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Malnutrition is defined as lack of proper nutrition, caused by not having enough to eat, not eating enough of the right things or not being able to use the food one eats. It is one of the biggest problems faced by underprivileged communities around the world. It is especially devastating for children, as it stunts their physical and mental growth and can lead to lifelong deficiencies and problems.

One of the key interventions that Mumbai Smiles is making to address the problem of malnutrition among children in slums is through provision of meals in preschools. A case in point is that of two brothers, Rohan and Rohit Suradkar, who attend our Govandi preschool. The boys come from a broken family as their father abandoned them three years ago. Their mother works as a rag-picker but her earnings are not enough to sustain the family. They are cared for by their grandmother, who is too frail to ensure proper nutrition for them.

When the boys joined our preschool at Govandi, they were both diagnosed as underweight and malnourished. However, as a result of getting proper meals at the preschool, both the brothers have gained some weight and their health has improved. They are also more excited about attending preschool regularly as it takes care of their nutrition. Such instances show how education can actually incorporate community health and improve these children’s chances for a better future.

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