July - A small band of devoted and like minded men and women in Bombay establish the Family Planning Committee. Its mission: to help safeguard the health and lives of women who have too many and too closely spaced pregnancies by educating couple about the health and other benefits of family planning for the family, to inculcate in them a new sense of responsibility toward parenthood and, on a larger scale, to promote it as a measure that could help balance between population and resources.
This small beginning, although unknown then, was to become a significant first step toward a nationwide movement for family planning.
March, the Committee renames itself the Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) Two of its dynamic volunteers- Smt. Dhanvanthi Rama Rau and Smt. Avabai B Wadia are its President and Hony. General Secretary, respectively.
The year-old Association sends a Memorandum to the newly-formed Planning Commission of independent India, to include family planning in the country’s First Five Year Plan. Smt. Rama Rau and Mrs Wadia are invited and serve on its Health and Social Welfare Panels respectively, to speak for this cause.
The Planning Commission includes family planning in the First Five Year Plan, 1951-56, and India becomes the first country in the world to adopt family planning.
FPAI calls its first All India Family Planning Conference in Bombay. More than 100 medical practitioners, among others, attend. It proves valuable in demonstrating the importance of family planning and opening new vistas in ushering in a better quality of life.
A landmark year for FPAI. Several significant events with a national and global impact take place:
September- Kutumb Sudhar Kendra, FPAI’s first clinic, opens in Bombay with the aim of running it as a model centre for providing family planning advice and services along with assistance to childless couples, guidance in marital problems, and sex education as also for conducting research. Dr A. P. Pillay is the Hon. Director and Dr Sushila Gore, the Hon. Secretary. Later it was called the Family Welfare Bureau and moved to Worli. Clinics were also run for the Reserve Bank of India. Century Mills and Spring Mills in Bombay.
November- At the suggestion of Mrs. Margaret Sanger, a pioneer of the family planning movement in U.S.A and under the auspices of the International Committee on Family Planning, the young FPAI hosts the Third International Conference on Planned Parenthood in Bombay. Inaugurated by Dr B Radhakrishnan, the then Vice President of India, it is attended by 407 delegates from India and 80 across the world, a milestone in accelerating family planning work not only in India but worldwide as well.
November 29- At this Conference, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is born with the Family Planning Associations of India. UK, USA, West Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Singapore and Hongkong as Founder Members. Margaret Sanger and Dhanvanthi Rama Rau are the first Joint Presidents.
Today, IPPF is the world’s largest voluntary organization working in 180 countries for the promotion sexual and reproductive health and family planning.
December- Taking advantage of the presence of foreign experts from London, FPAI organizes a training course for 89 doctors.
Child Welfare Conference is inaugurated by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister at Delhi. His sister Ms Krishna Hathisingh and daughter Mrs Indira Gandhi also attended.
The Government of India establishes a programmes & Research Committee to draw up practical measures for promoting family planning and includes the FPAI President as a member.
It also sets up a Population and Social Development Committee.
This marks the first official link between Government and the voluntary sector. Since then, the FPAI President has represented the Association on the major population/family welfare policy –making bodies of Government including the Swaminathan Committee which drafted the recent national population policy in 1994.
Pilot projects are taken up outside Bombay-in Badlapur and Ulhasnagar-to study the problems of rural areas and provide outreach clinical services.
When FPAI established its clinics in Bombay, the State Government was not in favour of family planning. However, later, the policy was reversed and by November 1957, the State Government had undertaken an extensive family planning programme.
FPAI’s public education campaign continues. Seeing the urgent need for training doctors in contraceptive techniques, it organizes training courses for doctors and paramedics at its clinic, with the help of a small grant from the Brush Foundation of USA, through a touring doctor-tem to different parts of the country.
A newsletter, Planned Parenthood Bulletin (July 1953) and research –based journal. The Journal of Family Welfare (1954), are launched. Both periodicals enjoy a wide readership even today. In 1992, the Journal wins the Global Medical Award instituted by the Population Institute, Washington D.C., in the category of “Best Population Journal”.
FPAI Branches start working at 18 locations across the country to cater to the family planning educational and service needs of an ever-widening clientele.
FPAI is made a member of the Central Family Planning Board, which was later called Family Planning Council.
