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The current study explores some of the crucial variables of the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) profile of the households of Recently Delivered Women (RDW) or mothers in four districts of UP. From the catchment area of each ASHA, two RDWs were selected who had a child in the age group of 3 to 6 months. Through this profile, the selection criteria of RDWs, education profile of RDWs, religion of RDWs are reflected upon to give a picture that represents the entire state of UP.
The relevance of the study assumes significance as data on the details of socio-economic profile of recently delivered mothers are not available even in large scale surveys like National Family Health Survey 4 done in 2015-16. The social characteristics of women in the age group of 15-49 years are discussed in NFHS 4 but the current study had women less than 30 years of age as they had to be RDWs.
A total of four districts of Uttar Pradesh were selected purposively for the study and the data collection was conducted in the villages of the respective districts with the help of a pre-tested structured interview schedule with both close-ended and open-ended questions. In addition, in-depth interviews were also conducted amongst the RDWs and a total 500 respondents had participated in the study.
Regarding source of drinking water of the house-holds of RDWs, the data showed that hand pump was the major source for 3 districts except Gonda. The data on time taken for one round trip to the source of water by the house-holds of RDWs reflected that only 2% of house-holds in Barabanki and 1% in Gonda were water stressed house-holds as these house-holds took more than 5 minutes in one round trip to the source of water. Rest of the house-holds of RDWs across the 4 districts took 1-5 minutes.
A look at the profile of the social category of RDWs across the four districts showed that majority of the households treated the water to make it safe for drinking. The majority of the house-holds in all the 4 districts treated the water through boiling method.
The poor method of open defecation was practiced by 93% of house-holds of RDWs in Barabanki and Gonda districts and 90% in Banda district. Except Saharanpur district, in the rest three districts, more than 60% households were in the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category. Regarding type of house-holds of RDWs, the data told us that except Saharanpur; most of the houses in the rest 3 districts were semi kachha houses.