Green Umbrella (sabuj chhata) a symbol that identifies health care centres, particularly in rural areas, where family planning services are available, although other health care services of general nature including services related to sexually transmitted diseases are also available. Symbols are often useful tools to carry messages of public interest. In a country of low literacy rate its use is particularly effective in advancing public health messages.
Green umbrella is a symbol introduced by the government of Bangladesh in 1998. It originated from the Directorate of Family Planning under the Ministry of Health and Family Planning. Usually, efforts to propagate such symbols are made through non-governmental organisation (NGO) and in the case of this symbol as well, its design and popularisation has been greatly facilitated by NGO participation. In fact, the green umbrella is not really wholly green in appearance; rather it consists of alternating white and green sections. But in promotional drives it is identified as Green Umbrella, and not as Green and White Umbrella. The symbol is displayed in large roadside signboards and at the service centre itself. Through radio and television campaigns, appeals are being made to the public to know about these centres and benefit from the services available. Since it is a relatively new venture, its effectiveness is yet to be assessed. [Zia Uddin Ahmed]
See also family planning.