In Rajasthan, India, many women and children are under-nourished. Maternal and infant mortality is higher than elsewhere in the country. While the Indian government administers agriculture, nutrition and health programs targeted to very poor citizens, geographic isolation and poor coordination between government programs prevent many from accessing these essential services.

To overcome this inequality, the Rajasthan Nutrition Project links health, nutrition, gender and agriculture to connect more poor women with available services.

Since early 2015, Freedom from Hunger and its partners, Freedom from Hunger India Trust, Vaagdhara, and Pradan, have been building on the growing women’s self-help group (SHG) movement in Rajasthan to reach 8,000 clients and by extension 28,000 family members. Located in the primarily tribal areas of Banswara and Sirohi, the project serves populations at high risk for under-nourishment, stunting, and maternal and infant mortality.

A combination of participatory, dialog-based health education—delivered by Community Nutrition Advocates (CNAs), who are also members of these groups—complement the skills SHG members are practicing around nutrition-sensitive agriculture, which focuses on kitchen gardens and growing locally nutritious greens and grains. These messages are reinforced by communication with other family members, including husbands, and new knowledge and skills are accompanied by partnerships to increase access to local services and resources.