Malnourishment is always a problem in India. Children do not get adequate nutrition and their growth is often stunted. In some of the poorest villages that we work with it is common to see that most of the children would have come to school without having eaten anything in the morning. They will be unable to focus on what is being taught as it gets closer to lunch hour. The midday meal from the school used to be the main meal of the day. School closures affected this as well.
Note that the rations provided have been enhanced during the Covid pandemic. Also dry rations had been sanctioned for the children in lieu of the cooked midday meals. I have heard that the administration has for most part been sensitive and even people who didn’t even have a ration card were given the quota of free rice etc. But in normal times, this free allocation from the government would have been supplemented by some additional purchase by themselves. The economic impact of the lockdowns was that this was also reduced. We were beginning to see that the condition of the children’s nutrition was becoming even worse because of the lockdown.
In January 2021, we decided to start a nutrition program in 7 of our schools – 2 in Thoothukudi and 5 in Thiruvallur as a part of our mini-school effort. In the academic year 2021-22 as the schools remain closed we felt the need to expand the program and bring it under its own project head. As this is a need even during the non-pandemic times, we may continue doing this work as necessary and as funds are available.
Aug 2022 Project Arogyam Report for 21-22 and Proposal for 22-23
Nov 2021 Report on Continuing mini-schools and Arogyam
Oct 2021 Project Arogyam report till end of Sept 2021
Aug 2021 Report on the nutrition program in 3 Project Thulasi mini-schools
Jun 2021 Project Arogyam Proposal
Jan 2019 _