Smt. Dhanvanthi Rama Rau is elected President of IPPF handing over the reins of FPAI to Smt. Avabai B Wadia, who took over as President of FPAI.
The family planning services were extended to rural areas also, starting it for a group of 14 villages in Bhayander, Maharashtra.
A schematic plan of Action for Population Education is presented at the All India Council meeting held at Manipal, Karnataka.
The Plan is acknowledged as a fountainhead for developing programme packages on population education for tomorrow's parents.
The first of the Mobile Education –cum-Service Units (MESUs) comes into existence to make services accessible closer to people. The MESUs are well equipped van where minor surgeries can also be performed.
Mass sterilization camps are organized for the first time in the country at four locations – Bhayander, Wada, Mahad and Dapoli.
The Government of Maharashtra provides logistics, referral support and replicates the model in various parts of the state. These are further replicated in states like Gujarat, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh.
"Baap re Baap", the film produced by FPAI wins the National Award for Short Films. Mr Uma Shankar Dikshit, Union Minister for Health and Family Planning presented the award.
Integrated Rural Development Project, Karnataka covering a population of more than 2.77 lakh, spread across 154 villages in three districts of Dharwad, Blgaum and Bijapur, state working to generate community participation in family planning through a variety of development initiatives.
The Government of Karnataka hands over the management of one of its Primary Health Centres in Malur. A landmark in government NGOs partnership, this joint enterprise results into a full- fledged community based project in which served under privileged people in Malur for over a decade.
Kutumb Niyojan Adarsh Kendra, the first model clinic start in Thane district (Maharashtra) to provide comprehensive services for safe motherhood, child survival and family planning.
FPAI celebrates its Silver Jubilee, coinciding with World Population Year, declared by the United Nations.
Attended by 530 participants representing 78 voluntary organizations an All India Conference of Voluntary Organizations Supporting Family Planning (VOSFP) is held in Bombay. The conference comes out with a Plan of Action promising a very positive and productive support to nurture small NGOs and stimulate their commitment to spearhead family planning movement, Countrywide networking among NGOs starts.
Two newsletters, Avhaan (Marathi) from Headquarters and Population Education News (PEN-bilingual) from Haryana Branch are released.
FPAI supports five major universities- Madras, SNDT-Bombay, Udaipur, Gorakhpur and Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University-Delhi for higher studies in population education through a network of Population Education Cells. Sri Venkateshwar University at Tirupati starts a postgraduate course in Population Studies.
"Action Now in Family Planning" is launched to arrange training for medical practitioners of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopath (ISM&H).
The programme provides a basis for building up professional competence of over 25, 000 ISM&H doctors in 20 years, following the event to provide quality family planning services.
FPAI moves to its own premises at Bajaj Bhavan, Nariman Point Bombay.
SECRT- Sex Education, Counselling, Research and Training / Therapy Centres start at two locations: Bombay and Delhi, with an avowed goal of improving sexual health of adolescents and youth.
For improving the professional competence of its personnel, both volunteers and staff, FPAI organizes management development courses with technical support from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Initially, 31 senior volunteers and staff are trained.
The first project on CBD, covering 1.25 million population spread across 1,242 villages starts in Varanasi.
Authored by Mrs. Avabai B Wadia, a small booklet entitled "The Role of Voluntary Organizations in Promoting FP and Population Policy" is published. Outlining a very exciting agenda for voluntary action in family planning, the booklet attains nationwide popularity.
The Planned Parenthood Centre aimed at providing state-of-art services for wide ranging family planning choices including infertility management and facilities for advance training in fertility regulation Techniques starts operating in Bombay.
Inaugurated by Shri Sadiq Ali, the Governor of Maharashtra, a South Asia Regional Seminar is organized to map out a broad based programme package for youth involvement in population awareness programmes.
January – Mrs. Avabai B. Wadia receives Padma Bhushan from President of India for her distinguished services in the field of family planningas President of FPAI.
Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Reporting system is streamlined and a series of workshops are organized for FPAI personnel to improve the Management information System(MIS).
Mrs. Avabai B. Wadia is elected the President of IPPF.
The first Project on Women’s Development and Family Planning is launched in Bhiwandi (Maharashtra) and Nagercoil (Tamil Nadu) with a broader objective of enabling women to manage their fertility and attaining better status.
