In some of India’s most malnourished districts, voice messages and social media platforms WhatsApp and Facebook are emerging as the key mediums to reach out to women to teach them nutritional values. A study conducted by NITI Aayog to assess social and behavioural change among beneficiaries of Centre’s key nutritional programme Poshan Abhiyan showed that these forms of communication had recorded fastest growth in reaching women. Voice messages recorded a 13 percentage point increase in reaching women between November 2018 and November 2019 from 26% to 39%. WhatsApp expanded its reach from 9% to 20% in the same period and Facebook doubled its from 6% to 12%. The private nature of communication over these platforms, and wider mobile phone penetration, is likely to be the reason why women prefer to use them. WhatsaApp and Facebook were unavailable for comment. The study was conducted among 1,901 women in 16 of the country’s 112 so-called aspirational districts, which are underdeveloped and selected for a concerted government push to boost their level of development. The survey’s findings, reviewed by HT, were presented to officials of the Union ministry of women and child development in February.The 16 districts were chosen from five states, and… Read full this story
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