One week of exams, and a tough one at that. A Sunday to relax after four and half months of some serious work. And a lovely pleasant Bangalore morning…Who would have thought of doing anything other than cozying up in bed. Well, not the EPGP students, for sure. They were all geared up for their next big initiative – Prayaas(IIMB EPGP’s CSR) ‘s “Project Nutrition”. A Prayaas committee member recounts the day…
Project Nutrition was conceived by us, the Prayaas committee in a bid to do more for the society. Prayaas had organized Jaipur foot camps and executed several other initiatives. But we wanted to do more. Our only pre-requisite condition was that any new initiative needed to be sustainable and something that we felt strongly about, collectively. When one of our fellow students, Dr. Vineet Goyal gave us the statistics on child malnutrition in India, we immediately knew our calling. The plan was to adopt a village and work at eliminating malnutrition in the village. We did some research and chose the Rajiv Gandhi colony, Magadi district, Ramnagar. The inauguration of the program was set for the 12th of August.
The plan was to start from Ajmera by 6.30 AM. There was a lot of work to be done and we wanted to get started with activities early. Being a Sunday, we didn’t run into any traffic and even, managed to get to Magadi by 8.30. Seven of us Including Prayaas committee SPOC Kanya, committee members Dibya, Gaurav, Meenakshi, Nithin, Rajinder, along with three students from PGP Vikasa committee and Mrs. Saroja of Chiguru Bal Samasthe were at the venue. About hundred children along with their mothers were present at the programme.
Once the inauguration was complete, we distributed the health drink to the children. The health drink is a nutrition supplement – a much required ingredient of any child’s growth. But this was not the end of story. We had to take weight and height measurements of the children as the initial recording. As it was not practical for us to be present for every measurement exercise, we had taken the help of a NGO to do this as future measures. The volunteers were trained on taking the measurements and plotting the same in growth charts. The same sets of volunteers were expected to prepare the nutrition mix on a daily basis and carry out the distribution process. So, it was important to brief them and give them the right input to do their jobs effectively. Finally, we distributed notebooks, pens and chocolates had bought for the children.
The more challenging aspect of the program was the hygiene factor. The area had some serious issues with regards to hygiene – this problem itself could offset the effect of our nutrition elimination programme. So, it was important to educate the mothers about sanitation factors and with the help of our NGO volunteer friends, we managed to spend some time on teaching them about this important aspect.
After completing all the activities, we left Magadi and reached Bangalore by 12.30 PM, a little tired but happy. I am sure we all agreed that it was a day well spent.