About Us


  • To work with women collectives for leading social action on Food, Nutrition, Health and WASH (FNHW) as business enterprise.

  • Serve as a knowledge and capacity building hub for scaling-up DAY-NRLM Dahasutra Strategy and DAY-NRLM committed activities under Jan Andolan of POSHAN Abhiyan 2018-2022.


We work to mainstream FNHW activities for women-led collectives through:

  • Capacity building in priority blocks for programmes designed to improve nutrition in women and girls

  • Provision of knowledge resources including Social Behaviour Change Communication tools

  • Evidence-based research on the impact of women’s collectives for programme strengthening

  • Advocacy for implementation of proven high impact activities for programme strengthening

  • Documentation of best practices for scale-up of FNHW interventions

  • Use of the mentor-scholar model to foster a community of development communicators among different groups

  • Capacity building of grassroots training centres to identify and facilitate the implementation of FNHW interventions

The problem

Malnutrition plagues Indian women. One fourth of India’s women have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than the standard 18. kg/m2, while one fourth on the other hand are overweight. 53.1% of women aged 15 – 49 years are also anaemic show data from NFHS-4.

Undernourished girls and women have a greater chance of giving birth to underweight babies, perpetuating intergenerational malnourishment.

Why this persists

Health and nutrition programmes in India have been child-centric with the nutrition status of adolescent girls and women remaining largely unmeasured and neglected in policy and programmes. In addition to inadequate dietary intake and poor food security there are physical, social and financial factors that impact women’s nutrition.

  • Incomplete high school education

    Only 36% of India’s women have attended school for ten or more years, leading to a lack of information and knowledge, leading to early and poorly spaced pregnancies.

  • Early Marriage

    27% of women aged between 20-24 years were married before turning 18 and 8% of women between 15-19 years are already mothers.

  • Lack of family planning

    No more than 48% of married women of reproductive age use modern methods of family planning.

  • Lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation services

    52% of households in India for instance, lack proper sanitation facilities

    Only 58% of women between 15-24 years have access to hygienic methods of protection during menstruation.

Those from marginalised communities that lack of access to land, employment, income, and education are particularly vulnerable.

What needs to be done

Given the impact of income poverty on nutrition outcomes, integrating livelihoods and poverty alleviation with nutrition programmes and counselling is necessary.
Further, interventions to improve the nutritional status of women need to:

  • Improve the food and nutrient intake of girls and women

  • Prevent micronutrient deficiencies and nutritional anaemia

  • Increase access to prenatal and postnatal health services

  • Increase access to education and WASH commodities/services and

  • Prevent early, poorly spaced and repeated pregnancies

The opportunity

Community collectives or Self- Help Groups (SHGs) and their federated units called Village Organizations (VO) promoted by DAY-NRLM are an untapped resource. With their vast network, social cohesion, bank linkage and political commitment, these collectives are formal pressure groups and effective advocates for social development. They thus have the ability to advance social needs and nutri-specific and sensitive interventions such as improving access to drinking water, sanitation facilities and PDS, and monitoring implementation of ICDS, which are in keeping with DAY-NRLM’s ‘dasha sutra’ strategy.

A 2016 UNICEF study highlighted the potential of these groups to receive and manage grants for income generation, and to improve last-mile delivery of essential nutrition services when they are equipped, supervised and provided protection against violence and exploitation.

To this end, ROSHNI- CWCSA provides technical support to DAY-NRLM in promoting FNHW and gender transformative interventions.

ROSHNI’s Mission