Project Nutrition Inauguration
Rotary Club of Nagpur has been continuing Project Nutrition and Child Care for the last 15 years to provide healthy food to children from less privileged families.
The project includes schools that are mostly attended by slum children, the latest addition to it being Usha Bhatt Nutan Bharat Vidyalaya, where the project was just launched. Under this project, a nutritional meal, rich in calories and proteins along with vitamin supplements, would be provided to 150 children of the school for 90 days in order to improve their immunity.
The principal of the school Vidya Rajderkar said, "these children eat whatever their parents manage to fill their tiffins with. Most times, these things are not very healthy. Along with food, the children are also being taught some good habits."
"When we started off there was a high incidence of malnutrition. As there were no government mid-day meals scheme, we began at corporation schools. We saw a notable improvement in attendance and interest of the children. That encouraged us to keep it going," said Shahrukh Cassad, the director of the project.
When the government scheme came, several privately run schools where most students were not from well off families were still left out. "These schools do not get the government grants or aids like the civic schools. So, we step in and fill the void," informed Rotarian Naushad Bhagwagar.
The club also takes into consideration special needs of a few children. "We identify children who are anaemic so that they are given special care. Deworming medicines are also given as and when required," said secretary of the club Dinesh Naidu.
Since many club members are medical professionals, the club ropes in their expertise and services. "ENT surgeons, paediatricians and eye surgeons are called to check the overall health of the children. Those who are found to be in poor health are given the necessary treatment and a proper follow up of their condition is kept," said Anagha Jaiswal, one of the chairpersons of the project.
It's not just the physical fitness of children that these benefactors have in mind. "To help them have an overall development, we organize picnics, movie outings, visits to circuses and various other activities," revealed Anagha.