Thursday, 28 February 2019

Fighting hunger and malnutrition: Is the Midday meal scheme really effective?

In the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which India is a party, India has committed to yielding “adequate nutritious foods" for children. Proper nutritional support is fundamental for children from their birth through adolescence, as it has a profound impact on their ability to grow, learn, and thrive. It is a well-documented fact that chronic malnutrition impairs the physical as well as cognitive development in growing children. The Mid-Day Meal Scheme is a school meal program implemented in 2001 by the Government of India. It was an improvement over the existing nutrition program which guaranteed food grains to children enrolled in Government and Government-aided schools. It has been initiated to address the issue of classroom hunger in school-aged children by providing a cooked meal every day. It is designed to improve the nutritional standing of school-age children nationwide.The program supplies free lunches on working days for children in primary and upper primary classes in government, government aided, local body and alternate innovative education centers. 

One of the first surveys on the Mid-Day Meal, by Dreze and Goyal (2003), highlighted several good consequences of the scheme, such as improved attendance rate, child nutrition and social equality. Interviews revealed that the introduction of the MDMS improved not only the attendance of children, but also made them more likely to stay after the lunch break; it has also proved helpful in eradicating hunger. In areas where hunger is endemic, the Mid-Day Meal might be the only thing saving children from chronic malnutrition.The Mid-Day Meal Scheme has played an important role enhancing enrollment, attendance in schools, and in improving socialization among classes. To that effect, it has surely done its part in helping eradicate hunger. Moreover, it gave women the chance to get employed. 

The program has undergone many changes since its launch. With the enactment of the National Food Security Act in 2013, the nutritional content of food (calorie and protein content requirement has since been increased for MDMS) has become an integral part of the right to food in the country. Moreover, from the year 2009 onwards the following changes have been made to improve the implementation of the scheme: I. Food norms have been revised to ensure balanced and nutritious diet to children of upper primary group by increasing the quantity of nutritional ingredients II. Cooking cost (excluding the labour and administrative charges) has been revised III.The honorarium for cooks and helpers was paid from the labour and other administrative charges per child per day provided under the cooking cost. Moreover, specific norms for engagement of cookcum-helper have been made.This shows that the scheme is muddled in the game of numbers rather than going into the qualitative aspects of the food served. 

Even if the Mid-Day Meal Scheme is an innovative scheme to get children from poor socioeconomic status to enroll for elementary education it has been facing serious problems. This is mainly due to the poor quality of food served because of inadequate infrastructure and adverse impact on children’s health & subsequent. Secondly, the government’s focus is on reach not on quality but quantity. The government only concentrates on statistics as to how many number of schools they are able to cover and provide food. They don't give importance to quality. In fact, most of the children who study in village government schools are very poor and end up eating this as their only meal for the day. There is no one to inspect the quality of the food being served to them. 

In Bihar on July 16 20013 23 children lost their lives after eating their Mid-Day Meal due to poisoning because the oil used for cooking was kept in was previously used to store pesticide. There are many such unreported cases where students who eat this meal have reported of dysentery and ill health. So parents and children fearing safety have declined to have food served in these Mid-Day Meals . The MDMS guidelines dictate that the meal should be of good quality, nutritious, tasty, digestible, and varying from day to day to ensure variety in the menu. Moreover, high standards of hygiene and cleanliness are expected to be maintained during the cooking and serving of the meal, along with transparency in accounts. Additionally, states having indulged in diversion of funds meant for the scheme, for instance providing less rice to schools. Another problem related to the Mid-Day Meal Scheme is afflicted with large-scale caste and gender-based discrimination. In some places the upper caste children refuse to eat food cooked by lower class women and backward classes students are made to sit separately from the others. 

Lastly, it emerged during the study that though 99 per cent of the schools had facilities for operation of the MDMS, and 97 per cent of them provide cooked meal during most the days, yet in about 11 per cent of the villages, the food was served only a few days a week, while in 2 per cent of the cases, it was served very rarely. In 38 per cent of the cases, the prescribed menu was not followed and the quality of food was also allegedly poor. 

HEEALS is directly involved in implementing hand washing with soap in the Mid Day scheme in children’s daily routine. It is working on WASH (water, sanitation and Hygiene) projects in seven states works in slum schools, schools in unauthorized colonies, orphanages and refugee camps. Through spreading education on sanitation and personal hygiene and delivering basic hand washing material, HEEALS is working to increase the attendance rates of pupils in schools, reduce the number of diseases and deaths and improve the health of people across Indian society. Moreover, another HEEALS commitment is to promote children cooperation between genders and castes.

