“Happy Couple” Competition Promotes Family Planning in Agra, India

Talking openly about family planning is not usual behavior for people residing in slums of Agra, India; but CCP did not set out to do anything usual in the Urban Health Initiative.

From December 20-26 under the Urban Health Initiative (UHI), CCP piloted the first Happy Dampatti (Happy Couple) contest in a 50,000 population slum cluster in Agra . The Happy Dampatti contest identifies couples who have effectively integrated family planning in their lives and encourages them to share their family planning stories with their peers and on camera.

Going door-to-door, UHI peer educators clad in Happy Dampatti branded t-shirts reached more than 1000 eligible couples in the intervention slums and encouraged them to participate in the contest. Their promotion effort was aided by announcements from branded rickshaws, posters and banners, radio promo spots, and “enrollment camps”. Staff at these camps briefed couples about the contest and recorded their reproductive history; they additionally provided family planning counseling and sold socially-marketed contraceptives. Over three days, more than 150 couples were counseled, over 100 packets of condoms were sold and more than 100 referrals were made for IUDs.

The Happy Dampatti contest culminated on December 26 at an event that was attended by more than 2500 people and telecast on two local television networks, Moon TV and Sea TV. Happy Dampattis were selected through a range of activities, including games, a contraceptive quiz, personal family planning stories, and role plays. In addition, 12 couple interviews about family planning experience were shortlisted from the over 300 interviews recorded at the enrollment camps. These 12 interviews were screened at the event and an independent jury selected the No. 1 Happy Dampatti.

While only one couple was awarded the No. 1 Happy Dampatti title, all 12 couples are exemplary models for the use of family planning and will be celebrated through local media channels. Their stories will be publicized on billboards and in the press, and on radio and television.

The Urban Health Initiative will promote family planning in India by increasing uptake of birth control, delaying and spacing methods, and promoting modern methods of contraception through the use of role models, mobile health applications, and entertainment education. Lessons learned from the Happy Dampatti pilot activity will be applied in programming that takes places across the UHI intervention cities.

View more photos of the Happy Dampatti contest and UHI activities in Agra.


View part 1 of the couples interviews.

View part 2 of the couples interviews.

Learn more about the Urban Health Initiative.

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