Action Research & Training for Health (ARTH), an Indian NGO with a mission to “help communities access and manage health care according to their needs and capacity, by using research and training initiatives,” was awarded a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. The organization is planning to use the funding to promote maternal health in the Indian state of Rahasthan:
ARTH will use the $350,000 (about Rs 1.58 crores) award to complete its field campus, purchase permanent office space and contribute to its endowment. The field campus, including three health centers and training school will be used for training “Bhil-Gameti” tribal girls of southern Rajasthan as auxiliary nurse-midwives (ANMs). Tribal girls tend to drop out of school; hence special efforts will be made to help some of them to cross secondary school, enroll as nursing-midwifery students and to complete the ANM course. It is expected that high quality midwifery training offered by ARTH will generate a demand for their services, and employment in the health sector will contribute to the health, educational and economic empowerment of the tribal community they represent.