-Bene 
WASH & MH Intern Coordinator 


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A Short Video On WASH IN SCHOOL Workshop

Edited & Created By Manuel & Bene 
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Wednesday, 27 February 2019

White Board & Marker Donated To Village Schools

White Board & Marker Donated To Village Schools .More Schools Will Get White Board In Next Month. A Big Thanks To All Our Donors !

To Donate and Support The Project Please Contact Us At : communications@heeals.org





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WASH Origami & Importance Of WASH Workshop

WASH Origami & Importance Of WASH Workshop Organized In Village School .
To know more about our WASH Origami Please Read Our Project Detail In Our Blog :
Click Here : https://heeals.blogspot.com/2019/02/how-heeals-implements-its-wash-projects.html











WASH In School Workshop

WASH workshop organized in village school of western uttar pradesh and distributed soap bars,posters,wash and mh booklet ,sanitary pads 











WASH Workshop organized in Uttar Pradesh Schools

WASH workshop organized in village school of western uttar pradesh and distributed soap bars,posters,wash and mh booklet ,sanitary pads.









Sunday, 24 February 2019

WASH & MH Workshop In Gurgaon

WASH & MH Workshop Organized In Gurgaon And Distributed Sanitary Pads & WASH and MH Booklets 

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Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Please Support Our Fundraising Program For Girls !

Self-Defense And Self-Confidence Program

Please Click To Help and Support Our Fundraising Campaign .

We would like to start a self-defence and self-confidence program for students of schools in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana states. As regards girls, the self-defence program will contribute in their lack of confidence during their periods: their phisical weekeness will be conpensated by acquistion of new skills. Moreover,
parents will be more confident and they will feel more secure about their daughters. This will lead to an increment of girls’ enrollment in schools. Self-discipline hints will help out boys boys and girls to be positive and to be more aware on how they can protect themselves.

Goals:
- This program will provide children with confidence, raising their enrollment in school and being more aware on how to protect themselves.
- Students will get different self-protection tips on how to avoid/ defend by potential attackers througout the use of objects or by striking on the soft spots of the attacker, when ubjected to physical abuse, violence, crime, etc.
- Students will have the chance to see the live demo of self-defence techniques as demonstrated by the trainer
- Provide knowledge about the different tips of self-protection to keep in mind in different situations

Monday, 18 February 2019

WaSH & MHM Workshop In Ghaziabad

WaSH & MHM Workshop In Ghaziabad ,Uttar Pradesh Schools and Distributed Sanitary pads and WASH & MH Booklet .








How HEEALS implements its WASH projects with origami, the art of paper folding

How HEEALS implements its WASH projects with origami, the art of paper folding

Since its foundation in 2010 HEEALS has a mandate of empowering local and rural communities to become sustainable in Health, Education, Environment and Livelihood Society sectors through engaging workshops,resources distribution and content creation. In a constant effort to improve its projects and find the best solutions to better involve its beneficiaries, HEEALS has recently implemented its WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) projects with sessions of origami making.

What is origami?
“Origami is the art of making objects for decoration by folding sheets of paper into shapes” (Cambridge Dictionary). The
goal is to transform a flat square sheet of paper into a sculpture through folding techniques, discouraging the use of cuts and glue.

Why origami?
We think that active participation of our beneficiaries is essential for a successful project. Usually HEEALS works with young boys and girls of several Indian schools and marginalized communities, and that’s the main reason that pushes us to create interactive workshop sessions that can be fun beyond instructive.

WASH origami
Our idea is to dedicate some time, at the end of our WASH workshops, to teach kids how to fold simple origami shapes. Doing so they will implement their skills, have fun, remember what is WASH about and connect what they have been taught during the workshop with a practical activity.
WASH is about three things: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. Each of these parts can be easily represented by simple origami shapes.
• Water, what we explain during our workshops is that having safe water is essential to human life and health. Safe or drinking water is water that “does not represent any significant risk to health over a lifetime of consumption, including different sensitivities that may occur between life stages” (WHO, 2017). Safe water can be daily
used for cooking, bathing, cleaning and much more. We decided to represent Water with a fish origami that is per excellence the inhabitant of clear and neat waters.
• Sanitation, this term describes the strategies used to provide adequate water for drinking and other needs and it refers to the provision of facilities and services in order to accomplish this goal. Providing water filters,collectors or tanks to schools and marginalized communities is a priority for 
HEEALS. A water bomb
origami can best represent and simplify this idea. It is fun for kids and it could be a nice option and a more environmental friendly solution to the huge number of plastic balloons filled with colors and used during the Holi festival. In fact this simple origami shape can be blown with air, filled with water or with colored powders and kids can used them as a very easy-to-make toy.
• Hygiene “refers to conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases” (WHO).
Personal hygiene refers to maintaining the body's cleanliness. During our workshops we always remind kids that personal cleanliness can be preserved by practicing simple daily activities to maintain clean and neat our body, the place where we live and the environment around us. This idea can be represented and simplified by an origami broom, a very common and simple object used daily in every house.

