Nandurbar (Maharashtra): The Dawoodi Bohra community’s global philanthropic wing Project Rise has launched the ‘Mother and Child Health and Nutrition Program’ in the Nandurbar district of Maharashtra. The project will help over 600 beneficiaries over the next 3 years.
This program is run in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Nandurbar District Authorities, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), and the Association for Nutrition and Development Action (ANNADA). In 10 Anganwadi centers, the complete program will give malnourished children under the age of six and pregnant and nursing women energy-dense food that is supplemented with micronutrients. Additionally, it will instruct expectant and nursing moms on how to breastfeed and keep track of their health to slow down their children’s physical and intellectual development.
Thanking the Dawoodi Bohra community and ANNADA for initiating the program, Krishna Rathod, the Deputy CEO (Women and Child Development), Nandurbar Zilla Parishad, said, “A health and nutrition initiative like this will go a long way in making a difference in the lives of undernourished children and achieving a hunger-free and healthy nation.
Alvin D’Souza, Program Head at ANNADA, said, “Child undernutrition can lead to severe developmental issues, diseases, infections, and even death. It is at the root of all social problems and severely impacts national socio-economic development. Our program will use simple, community-relevant, ready-to-eat meals that provide almost 1/3 of a child’s recommended dietary requirement of micronutrients. Most of these meals are millet-based and rich in protein. We are glad to have partnered with the Dawoodi Bohra community to be able to impact the lives of children in Nandurbar.”
In his address at the launch event, Kutubkhan Badri, representative of His Holiness in the nearby town of Shahada, said, “Our community leader, His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, guides us to show empathy and compassion and look after the well-being of people, particularly those in need.”
“Our community collaborated with ANNADA around five years ago to fight against malnutrition in Govandi near Mumbai and Roha near Raigad District of Maharashtra, where we saw significant change in the health of our beneficiaries. This project in Nandurbar is an extension of our nutrition and zero-hunger objective of Project Rise.”
The program in Nandurbar was launched in September to support the Government of India’s “Rashtriya Poshan Maah”, or National Nutrition Month, which promotes nationwide awareness of nutrition and hunger, especially for mothers and children.
The majority of the world’s hungry people and nearly one-third of the world’s malnourished children reside in India. According to the National Family Health Survey 2019–21, 20% of children under the age of five have wasting, and nearly every third kid experiences stunting.
Less than 10% of children under 2 in Maharashtra have access to sufficient food, which contributes significantly to the state’s high rate of child malnutrition. The situation in rural and tribal communities is exceedingly complicated. The level of nutrition, health, and general well-being of families can be improved through collaborating with local communities, partners, and Anganwadi centers.
About Project Rise
Established in 2018, Project Rise is the Dawoodi Bohra community’s social welfare endeavor, working in partnership with local community volunteers and government bodies to alleviate hunger and malnutrition, provide access to education, address water insecurity issues, raise health and hygiene levels among children and families, and preserve and protect the environment.