National Nutrition Month: How SuPoshan Sanginis Are Spreading The Idea Of Nutrition And Supporting POSHAN Abhiyaan

National Nutrition Month: How SuPoshan Sanginis Are Spreading The Idea Of Nutrition And Supporting POSHAN Abhiyaan

SuPoshan Sanginis are women volunteers who support Anganwadi and ASHA workers. Their main role is to identify malnourished children, anaemic girls and women and support them through nutrition plan
National Nutrition Month, Nutrition
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National Nutrition Month: How SuPoshan Sanginis Are Spreading The Idea Of Nutrition And Supporting POSHAN AbhiyaanNutrition Month: SuPoshan Sanginis are women volunteers at a community level
Highlights
  • SuPoshan Sanginis educate people women and children about nutrition
  • They regularly monitor every child’s growth, provide input for improvements
  • They assist ASHA and Anganwadi workers in building a healthy nation

New Delhi: The first pregnancy brought both joy and anxiety for Sahajadi Bibiwas from Haldia, West Bengal. Sahajadi had many doubts and queries about the different aspects of pregnancy but was not sure about someone reliable to guide her in this matter. Lack of support from family on seeking regular medical guidance during the tenure of her pregnancy added to her distress. Sahajadi was five months pregnant when SuPoshan Sangini – Tapasi Betal Jana, enrolled her name as a pregnant mother and persuaded her to visit Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) for a comprehensive check-up. Post-check-up, Sahajadi was found to be anaemic and was advised to take Iron Folic Acid (IFA) as well as consume green and leafy vegetables.

Also Read: National Nutrition Month: Akshaya Patra Foundation Is Improving Nutritional Quality Of Mid-day Meals Through Fortification

The delay in intervention led to the birth of an underweight baby girl Nusrat (2.1 kgs as opposed to ideal weight of 2.5 kgs to 3.5 kgs). However, SuPoshan Sangini Tapasi Betal Jana continued to guide Sahajadi about the importance of nutritious diet on the health of a mother and child and also other practices like Kangaroo care (holding infant skin to skin). Overtime, Nusrat gained weight and just three months after birth, she weighed 5 kgs. SuPoshan project initiated by Adani Wilmar in October 2016 has a network of 640 SuPoshan Sanginis (women volunteers) spread across 1,440 villages of India who are reiterating the message of right nutrition and helping children escape malnutrition at an early stage.

Also Read: Poshan Maah 2020: How Indira Didi, An Anganwadi Worker Is Braving All Odds Amid Coronavirus To Keep Her Village Healthy

While Sahajadi found a mentor in SuPoshan Sangini, 20-year-old Beauty Singh from Kishore Prasad village in Odisha got an elder sister. Talking to NDTV about the role of SuPoshan Sangini in her life, Beauty Singh said,

National Nutrition Month: How SuPoshan Sanginis Are Spreading The Idea Of Nutrition And Supporting POSHAN Abhiyaan
Beauty Singh with her new born son

After marriage when I moved to this village, everyone would come home and ask, what have you cooked for your family, what do you do all day. Sangini didi (Sister) was the first person to ask me about me and now my newborn child. During my pregnancy, anganwadi centres were closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic but Sangini didi would call and educate me on feeding practices, cooking and eating habits, vaccinations and other key things.

What Is The Role OF SuPoshan Sanginis?

‘SuPoshan’ started with a mission to reduce the occurrence of malnutrition among children less than 5 years of age and anaemia among adolescent girls (11-19 years of age) and women in reproductive age (19-45 years).

The name ‘Sangini’ comes from the literal translation of the word ‘companion’. SuPoshan Sanginis are women volunteers who support Anganwadi and ASHA workers.

Also Read: National Nutrition Month: Can India Piggy Bank On Food Fortification To Achieve The Goal Of POSHAN Abhiyaan?

How SuPoshan Sanginis Promote Right Nutrition?

Sanginis play the role of a guide, mentor and guardian. They go door-to-door to collect information like body weight and height of children, and test for Haemoglobin levels of girls and women and identify target groups.

