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Christian Medical College Vellore

Not to be ministered unto but to minister

Vision Statement: The Christian Medical College, Vellore, seeks to be a witness to the healing ministry of Christ, through excellence in education, service and research

Project YUVA


The health of our adolescents today will determine the health of our society tomorrow

Adolescents (ages 10-19) constitute about one fifth of India’s population.

Contrary to the popular perception that adolescents belong to a healthy age group, they are a vulnerable group exposed to multiple public health issues.

Project YUVA is an attempt at empowering adolescents with knowledge. Knowledge about their fundamental right to health, development, safety and self-advocacy.

Why invest in Adolescent Health?

Adolescents, being a vulnerable population, are susceptible to multiple health problems. Health issues such as substance abuse, sexual abuse, suicides and road traffic accidents are prevalent in this age group. A study in New Delhi on prevalence and pattern of substance abuse among male adolescents found that 55 % engaged in the consumption of some form of substance, with 44% adolescents initiating usage before the age of 13. Among these substances, tobacco was the most commonly used [1].

According to a report by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, in 2022, 3239 male and 207 female drivers under the age of 18 lost their lives in road traffic accidents in India [2].

Childhood obesity is most prevalent in developed countries, but its prevalence is also rising in developing countries. A study of overweight and obesity in school children observed that the prevalence of overweight was 18 % and that of obesity was 11% [3].

Adolescents is a time of experimentation. The physical, biological and psychological factors make this group more prone to sexually transmitted diseases (STI). A study conducted among adolescents and young adults revealed that 9% had contracted STI, while 18% engaged in high-risk sexual behaviour [4].

Sexual abuse is significantly underreported but prevalent among adolescents. According to a national study on child abuse released by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in India, 53% children reported experiencing one or more forms of sexual abuse. Among them,53% were boys and 47% were girls [5].

A report on cyberbullying by cyber security firm MacAfee found that 85% of Indian children have been cyberbullied in India, the highest globally [6].

Mental health among adolescents is a critical issue that deserves attention and support. A systematic review conducted on suicide patterns among Indian adolescents revealed a continuous upward trend in suicide rates over the past two decades with the most common factor for suicide being mental health problems [7]. Therefore, there is a significant necessity to spread awareness and empower the adolescents for a better future.

Empowering students and the community through health education

Project YUVA, is an adolescent health education venture. YUVA means “youth” in Sanskrit. Here it stands for “Young people Understanding and Verbalizing Adolescence”.

The Adolescent Medicine Unit, Department of Paediatrics, Christian Medical College, Vellore (CMC), CHILDLINE India Foundation and The Hope House – Vellore, have signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to initiate this project in 2019.


Our mission is to empower the adolescents through comprehensive health education, facilitating their transition into a mature and a healthy adulthood, fostering their understanding of physical and mental well-being, engaging them as peer educators for the upliftment of the community around and involving various stakeholders thereby ultimately developing an adolescent friendly environment.

As per the World Health Organization “Investing in youths brings a triple dividend of health benefits”.

  • Better lives for adolescents now
  • A better future as we promote positive
  • A healthy generation through the promotion of health practices.

Educating adolescents in 6 key areas:

  1. Healthy Lifestyle
  2. Injuries
  3. Sexual and reproductive health
  4. Substance use
  5. Safety
  6. Mental health

The Project YUVA team is composed of doctors, nurses and health educators. Health educators conduct sessions for both adolescents in schools and those within the community who are currently not attending school, along with their families and other stakeholders. Additionally, in collaboration with the government, the team organizes awareness programs in and around Vellore. So far, the health education sessions were conducted for about 3832 heads across 13 schools, 235 heads at a children’s home and 203 children,55 adolescents and 3718 adults within the community through community outreach sessions. They maintain an active presence on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, providing adolescents with a platform to address their queries anonymously while respecting their privacy.

Future Initiatives

The team is preparing to launch a mobile app that will address adolescents’ queries through a safe interactive platform. Additionally, they intend to establish a call center for Project YUVA, addressing real-time queries from adolescents and their parents, providing guidance and facilitating access to authentic health information. The goal is to expand this initiative to the state level and eventually nationwide.

Whether you are a generous individual or a company contributing through CSR and philanthropic initiatives, your support can play a vital role in securing a healthy community for the future!

We are in search of 100 kind-hearted donors willing to contribute a monthly gift of Rs.1000/- for the next twelve months to help cover our monthly expenses, which total Rs.1,00,000/-. Contributions of any amount for any duration are greatly appreciated and welcomed. Your generosity and compassion will undoubtedly have a profound impact. We would be happy to send you monthly email reports to keep you informed about the progress and impact of your donation

   Awareness program in collaboration with District Child Protection Office, Vellore

Bibliography: –

  1. Daniel LT, Krishnan G, Gupta S. A study to assess the prevalence and pattern of substance use among male adolescents in suburban area of Delhi. Indian J Soc Psychiatry 2017; 33:208-12.
  2. Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Available from:
  3. Tarun Sharma, Hetal Rathod (Waghela), Amitav Banerjee. Study of overweight and obesity in school children and impact of obesity on their quality of life. MedPulse International Journal of Community Medicine. February 2022; 20(2): 11-16.
  4. Maheswari SU, Kalaivani S. Pattern of sexual behaviour in adolescents and young adults attending STD clinic in a tertiary care center in South India. Indian J Sex Transm Dis 2017; 38:171-5.
  5. Digital S. Study on Child abuse: India 2007.Save the Children’s Resource Centre. Available from:
  6. 85% of Indian children have been cyberbullied, highest globally: McAfee. Available from:
  7. Senapati, R.E., Jena, S., Parida, J. et al. The patterns, trends and major risk factors of suicide among Indian adolescents – a scoping review. BMC Psychiatry 24, 35 (2024).

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