Changing the meaning of nourishment in villages, one kid at a time

9 November, 2022 | newsx bureau

nourishment Top News

For parents, there is nothing more heartbreaking than to see their children suffer. Four-year-old Adwaith from Avanakuzhy ward in Kottukal panchayat in Vizhinjam area of Kerala was struggling with ...

For parents, there is nothing more heartbreaking than to see their children suffer. Four-year-old Adwaith from Avanakuzhy ward in Kottukal panchayat in Vizhinjam area of Kerala was struggling with his health. He had a condition in which a child is significantly overweight for his or her age and height. If left untreated at a young age, it can result in childhood obesity that can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

It was at this time that Reshmi came into his life as a saviour, pulling him out of the clutches of danger and giving him a new lease of life.

A Suposhan Sangini, 34-year-old Reshmi was among the 10 women selected to be a Sangini – a community health volunteer. She was given an extensive training by the Adani Foundation on Suposhan, field work, malnourishment in children, counselling, organising focus groups and meetings, etc. She was then assigned three Anganwadi areas comprising 625 households.  

It was during one of her field visits right after she joined in the month of June that she identified Adwaith as an overweight kid. Son of Suresh, a daily wager, and Suchitra, a home maker, the boy’s health was in danger. Reshmi checked his height, weight, and Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC). His weight was 30 kg, height was 103 cm and MUAC was 25 and she declared him as an overweight child.

Reshmi found out that his mother suffered from Thyroid during pregnancy and didn’t breastfeed her child, who was reliant on lacto products available in the market which resulted in him being overweight.

She immediately went into the crisis management mode and reported back at the office and did everything that was necessary to make sure that Adwaith’s weight was put back on track. Being a mother of two kids, Reshmi understood the gravity of the situation and knew that she had to act fast.

“When I detected him being overweight, I began counselling him and his family about nutrition and food needs of children. Since I could not help them medically, I provided special care mentally and physically. I informed the parents about nutritious food and told them about the ill-effects of junk food. Today, I am happy to say that Adwaith weighs 26 kgs. I have a long way to go but I am committed. I am proud to be doing a job which is so impactful and has a positive effect on children’s lives,” Reshmi says.

Her supervisor has only good words to share about Reshmi’s dedication and commitment to the job. “I am very satisfied with her work. She joined the programme recently but her work in such a short time has been exemplary. She is a good listener and compassionate. Her contribution in her field is. She is very pro-active and is engaged in all community activities,” says Meera Mariyam.

We need more women like Sangini Reshmi. More power to women like her!