The present study aims to assess the composition of VHSNCs; to assess the functioning of VHSNCs and find out the deviations, if any, from the prescribed framework of guidelines and, to understand awareness of VHSNC members about their roles. The proposed study is based on primary data collected with the help of structured questionnaire. The data was collected from one hundred Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committees in Punjab. Four districts of the Punjab state were selected randomly from each direction i.e North, South, East and West.
The districts selected were Gurdaspur, Mansa, Mohali and Firozpur from North, South, East and West direction respectively. The study reveals that sampled VHSNCs in Punjab have 12 members per VHSNC. One-fourth of the chairpersons of the VHSNCs in Punjab were illiterate Only 23 per cent of the VHSNCs claimed to have prepared the village health plan.
Meetings were organized on monthly basis in only half of the expected meetings per VHSNC. Large number of members was not attending the meetings organised by VHSNCs in Punjab. Majority of the funds received by VHSNCs was utilized for sanitation and cleanliness of the village. Majority of members were not aware about the components and objectives of VHSNC. All members reported that the untied fund is always helpful in solving the issues and problems of the village and the amount of untied fund given to VHSNCs should be increased.
Dr Shaik Iftikhar Ahmed, Research Faculty, Population Research Centre, Centre for Research in Rural & Industrial Development
Health, Sanitation, Nutrition, VHSNCs
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