“FPAI: What It Is, What It Does”, is published for the first time as a premier publicity material for extensive distribution.
Parivar Pragati Mandal – a Project aimed at promoting responsible fatherhood is established in two textile mills of Bombay with the involvement of industrial workers and union leaders.
Mrs. Wadia is elected unanimously as the President of IPPF for the second term (1986-89), at the Members’ Assembly held in Tokyo.
On FPAI intervention, the Government of India starts “Mother Units Scheme” and appoints FPAI as a first Mother NGO to assist smaller localized voluntary organizations countrywide to undertake family planning activities. NGO Consultancy Cell starts working at FPAI Headquarters with a rolling fund of Rs. 5,00,000. Starting with five NGOs the cell provides financial and technical support to over 50 NGOs spread across ten status.
Participated by more than 170 NGOs, the three day National Conference on Population, Development and the Environment –
An agenda for the 1990’s provides a common platform to seven government institutes, five UN agencies and 45 FPAI Branches and Projects to discuss vita issues concerning population and development and give a new impetus to family planning programme. The highly visible response of participating NGOs is channeled by the next move to form a network of NGOs for Development, Environment and Population (INENGODEP), This link sharing enterprise supports NGOs to share common goals and policies relating to population development and environment in a bid to evolve mutually reinforcing strategies for promoting a better quality of life for the people. Starting with a membership of 130 the network links up with more than 2300 NGOs, subsequently.
The Journal of Family Welfare wins the Global Media Award instituted by The Population Institute, USA in the category of Best Population Journal.
A Regional Training Centre at Hyderabad is established for providing training to the volunteers and staff of NGOs working in the field of family planning in south India.
Bringing the future into focus, a ten year Strategic Plan – Challenges (1992 – 2000) is launched. The Plan expresses FPAI’s deep commitment to ensure accessibility of information and quality service to underserved people; move into areas of high need and low performance, particularly the four larger northern states of the country, integrate women’s and youth concerns more closely into normal activities; and spearhead a people’s movement for family planning by developing a national network of non-government organizations.
As a representative of NGOs, FPAI President joins a five member government delegation to attend ICPD Prep Com II meeting held in New York and presents a statement on behalf of the Association. Again as a member of the Organizing Committee for preparation of ICPD formed by the Government of India, the President attends in-country meetings.
FPAI Maadhyam – The first Newsletter in Hindi is launched as a medium to communicate with Hindi speaking population on issues related to youth and women’s concerns, population stabilization, sexual and reproductive health including family planning.
More than 190 grass root volunteers representing 75 NGOs from all over the country are brought together at a national conference of NGOs on Population and Development held in New Delhi to discus ICPD Draft Plan of Action. The statement made at the conclusion of the conference is transmitted to the Government of India and the ICPD Secretariat.
FPAI President represents IPPF at the UN Prep Comm III meetings in New York. A strong contingent of volunteers and staff including President and the Secretary General attends the ICPD held at Cairo where the President addresses the plenary session of NGO Forum, a privilege one of the very few national NGOs received.
YWICs – Young Women Information Centres, start at 55 locations preparing the girls between 12 and 20 years for responsible family living Managed by local women’s development committees, these centres provide family life information, run literacy classes and also arrange financial support to take up income generating activities.
Sexual Health Project, a very challenging innovation utilizing the community participation approach is taken up at Lucknow and Chennai, as part of IPPF’s multi-centered Sexual Health Project. The innovation aims at bringing about positive attitudinal and behavioral changes to improve people’s sexual health.
Condom Vending Machine is introduced together with Sangam Condoms to widen condom availability and provide an essential backup to STIs/HIV/AIDs prevention.
Parivar Pragati Pariyojana (Small Family By Choice Project) starts in Madhya Pradesh parr id FPAI’s Strategic Plan to move into under-served areas, promote community involvement and institutionlise quality of care.
The first and largest Project funded by IPPFs Vision-2000, the Project covers three of the 90 least performing districts in India: Sagar, Vidisha and Bhopal to serve a population of 4.35 million spread across 3900 villages. The Project goes on to win the Regional Vision 2000 Award and Commonwealth Award for excellence in 1996; Global Vision 2000 Award for 1998 and is also selected by the International Selection Commission for Registration in EXPO-2000, in Hannover, Germany.
