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The HRIDAY model

Improvement in the health of the people at the regional, national and international level is envisaged using the ‘HRIDAY-SHAN’ Model
  • This model of school-community connections starts at the individual classroom level, wherein trained Peer Leaders communicate with their classmates on health issues. As every student discusses and understands these issues, health promotion becomes an acceptable norm at the individual level.
  • Their attitudes and commitment get transmitted to other classrooms in the same school through intra-school interactions and to other schools through inter-school activities. As a result, the network grows wider and health messages that are imparted easily transform into adopted actions.
  • At the school level, these interactions influence the students, the teachers and the school environment (rules, norms and policies) towards health promotion. The activities aim to positively alter knowledge on health issues, change their attitudes towards health promotion and as a result provide them dexterity to adopt healthy behaviours in their life.
  • These impressions and interactions from schools are carried home by individual student. HRIDAY believes, and has learnt through experience, that influencing the school environment is not enough to bring about a sustainable change in adopting healthy behaviours. Transferring learnt knowledge into behaviour requires active involvement of parents and families of these students. The home environment needs to be influenced equally.
  • HRIDAY programmes innovatively involve the families of the youth through Information Education Communication (IEC) material, regular interaction with parents during Parents Teachers Association meetings and at various other foras. These activities influence: parents, grandparents and siblings and ensure formation of health promoting norms in the family.

Media to influence policies

Any movement that involves youth and involves people in large numbers, attracts the attention of the media. This is the most powerful method of voicing opinions and ensuring that policy makers get interested in health issues that are of concern to the youth of the country.

HRIDAY-SHAN trains the youth for these advocacy skills (media advocacy, leadership and oratory skills) which enable them to interact with the wider community: media, policy makers and other civil society groups and can effectively voice their views and demand appropriate policy changes.

HRIDAY-SHAN model thus ensures that health information diffuses through the school, from a few Student Peer Leaders to the whole student community, and from the school into family and community settings. By adding advocacy by the youth on policy issues related to health, the model extends the outreach to the whole nation and transforms knowledge into social change – a process led by the youth and on issues owned by them!