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Shishu, Sui Aur Dhaga (The child, thread and needle)

How might we enhance the importance of immunization through cultural signs and symbols understood and valued by all

Photo of Kavya  Murugan

Written by

Describe what you intend to do and how you'll do it in one sentence (required 250 Characters)

We aim to enhance the importance of the process of immunization for our users using cultural symbols and redesigning vaccine documentation in line with their current learning and retaining methods

Explain the idea (less than 2,000 characters)

Culture and social practices are major catalysts in terms of childbirth and care. These forces shape practices, concerns, and expectations that parents have around childcare in India. The process of immunization has not gathered enough importance as its relevance is not delivered in the cultural, social language and symbols that people are aware of. Hence it does not become a part of the social fabric. Through research, it was found that pregnant wives return back to their rural homes for the duration of pregnancy and childbirth where they receive extensive care. Shifting back slightly reduces their involvement with childcare. Insights from the process of immunization are a)they view all diseases covered in the vaccination program as a single disease, hence they ignore the need to finish the course and usually fall out b)they remember the last vaccine administered through which part of the body was injected onto, here the relevance of the immunization cards is fairly limited for the caregivers. Children in India are usually donned with kohl marks, bracelets etc. which families believe, protect the child against the invisible 'Evil's Eye' popularly known as Nazar. They tie a black thread onto the newborn's wrists. As Nazar is a matter of serious concern it can be used as a metaphor to make people understand that the vaccine prevented diseases are similar to those forces. The bracelet artifact can be used to deliver the importance of vaccines and records the number of vaccines administered. We propose that each time successfully gets the vaccine administered onto the child, receives a black bead which should be added to the black thread filling up one slot of a thread a time. This could inform the parents that the child is at the risk of getting affected by the evil of disease if all the beads in the thread are not collected. sol2-A card with an image drawn of a child could be given marking which vaccine where and when has to be administered, following how they learn

Which part(s) of the world does this idea target?

  • Southern Asia

Geographic Focus (less than 250 Characters)

Cities and towns in India focusing on parts which are populated by rural migrant workers

Who are your end users and how well do you know them? (750 characters)

Our target audience comprises of the migrant workers belonging from lower economic strata in urban areas of India. Children in India are usually donned with kohl marks, bracelets etc. which families believe, protect the child against the invisible 'Evil's Eye' popularly known as Nazar. Through artifact analysis, it was found that they tie a black thread and beads onto the newborn's wrists. This becomes a matter of serious concern wherein there is a mark applied to the child every day for the first 2-3 years of its life along with assuring that a black thread is tied onto the wrists and the kohl is routinely applied.

How is the idea unique? (750 Characters)

This idea is unique because we are tapping into the routine of a person, the beliefs and motivations of our users to help them find importance in the process of vaccination. Our idea is capable of working in any country where there are wearable evil eye protectors. Through this, we take current social norms to shape new ones.

Idea Proposal Stage (Select 1)

  • Blueprint: We are exploring the idea and gathering the inspiration and information we need to test it with real users.

How many months are required for the project idea? (140 characters)

In phases, this could be piloted in 6 months

Type of Submitter

  • We are a formal part of a University or Research Institution

What is the current scale of your organization’s work?

  • Community (working within one or a few local communities within a region)

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (750 characters)

The government would be the primary service provider in terms of distribution and facilitation of the proposed idea. We would like to partner with organizations working specifically with pregnancy care hence the importance of immunization can be shown to our users before the childbirth

How many people are on your team?


Tell us more about you and your team

DAKSHA DIXIT- A visual communication student from Srishti Institute Of Art, Design and Technolgy who takes a keen interest in behavior architecture. Storytelling, extensive contextual enquiry, and social psychology, woven together to create better experiences KAVYA MURUGAN- A business services and systems student from Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technolgy who tries to understand ecosystems to come up with plausible solutions which have the potential to be applied on large scale

Overview of How Your Concept Has Evolved (5-6 sentences):

Though the prototype proved easy to be understood, appropriate and adoptable Upon talking to the nurses who would give the beads, we found that such a process would be hard, and the beads could be fraudulently added. The parents were concerned that if the child would swallow the beads, would they get lost. Hence we decided to make an instant bead making machine which would create the bead around the thread making it immovable unallowable and fairly unique. We have carried out around 2o interviews and most of response was favorable towards this design solution

Viability (3-4 sentences and activity upload):

A lot more potential was realized when we filled in the Business model canvas. Our idea in terms of viability also became much more clearer to us. We were able to put our information into distinct containers and add more to it.

Feasibility (3-4 sentences):

The service starts from when the child is first vaccinated (either at birth or at the first time the child is vaccinated)The parents are given a bracelet which has slots in it, by the nurse they are asked to collect all the beads which they receive each time they get there child vaccinated. While testing the bracelet we found that parents could identify how many vaccines done and how many more to go, they were liking the idea of such a band on the child's hand. FHWs also said such a product could help them identify quicker. Our prototyper, helped us identify different forms and materials.

Desirability (3-4 sentences and activity upload):

The FHW call the parents for immunization and have to convince them to do so, which can become a difficult task. Since FHW do this work parents have begun to rely heavily on them. Nurses usually talk and convince the parents to get the child vaccinated The reliance on the immunization card has caused problems such as forgetting cards, too much info etc, which isn't deemed as a grave problem. However the unstable immunisation rater within the city indicate the viability of such an idea. From a secondary research document we found that the biggest issue was that parents were not aware that the child has not missed any dosage

Community Focus (2-3 sentences):

The target audience currently do not define the issue as urgent, they believe that they are doing fine in getting their child immunized.The hardships were that (acc to FHWs) some parents were rigid in getting their child vaccinated, they did not believe in medicine, some parents forget to get their child vaccinated,(as the dates, and how many vaccines more to are written in a card, there is no constant visual reminder. Our idea borrows visual similarity from an artefact which is revered and important, it is a wearable and constant visual reminder, hence it works for all,even illiterate parents

Community Impact (2-3 sentences):

The impact would affect the various stakeholders. Parents can be responsible for the vaccination of the child by seeing the number of beads filled in and the number of slots empty. The bracelet would be given telling parents that once the beads are filled into the band the child would be safe of the evil eye of the VPDs. The front line health workers can, during community outreach can now look at the band on the child's hand and understand what vaccines, and how many have been administered. Illiterate parents can visually see and can now remember to get their child vaccinated.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Isaac Jumba

Hello team Kavya and Daksha Dixit ,

Great to have you join in for the user testing and feedback event. Remember to update your submission with the additional refinement information (your business model, your user experience map) and answer the added questions. Best

Photo of Kavya  Murugan

Hi Isaac Jumba 
We are doing that right now. Sorry about the delay and thanks for asking!

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