Karimnagar district in Andhra Pradesh is fast becoming a template for technology-driven social development thanks to the earnest efforts of its District Collector Smita Sabharwal.
The e-governance initiatives of this 36-year-old IAS officer,who took charge in April 2011,has helped the district keep a realtime watch on the functioning of primary health centres (PHCs) and track academic performance of children in government schools.
Her projects have over the years have bettered the lives of pregnant and lactating mothers and has now fetched her the Gold Award for the best e-governance initiative by the state government. The district,for its overall implementation,has also won the Platinum Award.
The Collectors initiatives underscore the power of technology in improving public welfare in a district where the maternal and infant mortality rates are high. In office or from home,Sabharwal clicks several times a day on the health and service delivery monitoring system in her computer to check the reds on a health map of the district. The map is constantly updated based on extensive field reporting.
It helps me identify areas where expecting or lactating mothers need medical aid. The system receives inputs from health workers,PHCs,self-help groups and gram sabhas, said Sabharwal. Called Amma Lalana,the health and nutrition intervention also helps the health department connect to expectant mothers and aid them in safe and hygienic deliveries. The system also alerts health officials if a woman misses her visit to PHCs for check-up.