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A universal intervention promoting responsive caregiving to give children the best start in their lives.


2019 - 2024


Telangana, India


Dr. Gauri Divan and R Roy



A Scalable Programme Incorporating Early Child Development Interventions (ASPIRE) has been designed, implemented & is evaluating an integrated Early Child Development & nutrition intervention promoting nurturing care in the first 1000 days of life. It is embedded within the Integrated Child Development Services scheme. 

ASPIRE’s video intervention ‘Aalana Palana’ is used by Anganwadi Teachers to conduct group and individual counselling sessions with caregivers in their communities.  ‘Aalana Palana’ is attempting to implement a transition from traditional paper-based counselling sessions to a video-based, discussion and demonstration-led counselling model. It ensures fidelity of the intervention delivery by standardising the content delivered during sessions. These age-specific videos promote responsive and sensitive parenting, and early learning opportunities for children & include desired nutritional practices for young children & pregnant women. The content not only describes ‘WHAT’ behaviours caregiver should adopt, ‘HOW’ they could integrate these behaviours in their routines but also ‘WHY’ a particular behaviour is important for their child’s development.


An estimated 30 % of all children in India are at risk of not reaching their development potential because of poverty, poor health & nutrition, and suboptimal care. Stunting or chronic undernutrition results in impaired cognitive development, poor performance in school, and consequently an intergenerational transmission of disadvantage.  Despite existing evidence globally that intervention based on nurturing care can improve child development outcomes few have been scaled up. Scaling up effective interventions needs careful consideration of the context and resources available, especially introducing ‘something new’ in an already overstretched and overburdened system.

Progress till date

  • 11 videos commencing at pregnancy and going up to 5 years of child’s age have been developed in 2 languages (Telugu and Hindi). 

  • 30 Anganwadi teachers across three ICDS projects have been trained and are receiving ongoing supportive supervision to deliver the intervention

  • Training has been extended to 3 high focus districts of Telangana

  • Aalana Palana has now been mandated as one of the interventions to manage Severely Acute Malnutrition & Moderately Acute Malnutrition at the community level according to the Guidelines for Supplementary Nutrition Programme under the ICDS Scheme in Telangana.


  • UNICEF, India

  • Department of Women Development & Child Welfare, Government of Telangana, India


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