In view of the socio-economic conditions under which women in India were constrained to lead their lives from time immemorial, they were often labeled as abla, which means “without power”. The Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (RGSEAG) also called SABLA, is meant for empowering the adolescent girls on various knowledge and skills that would help them in leading a better life. Admittedly, women are making outstanding contribution in several areas, but on a limited level and there is urgent need to strengthen the existing infrastructure and creating new facilities for their development. In the more liberal twenty-first century with more opportunities opening to women, they have forayed into all spheres. It has been established by now that they can excel in equal measure provided they are given opportunity. Yet most of them continue to suffer from gender discrimination, violence and unfair treatment due to stereotyped mindsets. Adolescents (10-19 years) compose about 21% of the population of Odisha. Since adolescence marks period of developmental transition from childhood to full-fledged adulthood; the experiences that take place and the behavioural patterns that form during these years can have lasting effects on adult health, well-being and productivity. Due to various reasons adolescent girls have serious disadvantages in terms of opportunities to learn and access to information. These result in limited capacity of many of the adolescents to explore their strengths and understand their weaknesses as well as appropriately respond to the situations at times. Currently being in operation in 200 districts of the country, the coverage of SABLA Scheme is likely to be expanded in near future to all the districts. Its implementation at the field level is being facilitated by Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).
HDF -Centre for Development, Action and Research was entrusted with imparting training to adolescent girls on different life skills, health and hygiene, gender aspects etc. by the Department of Women & Child Development, Government of Odisha under SABLA scheme in six blocks of Mayurbhanj district namely,Suliapada, Saraskana Badasahi, Tiring, Bijatola & Betanoti. Six numbers of training programmes each of duration 3 days were conducted under different clusters in each block followed by exposure programmes of selected participants to public institutions like police station, railway station, Hospital, post office etc. in order to orient the adolescent girls on the functioning of these institutions and services provided by them.