National Nutrition Month: How SuPoshan Sanginis Are Spreading The Idea Of Nutrition And Supporting POSHAN Abhiyaan
A SuPoshan Sangini measuring the growth of a child

Once a child has been identified, the medically complicated severely malnourished children are referred to the Nutrition Rehabilitation Center (NRC) for treatment. While other malnourished children and anaemic girls and women are treated through community-based interventions like introducing nutritious recipes, kitchen gardens, group meetings and family counselling.

One of the sources of nutrition for children under five years of age and other healthcare services like immunisation is Anganwadi centres. SuPoshan Sanginis like 28-year-old Madhulaxmi Porte, from Janardanpur village in West Bengal make sure that beneficiaries are aware of the services they are entitled to and avail it.

National Nutrition Month: How SuPoshan Sanginis Are Spreading The Idea Of Nutrition And Supporting POSHAN Abhiyaan
SuPoshan Sangini Madhulaxmi Porte ready for her door-to-door visits

38-year-old Seema Qureshi from Kawai village in Rajasthan who has been working as a Sangini since 2016 briefed us about her work and said,

Initially, we focus on building trust and a relationship with a family and to attain that, we visit them regularly, interact and understand their way of living and accordingly guide. Like, colostrum, the bright yellowish, thick, first milk of the mother is rich in proteins, has anti-infective properties and should be fed to the baby. But elderly women often consider it impure and ask new mothers to discard it. So, we bust such myths.

Also Read: Poshan Month 2020: Akshaya Patra, India’s Largest Mid-Day Meal Serving Organisation, Tells NDTV About How They Are Providing Nutrition To Children Amid COVID-19

National Nutrition Month: How SuPoshan Sanginis Are Spreading The Idea Of Nutrition And Supporting POSHAN Abhiyaan
SuPoshan Sangini Chandrakanti Behera

Further sharing an example of how Sanginis counsel and mentor families on nutrition, 30-year-old Chandrakanti Behera from Kishore Prasad in Odisha said,

Kitchen gardens are a great source of fresh vegetables essential for basic nutrition. We promote the concept of kitchen garden by imparting lessons on how to start one and demonstrate healthy, innovative and nutritious recipes.

Another Sangini, 40-year-old Versha Rangari from Saoner in Maharashtra said that she recommends affordable nutritious food items to a family. She said,

We are rural people and we can’t provide dry fruits and nuts to our children so I suggest alternatives like cow milk, Singdana (peanuts), legumes, and others. Also, we stress on exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life as it provides adequate nutrition and protection from diseases.

Sanginis regularly monitor every child’s growth and updates her database. This also helps the family better understand the improvement in their child’s growth. They also use a particular health tablet for data collection and showcase videos to new mothers in order to help gain an understanding of nutritional needs in the local language.

National Nutrition Month: How SuPoshan Sanginis Are Spreading The Idea Of Nutrition And Supporting POSHAN Abhiyaan
SuPoshan Sangini imparting lessons on the role of nutrition

Also Read: In COVID-19 Pandemic, More And More Families Are Going Hungry Thereby Impacting India’s Nutritional Status: NGO Save The Children

The coronavirus induced lockdown did act as a roadblock for the Sanginis but they continued with their work through tele counselling. With the phased reopening, some Sanginis have started visiting nearby houses like Versha Rangari from Saoner in Maharashtra normally covers three villages. During the lockdown, she could visit only a nearby village where she gave lessons on WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) practices.

Impact Of SuPoshan Sangini Project

Over 10,000 children have shifted from severe to moderate form of undernutrition. Over 24,000 children have moved from moderately undernourished to healthy category. Also, over 8,000 women have improved Hb levels, informed a spokesperson from Adani Foundation.

Going forward, the team plans to assess and address the impact of COVID-19 on children and their nutritional needs. The long term vision of the project is to create the SuPoshan Sangini as voluntary support for life in villages and local communities.

