Fellows at a bi monthly meeting
Happy Holiday Season!
Hope you are enjoying the holiday season. This year the winter started a little later here but it is pleasantly cold right now. We hope it is also nice weather where you are.
Thank you for supporting the fellowship program. As you know the Fellowship Program sponsors community members with drive for change and a desire to contribute to the community to take up leadership roles. Since they are from within the villages they are in a better position to identify development issues, aware of social norms and could facilitate a change. In this view the fellowship helps the selected fellows gain knowledge through workshops, study tours and trainings. They are paired with a mentor who provides necessary guidance, an opportunity to discuss concerns and brainstorm ideas.
The meetings with other fellows and their mentors offer a platform to learn from peers about the social problems of surrounding areas. They gain an insight into different approaches their peers are adopting to handle development issues.
Currently there are 16 fellows working and all of them addressed many social and development issues in their respective regions. You can find more details about the progress made by the fellows in the half yearly report enclosed herewith.
In one of the review meetings conducted with the fellows and their mentors, it was inevitable that the issues addressed by these fellows in their local communities have made some impact. A short story given at the end of my letter will explain how the fellows’ intervention has created more awareness among the local communities and they are taking ownership of their social and development concerns.
Thank you for supporting this program and being with us in this journey. It is exciting for us to share the progress of these fellows with you at the time of holiday season.
Many thanks once again. Happy Holiday Season to you once again from all of us here.
With warm regards,
Tracking services at the ICDS (Government run Preschools) centers
The fellow : Ms. Radha Devi
Address : Village Madri, Jhadol, Udaipur
Name of Block : Jhadol
Working Area : Madri, Balvi, Mini Runwadia
Mentor : Mr. Ummed Singh
Problems in tracking services at the ICDS (Government run preschools) centers
A Survey was conducted in the Aanganwadi Centers at Madri I, Madri II and Balvi. It was discovered that the children of these villages were not getting a sufficiently nutritious diet from the Aanganwadi centres. Also, the parents were not willing to send their children to Aanganwadi as they were providing them with smaller meals. Local watch committees were formed to inform the workers of the Aanganwadi centres about their responsibilities but they were not provided with any kind of details regarding the accounts and purchasing of nutrients. The workers only took signatures on the bills from committee members but never informed them about their work responsibilities. The workers of the centres used to work for only 10 days in a month and for the rest of the days provided lame excuses about being busy in some other work. Whenever they were questioned about their absence, they claimed that they could do whatever they want. The nutritional food packets were packed at Madri cluster and supplied to the centres via the worker’s home. The workers used to keep most of the packets for their own use. On being asked about the reduced supply, they stated that there was no one to carry all the packets. If there would be shortages then they would bring more packets again. In Madri centre II, laddoos (sweets made of wheat flour with nutritional ingredients) were not provided before the meals to the children.
Raised issued and Steps taken by the fellows
The fellow of the respective block visited the Aanganwadi centres and instructed the workers to provide sufficient amount of food with adequate nutritional values, which are essential for the children. Fellows went to the families and discussed with them the importance of a balanced nutritional diet for the growth of children. The parents were provided with the information about various diseases, which are commonly found in children due to nutritional deficiency. The fellows told the parents to send their children regularly to the Aanganwadi centres which would provide their children with proper nutritional meals. The watch committee members were called to meet with the fellows where they were made to understand their work and responsibilities towards the Aanganwadi centres. The fellows told the parents about the actual timing of opening and closing of the centres. The families now aware of the correct schedule warned the workers to be present at the centre at the actual time. They also made it clear that if further irregularities were found then it would be immediately reported to the office in charge of Aanganwadi centres. When it was found that the workers do not supply all the food packets to the centres properly, the fellows decided to establish a direct supply of the food packets to the centre and a rickshaw was fixed which directly supplied the packets to the centres. The helper maid who prepared the laddoos and meals was strictly told to provide these nutritional based laddoos before meals to the children
Impact of fellows work
With the help of the Samaj Shilpi fellows, the workers of Aanganwadi centers provided proper nutritional diet to the children regularly. The workers are regularly opening the centers at correct time schedule and have become more responsible. They provide meals timely to the children and the laddoos are also provided to the children before meals. The parents have realized the importance of a nutritional well balanced diet and have become more aware of their children’s health. Hence they are more interested to send their children to the Aanganwadi centres. The watch committee members are now regularly taking accounts of the billings, purchase of nutritional ingredients and various other issues. The cooking maid has also started to come to the centre regularly and again the centre is providing meals to the children.
The fellows have worked hard and with keen interest on the issue of Aanganwadis and nutritional diet, which has improved the health condition of children to a great extent.