“I had no idea about balanced diet and nutrition. In our daily food pattern, we never focused on these aspects; but the project interventions made us realize the importance of consuming nutritious food and safe water for a healthy life,” says Miskina, a housewife.
Miskina, a mother of two, has been a member of the balanced diet and nutrition group formed in her village as a part of the CSR-supported project implemented by S M Sehgal Foundation since July 2021. Through monthly awareness generation sessions, this group of about twenty members regularly learn about the importance of consuming a balanced diet, and how adequate nutrition and safe sanitation practices combat diseases. During one of these sessions, Miskina raised her concern about being sick frequently and not being able to manage her daily household responsibilities properly, including childcare, due to her failing health. Most often, she suffered from weakness, headache, and stomachache, but did not understand the reason for being sick.
Further interactions with Miskina revealed a huge lack of awareness among the women of Gabanspur village regarding good sanitation practices such handwashing, safe kitchen and food storage, consumption of a balanced diet including both micro and macronutrients, and drinking adequate water in their daily lives. Her group was made aware of the good practices of sanitation and nutrition, some of which she immediately implemented. She started drinking six to eight glasses of water daily, washed raw vegetables before cooking them, learned the steps of handwashing, and began consuming milk in the morning along with her two children. Within two months, Miskina noticed major changes in her health condition, and the health of her children improved. She no longer feels fatigued and sick most of the time and is able to conduct her responsibilities as a doting mother and wife in her household.
Authors: Shahina Khatun and Akshay Gilbert
(Shahina and Akshay are project associates in Nuh, Haryana)