A healthy diet has many benefits, including a reduced risk of various diseases and health conditions, improved mood, and better memory.
Growing up in a clean and safe environment is every human right. Access to clean water, basic toilets, and good hygiene practices not only keeps children thriving, but also gives them a healthier start in life.
Despite COVID-19 putting the spotlight on the importance of hand hygiene to prevent the spread of disease, three billion people worldwide, including hundreds of millions of school-going children, do not have access to handwashing facilities with soap. People living in rural areas, urban slums, disaster-prone areas and low-income countries are the most vulnerable and the most affected.
The consequences of unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) on children can be deadly. Over 700 children under age 5 die every day of diarrhoeal diseases due to lack of appropriate WASH services. In areas of conflict, children are nearly 20 times more likely to die from diarrhoeal disease than from the conflict itself.
Report on Food, Nutrition, Health and Wash Camp for 40 rural Women Leaders:
Mr.Julius Theoder, Assistant Project Officer, TNSRLM (Tamil Nadu State Rural Livelihood Mission), Alathur Block, Perambalur District started his speech by greeting the members present and the VOICE Trust members and gave introduction about the session to the gathering. He emphasises on consuming nutrient rich foods and their importance. Then he told about the significance of maintaining proper health and hygiene.
Mr. Karuppusamy, Project Director, TNSRLM (Tamil Nadu State Rural Livelihood Mission), Alathur Block, Perambalur District insists on relying on nutrient rich foods and he also told that the nutrient rich foods should be distributed equally among all people irrespective of an economical status. He also said that pregnancy women must take foods that rich in nutrition to prevent any physical or mental disabilities caused to new born babies. He told the gathering about the importance of consuming nutrient rich foods which helps in preventing anemic conditions in people. Training given here on this session should go beyond the doors and reach various people and he also mention that the growth should be sustainable.
Mr. Karthikeyan, Agriculture Program Coordinator of VOICE Trust, Trichy presented on the topic of the day. He told about the nutrients (vitamins, proteins, fibres, fats, iron etc.) present in the vegetables (this include 10 types of seeds distributed to farmers by TNSRLM (Tamil Nadu State Rural Livelihood Mission) Alathur Block, Permbalur District). He also told about the deficiencies (anemia and it's symptoms ) caused due to malnutrition. Then he talked about the ill effects caused by eating junk foods. And finally he wind off the presentation by saying the importance of personal hygiene and cleanliness.
Then Mrs. Kavitha, CAPART Trainee, VOICE Trust, Trichy started to interact with the gathering regarding personal hygiene, then she told about nutrient management and life cycle of an insect with chart presentation. Then she told the gathering about the benefits of using vermicompost, panachakavya, herbal insect repellents and she demonstrated it.
Then the session was ended with vote of thanks by Mrs. Rajeshwari, Block Manager of TNSRLM (Tamil Nadu State Rural Livelihood Mission), Alathur Block, Permabalur District. She gave feedback on the session and she told it was helpful.
We are not going to stop with 20 Women, Now it's 40 and more to go with all your helps.
Thank you, keep supporting us!!
Smt. Rani is working as a farm woman in Siruganu. She got training from VOICE Trust for preparing Organic pesticides and fertilizer. Initially, she started to practice for her own farm and once she got the better result of reducing the input cost and increasing the yield from 20 cents by producing organic vegetables, she got so surprised and she shared her experience during the knowledge-sharing session, which was organized by the VOICE Trust.
Once the local farmers are interested to convert organic farming practices, she used to visit the local farmer's fields and suggests to use of particular organic pesticides & fertilizers for crop management. And she started to give sample pieces of organic inputs to those farmers free of cost. Once the farmers got better results, she started to supply regularly with cost-effective prices. Now, she started to supply 5+ different organic inputs for 200 farmers.
Fruits and vegetables are seasonal as well as perishable in nature. Dehydration of seasonal fruits and vegetables are a good bet for long-term storage even up to 5 years or beyond if hermetically sealed and can be made available to the consumers during the off-season. There is immense scope of the market for certain popular and high-value dehydrated seasonal fruits and vegetables.
In the village of Tiruattur, our women farmers used to cultivate Brinjal vegetables by using organic farming practices. And in the brinjal cultivation, mostly 25 percent of vegetables might become affected by pests, which will not take to marketing. Hence, they found an innovative idea of drying vegetables would create a value from the wasted brinjal.
