About the Project

Ninety percent of maternal deaths are preventable. India leads the world with the highest number of maternal deaths. Assam leads the country with the highest maternal mortality ratio.

The Central Government and the Assam State government have enacted policies and programs to curb maternal and infant mortality rates and guarantee universal health care. However, insufficient budget allocation, weak implementation of policies and poor monitoring & oversight have resulted in gross violations of human rights. Women in Assam are routinely denied access to adequate health services due to poor infrastructure, undue payment, and discrimination based on ethnicity or caste. This is particularly so for women hailing from Adivasi (tribal) communities who live and work in the tea gardens of Assam. Assam's tea garden and public hospitals often lack equipment, staff and referral systems necessary to ensure safe motherhood. These violations of the rights to health, life and equality are neither reported nor addressed. Basic tools to communicate, inform, and document violations are virtually non-existent, and women lack access to mechanisms to hold public and private entities accountable for the failure to provide life-saving treatment as required by law. 

To address these gaps, Nazdeek, ICAAD and PAJHRA are combining community trainings, technology and legal intervention to increase accountability in the delivery of maternal health services in Assam. Through SMS-based technology, 44 women activists, many of women are Adivasi women living in the tea gardens, are identifying and reporting maternal health rights violations in tea garden and public health facilities. The women activists are also documenting the delivery of food benefits, crucial for pregnant women and their families, through the Public Distribution System and the Government's Anganwadi Centres. The project is monitoring service delivery in 16 health facilities across two blocks in Sonitpur District, Assam. The project relies on open source technology offered by Ushahidi. 

The information received is subsequently verified and collected on this online platform to map the areas of concern and patterns of violations. The data collected will provide local activists and lawyers with ground data necessary to combat maternal mortality and save mothers' lives.