up of the girls would be carried out. On this day, Information Education and Communication (IEC) would be imparted to the community, parents, etc.
Scheme for Adolescent Girls Need
Adolescence is a crucial phase in the life of a human being, especially women. At this stage, various emotional and physical changes happen in a girl and vital interventions at this stage can help the individual develop positive attitudes towards health and well-being. Lack of nutritional food and healthy & hygienic practices can hamper the growth and development of a girl and hinder her from fully achieving her potential. It is with this intent that the SAG was envisaged.
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