They have cut the brinjal into small pieces and tried it from sunlight for the one week, which become a dehydrated vegetable and they sold it to their own villagers and nearby villages, which might be used for making tamarind sambar.
Farming has always been a dominant vocation in the tiny village of Neikulam that sits on the periphery of the grand old city of Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu, India. With the advent of the green revolution in the 1960s came the inorganic fertilizer boom, and farming became a costly affair over the years. The land was stripped of its nutrients, and water table fell drastically, and farmlands ran dry of natural nutrients. Now, the farmers are taking baby steps back to their roots to switch back to the age-old natural methods. The women in the community had been silent observers of this change. Slowly they came to the forefront to lead by example in this village. They formed a self-help group (SHG), a group of people who work on daily wages, farming, and animal husbandry. They created a loose grouping or union and named themselves ' Thirusangu malar,' meaning the flower of Baobab. They decided to befriend the farmer's best friend - the earthworm. Tiny as it may seem, the humble earthworm helps turn leaf litter, food waste, and soil into 'Black Gold'- the vermicompost.
" Given the meager earnings, the men are often compelled to migrate to nearby towns and cities to find work to support their families. However, migration is not an option for the women of Neikulam.." says Amala. She is a 36-year-old housewife who used to take up daily wage works under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Scheme. Her husband migrated to Dubai as a daily wage laborer to make ends meet. She has to take care of her two children and household work and daily labor. " It was very hectic for me. When the self-help group was formed, I was eager to take up activities with them. Since most of us do not have much land with us, we were skeptical about taking up agriculture-related activities. But VOICE trust called us for training at their Sirugannur Centre. We learned about vermicomposting and started with the bags they gave us." she says, beaming with pride. Amala spearheaded the Trisangu Malar group's activities, availed training with VOICE Trust's technical team, and got the starter pack of 10 vermicompost beds. The 12 members' strong SHG has provided these rural women the space to discuss new ideas and work towards their aspirations. To bolster the group's activities and develop it into an enterprise, they would put the earnings from the business in a joint SHG savings account. These savings are crucial for the success of the SHG and to meet the members' financial requirements in times of need. These women have started dreaming of building a good life without moving away from their village while helping the farmers heal their land. They did not just want to learn new skills but also wanted to start a shop in the village where they could sell vermicompost manure and other bio-inputs made by them. They say the earth never forsakes the one that believes in her. The group had diligently worked on the starter kit and harvested 1000 kg of superior quality vermicompost. They sold the 'Black Gold' at Rs 8 per kg, resulting in a 5% increase in their overall earnings. The earth and her tiny soldier, the humble little earthworm, kept their promise and helped these women inch towards fulfilling their dreams. The silent revolution in the countryside has begun and shall again momentum until environmental protection is a tangible reality. This project wouldn't have been possible without your kind donations!!
We are sending much love and many thanks.
"The success of the WomanCAN Tomato Jam has motivated more women to join us. When they saw us gaining financial independence through this, they were convinced" says Revathi, a 49 year old homemaker turned entrepreneur. She is a part of the 13 member strong Purathakudi Women's Self Help Group that is bringing in sweeping changes in the village.
"After joining the group we recieved saplings from VOICE trust to grow organic tomatoes. We made jam out of it and sold it across the locality using a manned vehicle. We also sold our product through RK tea stall," says Revathi with a proud smile. Her resourcefulness during the pandemic knew no bounds. She along with the other members of the team prepared tomato jams, undertook the packaging and distribution. "The main issue faced by us now is that our jam lasts for only a couple of days as it is free of preservatives. Also, since it is produced from organic tomatoes using natural methods, the quantum produced is small. We are planinng to gear up the production in future and our ultimate goal is to produce enough to meet the growing demand " she quips with a hopeful face.
The sleepy village of Irungallur of Mannachanallur Taluk in Trichy now wakes up to the hustle of these women entreprenuers who have created value added products out of Tomatoes. The crop was otherwise sold for pittance in the market. With the support and training from VOICE Trust, they learned the art of organic farming and creating products like jams, vadakam and pickles. The tomato vadakam is already a hit among the kids. They have started collecting a monthly contribution of Rs 50 from each members for upscaling the WomenCAN project. They look forward to learning more and getting further support from VOICE trust, for this project provided them with the much needed financial agency and independence. They started small; for life was getting increasingly difficult with each passing day during the pandemic.Mustering courage to start out was the biggest challenge. They have come a long way and now there is no looking back.
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