Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram

Adolescents (10–19 years) constitute about one-fifth of India’s population and young people (10–24 years) about one-third of the population. This represents a huge opportunity that can transform the social and economic fortunes of the country.

In order to enable adolescents fulfill their potential, substantial investments must be made in education, health, development and other areas. Investments in adolescents will have an immediate, direct and positive impact on India’s health goals and on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). At the same time, it will enhance economic productivity, effective social functioning and overall population development.

 However, a considerable number of adolescents face challenges to their health development due to a variety of factors, including structural poverty, social discrimination, negative social norms, inadequate education, and early marriage and child-bearing, especially in the marginalised and under-served sections of the population.

 Taking cognizance of the need to respond to health and development requirements of adolescents in a holistic manner, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has developed a comprehensive strategy, based on the principles of participation, rights, inclusion, gender equity and strategic partnerships. The strategy envisions that all adolescents in India are able to realize their full potential by making informed and responsible decisions related to their health and well-being.

To deliver these interventions, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched a new adolescent health programme – Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram. The programme envisages strengthening of the health system for effective communication, capacity building and monitoring and evaluation.