As member of IPPF delegation, Mrs Avabai Wadia, President and Dr. Nina Puri, Vice President together with a contingent of five volunteers participate in the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing (China) – the largest ever international meet organized by United Nations. Over 40,000 women and men from 180 countries attended the main Conference and a parallel NGO forum participated by representatives from 3000 NGOs world wide. FPAI is also represented at the NGO forum by a team of volunteers and one staff.
FPAI receives a generous donation from the Estate of Dorothy and Chester Bowles. USA which is used to produce a number of print and audio-visual materials in different languages for promoting sexual and reproductive health among youth.
Courage in Close-up, a video film on women’s empowerment specially produced by FPAI for this occasion is ranked first in the Honorable Mention List among winning entries form CNN, World Vision, USA and the Women Inventors Project, Canada.
The World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen is also attended by the President, Vice-President and the Secretary General.
Soch Samajh Ke – a documentary film on premarital and marital counselling produced especially for youth, wins the 1996 National Award for the best family planning firm.
Training Institute for Reproductive and Sexual Health (TIRSH) is established at Gwalior to provide training in sexual and reproductive health to NGOs working in the north through a curriculum geared to NGO activities.
Comprehensive Reproductive Health Project is launched in Bhiwandi (Maharashtra). The Project aims at maximising the integration of family planning with reproductive health including reproductive tract infections (RTIs) by promoting community participation and gender equity.
Addressing the reproductive and sexual health needs of men another pioneering step is taken by starting the Men-only Clinics. A chain of 27 clinics comes up by 1997.
Following the BBC broadcast titled Sexwise, a joint initiative with IPPF – South Asia Regional Office and Department for International Development (DFID) UK, FPAI meets countrywide requests from over 50,000 listeners for booklets on basic sexual and reproductive health information published in Hindi, English, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil and Kannada. It is followed by another collaborative project focusing on the status of women.
FPAI joins SIFPSA, a USAID supported Government Project in Uttar Pradesh to increase accessibility of information and quality service through a network of CBDs in Gorakhpur – a highly under-served district.
“Education in Human Sexuality: A Sourcebook for Educators” is brought out.FPAI enters the World Wide Web and launches its Homepages on the Internet.
Dr. Nina Puri takes over as President of the Association from her illustrious predecessor Mrs. Avabai B. Wadia.
FPAI’s policy of mobilizing and supporting NGOs to join family planning movement gets further momentum when the Government of India accords it “National NGO Status” and assigns the job of assessing proposals submitted by other NGOs to the Government on reproductive and child health and gender issues or for ‘Mother NGO’ status.
Women’s Empowerment and Reproductive Health Initiatives Project, covering the entire district of Tonk (Rajasthan) is taken up to serve a population of 10 lakh spread across 1000 highly under-served villages. Supported by UK Lottery Board, through IPPF, the Project aims at addressing women’s concerns and stimulating the forces of change for advocacy and promotion of reproductive health choices.
FPAI is made a nodal agency in India by the NGO Forum Secretariat in Hilversum. The Netherlands for providing feedback on UNFPA – ICPD+5.
Dr. Nina Puri receives Samaj Sewa Shiroment award instituted by a Delhi based NGO. Dr. Nina Puri, President, as one of the three member delegation of the Government of India to the UNFPA – ESCAP, attends meeting in Bangkok which reviews the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action and the Bali Declaration on Population and Sustainable Development.
Mrs. Avabai B. Wadia is honoured by the Population Institute, Washington, with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
FPAI is represented by the President and Secretary General at the NGOs across the world. The main issues of the ICPD Programme of Action are discussed and recommendations made for key future actions in each areas.
An International Conference on “ Call to Action” for stake holder was organized in collaboration with IPPF and IPAS.
Accredited to IPPF
Seven out of twenty Voluntary Counseling Testing Centres recognized by respective State Government.
ISO 9001 – 2000 certified
Five new clinics established under GCACP
Seven clinics of FPA India recognized as abortion training centers by the government
Launch of “SPARSH” Sexual Reproductive health through Mobile