We recently organized a training session for our self-help groups in collaboration with Mother and Child foundation. Self-help groups, by definition, are groups of women who work as micro entrepreneurs and run self-sustaining businesses. Our Balwadis are served by 13 self-help groups, which are mostly from the same communities in which we work. Through this tie-up, we facilitate the employment of 64 women. These Self Help groups cater to 717 Balwadi students by provision of one nutritious meal a day and operate locally around the Balwadis.
Children in the age group of 3-6 years progress slowly and it is at this age that they need a proper nutrition to stay healthy and ultimately grow up to be a healthy adult. A lack of proper nutrition at this age results in many unhealthy symptoms in the child such as falling ill frequently, lack of stamina and energy, weak body structure etc.
To enlighten the SHGs about the importance of nutrition for children, we conducted this training session. 23 participants from all the 13 SHGs were present for the session that was held on 4th July. Kripa and Bhagyata, trainers from Foundation of Mother and Child Health (FMCH) were present to impart knowledge about the importance of nutrition for children.
Some of the most important guidelines that they gave to the SHGs were as follows:
- To tie hair properly
- To wash hands with disinfectant regularly
- To wipe hands with clean cloth and not saree/dress
- To keep nails short and not to use polish on nails
- To have blood, urine, stool tested every six months as to rule out any infection that can cause epidemic, food borne diseases
- To keep the cooking area always clean
- To wash all vegetables and fruits thoroughly in running water before cutting
- To clean the storage area for dry ingredients once in every 15 days
In our opinion, such training sessions and guidelines will enable the SHGs to stay hygienic and provide the best quality food to our Balwadi children so that these children ultimately grow up to be a healthy individual. Thus, our endeavor would be to organize such sessions in future as well, since a healthy and nutritious diet will ensure a disease free childhood for our Balwadi children.