The final challenge for any social innovation is its adoption by its users. This innovative idea circumvents this barrier by leveraging existing accepted practices to integrate a comprehensive package of early childhood development (ECD) interventions.
Community-based infant massage is an integral part of the socio-cultural operating system across South Asia. Infant massage is believed to strengthen bones and muscles. This practice is so integrated that there is a cadre of traditional service providers called nauns, who provide massage to newborns and mothers in the first few weeks after birth, a practice then continued by the family for 1-2 years.
Nauns (community massage specialists) are highly regarded across the caste hierarchy for their skills and services. Thus, nauns are community-based social entrepreneurs in their own right, providing a sustainable framework to the program. The practice of massage has multiple neurodevelopmental benefits of which the community is as yet unaware. Massage therapy for preterm infants has proven effective in stimulating weight gain, and accelerating brain maturation. [3, 4]
Infant massage has also proven effective in improving mother-child interaction in depressed mothers.  Therefore, given its deep cultural roots, universal acceptability, and pre-existing neurodevelopmental benefits, the practice of infant massage is an excellent platform for integrating a comprehensive package of evidence-based ECD interventions involving visual, auditory, motor and cognitive stimulation to infants in the first 6 months of life.
The perceived benefit of massage amongst the community will therefore expand from the current “saving bones” paradigm, which was valuable in an agrarian economy, to include the “saving brains” paradigm, which has increasing value in the knowledge economy. This idea involves rebranding the nauns as “saving brains” service providers, and empowering them to deliver and train mothers to provide a holistic ECD intervention woven into the massage routine, created both by ECD experts and nauns.