Support a program that reduces severe malnutrition in young children living in a large slum of 17,000 people in Northern India. The program produces long term impacts by educating parents about the relationship between weight and health, and demonstrating nutritious and low cost recipes with local ingredients. Pregnant women receive pre and postnatal care to ensure that every child gets a healthy start.
Surveys in Janta Colony (a slum of 17,000 people) showed that 87% of children under 5 years suffer severe malnutrition. Many women in Indian slums are illiterate and don't have basic knowledge of nutrition. In addition, incomes are very low and families find it difficult to provide adequate food. Lack of access to clean drinking water is another factor.
Motivated young people from Janta Colony are trained as Health Promoters (HP's). The HPs weigh every child under the age of 5 years at least once a month. They monitor the health of pregnant women, educate parents on the relationship between weight and health, and how to improve home hygiene and cooking practices.
Nutritionists and HPs demonstrate recipes for low cost nutritious meals that can be made with locally available ingredients.
The impacts of severe malnutrition in infants and children are life-long: lack of essential vitamins and minerals stunts both physical and mental development. A recent survey shows that rates of severe malnutrition in Janta Colony have plummeted to less than 20%. This change has happened due to the education of the basti residents BY the residents. Our aim is to take this program and implement it in other areas of great need.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
Developing Indigenous Resources