The initiative will run in partnership between state governments and BBC's international development charity, BBC Media Action. It is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The initiative, "Health on the move: Can mobile phones save lives" draws on earlier experience in Bihar, where despite 83 percent women having access to mobile phones, only nine percent had ever sent an SMS.

Realizing the limitations faced by mobile users, BBC Media Action developed 'mHealth', a special service to equip and train community health workers to communicate life-saving maternal and child health information on mobile phones.

The initiative has been introduced in eight districts of Bihar, and is set to be expanded to Uttar Pradesh and Odisha.

"We hope that policy makers, government, donor organizations, NGOs, telecom companies and technologists will find it a useful complement to this nascent yet rapidly developing field," Yvonne MacPherson, executive director, BBC Media Action USA said.