Bala Mandir Research Foundation

A Unit of Bala Mandir Kamaraj Trust

Contact Us
+91 44 48680759

Bala Mandir Research Foundation,
31, Prakasam Street, T. Nagar,
Tamil Nadu, India.

Contact Us
+91 44 48680759

Bala Mandir Research Foundation, 31, Prakasam Street, T. Nagar, Tamil Nadu, India.

Contact Us
+91 44 48680759

Bala Mandir Research Foundation, 31, Prakasam Street,
T. Nagar, Tamil Nadu, India.

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Taking Positive Parenting Messages to the People:

Phase 1

Much of the Network’s early work, post its inception, focused on formulating, finalising, and disseminating its core messages to the people. The messages that form the critical minimum components of the Network are defined in the Life Cycle Approach to Parenting.

NIP members working in ECCD, health, nutrition, and special needs, initially spread the messages through their own organisations’ work, to parents with children below 3 years. Members used the ‘Parent Education Flip Chart’, an indigenised version of the Learning Through Play Calendars (LTPC), to successfully convey messages to lettered and unlettered parents alike, and establish dedicated ECCD parenting programmes.

NIP, supported by UNICEF, also compiled a dedicated booklet titled 'Challenges of Parenting', to help take forward its messages to the people.

In 2002-03, NIP conducted a pilot project on Nutrition and Parenting Practices, focusing on communication of best practices for change in nutrition and documentation of childcare practices in conditions and contexts of deprivation. This action study was held in four project sites, focusing on different populations, in partnership with:

  • Tamil Nadu Voluntary Health Association (TNVHA) and its network of NGOs in five (rural) districts of Tamil Nadu.
  • Rural Unit for Health and Social Affairs (RUHSA) – North Arcot district.
  • Madhuram Narayanan Centre for Exceptional Children (MNC) – Ramnad district.
  • Sahishnatha Vijaya Institute of Child Health – Dharmapuri district.
Phase 2
Phase 3

Expanding NIP:

From its beginnings, in 1999, as a Tamil Nadu initiative, the Network has expanded its presence into three other States; Gujarat, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. Membership has grown organically through various activities and campaigns.

In its first year, NIP was requested by UNICEF to take part in the sub-regional seminar on ‘Innovation in Early Childhood Care and Development’, and present a paper on the new Tamil Nadu initiative, wherein it laid out its commitment to promote expansion and networking in other States across India.

In 2002, NIP conducted a series of workshops, to extend membership and networking activities to NGOs across Tamil Nadu, on a zone-wise basis. The aim was to spread awareness on parenting for the child below three years, amongst institutions working with women and children, as an intervention into their on-going, service/training programmes. The zonal networking project generated valuable awareness, and feedback on the Network’s parenting activities and programmes, and opened doors to new members.

In the following years, target group workshops, based on the critical minimum components of the Network, were held for various groups, including paediatricians, obstetricians and gynaecologists, Kindergarten teachers and crèche workers, NGO personnel, parents, and youth. A special workshop for Media Advocacy and Consultation, widely spread NIP’s agenda across print and visual media.

Active participation at several State and National level workshops and conferences, between 1999 and 2002, helped to enhance the Network’s exposure and credibility. These included consultation on innovative practices, 25 years of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Southern Zone ECCD meet, State level workshop of ICDS Kerala, convergence of inter-sectorial services under ‘UDISHA’ and technical consultation of UNICEF’s programme for 2003-2007.

The Network has also gained international exposure through presentations to teams from East Africa, Myanmar and East Timor.

Working with the Government:

From 2001 – 2004, NIP worked extensively with the Government of Tamil Nadu to take forward its agenda.

Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)

The UNICEF sponsored Parent Education Flip Chart (0 – 3 Years) was developed in extensive consultation with Anganwadi workers and ICDS trainers, to make it an effective, and accessible psychosocial tool. The tool was then given to all ICDS Centres (approximately 30,000) across Tamil Nadu.

A five-day State-level training programme on the Flip Chart was held in May 2001 for select trainers and personnel of ICDS and WB ICDS-III, followed by orientation/training programmes for zonal-and district-level functionaries between Oct 2001 – Mar 2002. A State-level review of the programme was also held in Nov 2002. The project helped to train ICDS functionaries to take the parenting programme, and tool forward into the community, and Anganwadi Centres (AWCs).

Health Department, Border District Development Strategy (BDS)
Women’s Development Corporation (WDC)
Policy Level Intervention

Taking NIP Forward:

NIP aims to consolidate, and expand its membership across all States in India by 2020.

NIP members and organisations represent diverse fields of social work, ranging from community development, public health, migrant labour, and women’s empowerment to child welfare and rights, education and special needs.

Going forward, NIP aims to work THROUGH and WITH its diverse body of members to focus on the parenting angle of their work, helping members to integrate parenting, and psychosocial aspects of child development into their current work in the community.

The activities of the Network have thus far largely focused on Early Child Care and Development, which going forward will expand to include Primary School and Adolescents.

NIP is commited to the empowerment of its members through training and capacity building, as well as the development and sharing of parenting tools and resource materials.

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