National Nutrition Month: How SuPoshan Sanginis Are Spreading The Idea Of Nutrition And Supporting POSHAN Abhiyaan
Seema Qureshi has been working as a Sangini since 2016

As a community worker, the SuPoshan Sangini can cater to a population of 3,000 people and is capable enough to counsel and advise people on their nutritional requirements. People can come to her even after the CSR activity stops in a specific location, while we take up new locations, explained a spokesperson from Adani Foundation.

Also Read: Poshan Maah 2020: Why Protecting Health And Nutrition Rights Of Children During COVID-19 Is Important For India, Experts Speak

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

19,78,31,904Cases
6,39,24,968Active
12,96,89,916Recovered
42,17,020Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 194 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 19,78,31,904 and 42,17,020 have died; 6,39,24,968 are active cases and 12,96,89,916 have recovered as on August 1, 2021 at 3:55 am.

India

3,16,55,824 41,831Cases
4,10,952 2,032Active
3,08,20,521 39,258Recovered
4,24,351 541Deaths
In India, there are 3,16,55,824 confirmed cases including 4,24,351 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,10,952 and 3,08,20,521 have recovered as on August 1, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

63,03,715 6,959

80,138 733

60,90,786 7,467

1,32,791 225

Kerala

33,90,761 20,624

1,65,011 3,679

32,08,969 16,865

16,781 80

Karnataka

29,05,124 1,987

23,820 318

28,44,742 1,632

36,562 37

Tamil Nadu

25,59,597 1,986

20,716 218

25,04,805 2,178

34,076 26

Andhra Pradesh

19,66,175 2,058

21,180 18

19,31,618 2,053

13,377 23

Uttar Pradesh

17,08,441 31

712 17

16,84,973 48

22,756

West Bengal

15,28,019 769

11,113 58

14,98,770 819

18,136 8

Delhi

14,36,265 58

581 1

14,10,631 56

25,053 1

Chhattisgarh

10,02,008 102

1,863 102

9,86,621 203

13,524 1

Odisha

9,77,268 1,578

14,538 389

9,56,828 1,899

5,902 68

Rajasthan

9,53,667 17

248 6

9,44,465 22

8,954 1

Gujarat

8,24,877 27

252 8

8,14,549 35

10,076

Madhya Pradesh

7,91,828 22

122 1

7,81,193 21

10,513

Haryana

7,69,913 29

712 0

7,59,566 27

9,635 2

Bihar

7,24,835 44

457 1

7,14,735 45

9,643

Telangana

6,44,951 621

9,069 72

6,32,080 691

3,802 2

Punjab

5,99,104 51

534 10

5,82,277 60

16,293 1

Assam

5,66,198 989

13,322 510

5,47,616 1,480

5,260 19

Jharkhand

3,47,173 36

252 8

3,41,793 44

5,128

Uttarakhand

3,42,139 116

632 13

3,34,145 129

7,362

Jammu And Kashmir

3,21,462 118

1,176 5

3,15,908 113

4,378

Himachal Pradesh

2,06,027 153

1,217 80

2,01,289 72

3,521 1

Goa

1,71,146 94

1,058 35

1,66,941 128

3,147 1

Puducherry

1,20,915 100

962 17

1,18,158 115

1,795 2

Manipur

98,499 801

10,540 195

86,403 981

1,556 15

Tripura

78,583 222

3,482 2

74,346 224

755

Meghalaya

65,000 686

5,966 175

57,949 499

1,085 12

Chandigarh

61,953 1

31 5

61,111 5

811 1

Arunachal Pradesh

48,122 266

3,954 188

43,939 451

229 3

Mizoram

38,925 861

12,388 213

26,387 643

150 5

Nagaland

27,872 159

1,329 55

25,977 99

566 5

Sikkim

26,548 237

3,400 98

22,804 137

344 2

Ladakh

20,338 10

56 6

20,075 4

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,650 6

29 1

10,617 7

4

Lakshadweep

10,189 11

84 7

10,055 4

50

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,537 2

8 0

7,400 2

129

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