Published: 04th October 2021
How ten-minute Wednesday meetings helped this district in Telangana make its children healthier
For over four months, the officials from the district of Jogulamba Gadwal have been working very hard on the nutrition level of the students and the results are starting to show now
In just three months, many children from the district of Jogulamba Gadwal in Telangana have seen a major turnaround in their nutritional levels. As many as 478 children under the Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) category and 94 children under the Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) category crossed over to normal, much to the delight of the Anganwadi teachers and Women and Child Development (WCD) Department, who have worked very hard to make this happen. This is the same news that was jubilantly shared by Additional Collector of the district, Koya Sree Harsha, in a tweet a few days ago.
This is the Wednesday miracle. Before the 709 Anganwadi centers begin their daily functions, at about 8:30 am, all the pre-identified parents of SAM and MAM children gather, and in attendance are also panchayat secretaries and others. A weight-checking ensues followed by counselling about nutrition and what children should be given to make them healthier. "Most parents are agricultural labourers and during the day are busy working in the fields. We tell them how to manage the nutrition levels of the children and ensure the child has something to eat while they are away," says S Mushahida Begum, District Welfare Officer, WCD and SC, Jogulamba Gadwal district. The nutrition-rich Balamitra, packed with folic acid and several vitamins, given away at these meetings also help a great deal.
These SAM and MAM meetings are short, sweet and to the point. "And for all those parents who cannot make it, home visits are conducted," says the District Welfare Officer. But even these children who have crossed over to the healthier side, the Anganwadi teachers are imploring parents to remain vigilant. Then there are the kitchen gardens in a few anganwadi centres where, for about a year, leafy vegetables are being grown and the same fresh produce is used for meals. As they say, every step counts.