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Crusader for family planning gets awarded

May 18, 2010

Pano Hembram, a non matriculate Santhal girl sensitises women in seventeen remote villages of Seraikela-Kharsawan on importance of small families. Recently, her contribution in the field of reproductive health got recognized by CII Woman Exemplar Award 2010.

Ranchi: Seventeen remote villages in Seraikela-Kharsawan have learnt the hum do hamare do mantra of family planning. And they all owe it to 28-year-old Pano Hembram.

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The non-matriculate Santhal girl has been the strongest crusader for small family and birth spacing to defuse the population bomb in the region, and is the proud recipient of CII Woman Exemplar Award 2010 for her contribution in the field of reproductive health.

A resident of the nondescript Murkum village in Seraikela-Kharsawan’s Gamharia block, Hembram received the award — sponsored by ArcelorMittal India and comprising Rs 1 lakh in cash, a medallion and a citation — at a function in New Delhi on May 11.

Hembram has achieved the distinction of filing as many as 864 applications under the RTI Act for information on various government hospitals and health set-ups sponsored by it. She also referred 288 girls for safe abortions to hospitals.

Her biggest accomplishment has been in terms of promoting small families and birth spacing in 17 villages, where institutional deliveries have become a norm. The couples she has worked with have restricted themselves to two children and 1,080 women have also been motivated to undergo tubectomy.

Institutionalised in 2005, the CII award aims to promote women empowerment at community level by discovering and recognising those who have, against all odds, excelled and contributed significantly to the development process in India.

The nominees are evaluated on the basis of key achievements, unique approach to achieve desired results, targeted beneficiaries, knowledge upgrade and empowerment. This year’s jury members included Anu Aga, CII award panel chairperson and director of Tehrmax Limited, Chanda Kochhar, joint managing director of ICICI Bank, and Sudhir K. Sinha, country head (CSR), ArcelorMittal India Limited.

Hembram started work with the Tata Steel Family Initiative Foundation in 2000 and continued with the project till 2006. She was associated with Krishi Gram Vikas Kendra (KGVK) the same year and ever since extensively trained villagers on core health issues.

Her positive influence has led to the creation of a second-line leadership and huge following among the adolescent and the youth in the district. Currently, she is associated with National Rural Health Mission and Integrated Child Development Scheme.

Her name for the coveted award was proposed by Ashok Bharti, KGVK director, a corporate social responsibility wing of Usha Martin. “Her communication skills are outstanding. She got what she deserved,” summed up Rajendra Tripathi, project manager, KGVK’s Gamharia unit.

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