-Manuel
WASH Intern







Sunday, 10 February 2019

We welcome our New Intern From #Italy

We welcome our New Intern From #Italy.He is working on WASH & Health ,Education,Safety & Security Program
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Friday, 8 February 2019

THE IMPORTANCE OF SANITARY PADS

THE IMPORTANCE OF  SANITARY PADS
Menstruations are seen as health, social, genderand human rights issue. Menstruations and human rights are strongly related. Rights of Indian girls are constantly denied because of menstruations’ taboos and unawareness: the consequences are gender inequality, poor access to water, impoverished health and illiteracy. In particular, the right of education has been recognized as human right, but in India 23% of women give up school because of menstruation. Women that drop out from schools became dependent on their families’ financial support. This it’s the cause of inequality and oppression which lead to lack of professional employment and social injustice.
The effects of poor menstrual sanitary condition have a huge impact on infections at urinary and reproductive apparatus. If untreated, they can provoke cancer or sterilityIt is difficult to convey the importance of the issue, even because most NGOs are handed by man and they not tend to put much importance on the topicMoreover, Indian old women don’t want to address the issue and most of the mothers have a conservative point of view. This silence over awkwardness of discussion creates a sets of taboos and biases that increases menstrual hygiene misconceptions.
Above all, taboos set out special limits. They exist in many societies to maintain social order: in India taboos create caste-based differences. Taboos are still everywhere, including well-educated people. Notably, menstruation taboos are created by misunderstanding and misconception: periods are seen as unwanted, something dirty and to hide.
In fact, 90% of women during periods are affected by restrictions of every kind: young girls during menstruation cannot enter into puja room, into kitchen, they may not look themselves in the mirrors, avoid certain food and cannot attend guests. In rural ares, girls have to sit separate at menses and they can wash their menstrual cloths only early in the morning, before other members of the family wake up. Religion play a key role in this issue. Hinduism give restrictions on certain activities of girls during periods, Islam gave some kind of restriction on going to the market or take a bath.
Menstruation practices are influenced by culture, individual awareness and socio-economic status. The economics background has a direct influence on menstruation practices, like on the choice among pads or private toilets. For instance, in residential areas, girl adopnapkins and no social restriction occurred. In rural areas, on the other hand, old cloths are utilized and social restriction exists.Menstruation among many communities is culturally prohibitedMost tribal households are below the poverty line. In rural and tribal areas mothers themselves lacks of knowledge, due to socio-economic status. In these poor areas there’s a low acceptability of pads due to irregular supply, lack of awareness, non-availability and poor quality, therefore only 12% of women in India use sanitary pads.Cloth pads are worn in the underwear to prevent menstrual fluidfrom leaking onto clothes. After using them for 3\4 times, they can cause girls abrasive wounds the inner tights. Moreover, stains are visible: girls feel ashamed and unclean. The old clothes are washed with a specific stone and dried in dark and unhygienic places that none can see. However, a more safe option can be falanin: it is a piece of fabric, easier to wash and dry then the old cloth.It does not cause skin abrasion nor strains. Falalin is more cultural accepted.In rural and tribal areas, sanitary pads can have disadvantages, like high costshigh frequency of change them, unavailability, fear of strain the toilet and no facilities.Undoubtedly, the importance of sanitary pads gives an higher quality of life and less hygienically infections.Consequently, knowledge regarding puberty should be given by mothers and teachers. Menstrual health should be included in the curriculum at school and in the local health committee, a program of awareness should be conceived and low-cost sanitary napkins need to be provided. Even if the government of India submitted $ 20 million budget for pads, we hope that menstrual awareness in India will be raised soon.
In our organization, HEEALS, we firmly believe that to provide the resources, knowledge, expertise and leadership will help the people and the communities across the states of Indiato use their skills to improve the quality of life, environment, education and livelihood and that of future generations.
We want to ensure that through empowering our local communities with knowledge and education we can begin to eradicate poverty in India.
That’ why we implemented PAD4GIRLS project, giving to girls free pads so they can feel more healthy, secure and more aware!

-Bene 
WASH & MH Intern