Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bodakdev couple fights malnutrition in slum kids

With help of NGO Manav Sadhna, Sanjay and Minakshi Ghorawat distribute around 200 packets of protein powder every month to ensure underprivileged kids grow up healthy

 Amdavadis have whole-heartedly joined the ‘SelflessShravan’ campaign to save milk during this holy month and feed poor children. But Sanjay and Minakshi Ghorawat have been trying to eradicate malnutrition amongslu mkidsinRamapirnoTekro — one of the biggest slums in Gujarat —for past six years now.

    With the help of NGO Manav Sadhna, the couple from Bodakdev distribute around 200 packets of protein powder every month to ensure the underprivileged kids grow up healthy. So far, more than 6,000 children (below the age of six years) have benefited from their act of kindness.
    Sanjay, who runs a pharmaceutical business, said, “We once visited the NGO located at Gandhi Ashram and learnt about the poor conditions that these kids live in. They hardly got milk twice a day, nutritious food was out of the question. My wife and I decided to do whatever we could for these needy kids.” Co-ordinator of the aanganwadi project at Manav Sadhna, Neeta Jadav said, “The help extended by the Ghorawats has extended the life span of several children. If more people start thinking like this couple,
there will be a  definite and positive change in the lives of these slum kids.”
    Minakshi was the one who thought of how they could make a diff
erence in the lives of these little ones. “She keeps a close tab on all the activities from their end to ensure that the protein powder reaches these kids without interruption,” said Sanjay.
    “We monitor the health of these kids. Office-bearers and volunteers at Manav Sadhna also give us a health re
port drawn up by doctors every month,” said Minakshi, a sense of satisfaction tingeing her voice.
    She now wishes to reach out to children in other slums. “We are thinking of rendering similar service at slums in Orissa too,”
said Minakshi.
India has one of the highest percentages of undernourished children in the world. In fact, child malnutrition is responsible for 22 per cent of India’s burden of disease as it impairs immunity making kids vulnerable to infections. In Gujarat, 40 per cent of kids are malnourished. Malnutrition not only affects physical appearance and energy levels, but also directly affects many aspects of the children’s mental functions, growth and development. This adversely affects children’s ability to learn and process information and grow into contributing members of society. Growth retardation occurs by the age of two, and most damage is irreversible.