Marketing family planning in a land of one billion people

Group in Bihar
Amit, Mona, Julie, and David arrive in Janani's head office in Patna, India.
THE DISPATCHES: Amit Sinha, David Plink, Julie Earne, Mona Gavankar, Dhruti Patel

Delhi daze, Patna preparation, and breaking rice with the Janani staff

Welcome to India — it's 110 degrees! We arrived in Delhi last Monday for a week of acclimatization before our project started. Amit and Mona visited their families, enjoyed home-cooked meals, and ate mangos and lychee galore. David and Julie met up with other International Business Development Program classmates and toured the sights of the region, including the Taj Mahal.

We flew into Patna, the capital city of Bihar, on Sunday. Today we met everyone at the Janani office, toured the facilities and prepared for our field visits into rural areas of Bihar. Even though we prepared all semester for this project, now that we are on site and exposed to the live version, we continue to learn and are constantly amazed at the scale of this project. There are 21,000 shops and 500 clinics managed by a dedicated staff of 40 at Janani headquarters!

Gorakh, a rural health practitioner (RHP) with his wife, at one of the clinics. Janani's rural network uses husband-and-wife teams to help with gender sensitivity issues.

The people at Janani are incredible. We were struck by their passion for their organization and their camaraderie. Lunch today consisted of a mélange of Indian cuisine, with each employee bringing a dish to share. It is representative of the culture at this organization.

Tomorrow we depart at 6:30 am to go into the rural areas around Patna. We will visit clinics and shops to interview physicians, clients, and rural practitioners, and gain a firsthand perspective of the real Bihar. We'll keep you posted.

— Julie and Mona