KOCHI: After a month of training by ‘Soothikashree’, a micro-enterprise platform, a batch of women have started delivering traditional and ayurvedic post pregnancy care to clients at their homes in Kerala.
The initiative led by a ‘scalable’ social enterprise, Soothika, in association with the much acclaimed National Rural Livelihood Mission model ‘Kudumbhasree’ in Kerala seeks to revive traditional massage therapies combined with contemporary music therapies built on classical Indian raagas and using smart phone technologies, to relieve mothers and newborns of the stresses of pregnancy and delivery, a press release said.
Rekha Babu, CEO of Soothika says, “Soothika is a scalable social enterprise that focuses on pregnancy care through its unique services and products. Our micro enterprise platform-Soothikashree imparts skill training in state-of-the-art pregnancy homecare programme and equips women in lower economic strata to be sustainable entrepreneurs.”
Music and massage therapy is believed to have major positive effects on the brain development of newborn babies.
The effort that dovetails the UN Millennium Development Goals of mother and child health with women empowerment has also started its work at a national level with centres started in other states.
The initiative seeks to empower unskilled women through providing a venue for self-sustainable enterprise through multi-skill training.
The selected women are then provided by micro loans according to the NRLM schemes of Kudumbhasree which are spent on training through the Soothikashree organisation.
Soothikashree trains them to use time tested side-effect-free ayurvedic therapeutic oils, massage techniques and ways to market their services.
It also provides a two wheeler within this micro loan amount and gets driving licenses for the women, along with a smartphone tailored to manage the service and monitor the sessions, allowing the women to have flexible working schedules that boosts the number of clients they can serve.
The initiative is supported by Kudumbhasree which has empanelled Soothikashree to provide the training and also give handholding support to the therapists to ensure sustainability.
The payment from the clients are collected by Soothikashree which routes it into the therapists bank accounts, boosting financial inclusion and ensuring timely payments.
The massage oils are provided by Soothikashree which also contacts hospitals and doctors to find clients for the therapists, who themselves are encouraged to find more clients.
A typical post natal therapy session lasts just two hours a day for 28 days, with allowance to vary from 21 to 42 days.
The 28 day session costs Rs. 15,000 per client, the release said.
With the mobile application that links the therapists to the Soothikashree centre, and the two wheeler provided, the lady entrepreneur is able to flexibly manage a minimum of three clients a month, with a cool profit of nearly Rs. 10,000 per client, taking her earnings to nearly Rs. 30,000, it said.
“In order to cater to huge demand for our services across India we are in process of tying up with self-help groups, and Micro Finance companies and we intend to be one of the leading last mile socially relevant, sustainable brand in the country,” Rekha Babu said.