Fortune SuPoshan- Safeguarding motherhood & onslaught of hunger during COVID-19

By auther pic. Kavita Sardana

August 11, 2020

Fortune SuPoshan- Safeguarding motherhood & onslaught of hunger during COVID-19

SuPoshan Sanginis group

COVID-19 has been a black swan event. If Nassim Nicholas Taleb's "Black Swans” are problems that takes us exponentially towards breakdown, then "Green Swans" are solutions that takes us exponentially towards a breakthrough. The success and survival of humanity now depends on how we reign in the first and accelerate the second.

Adani Foundation, as a Social Purpose Organisation, took to be a green swan approach in this humanitarian crisis by accepting the challenges & delivering to its best, in the communities it serves.

Fortune SuPoshan, being one of the flagship programmes of Adani Foundation’s three core areas of work namely education, health & sustainable livelihood development, targets to alleviate malnutrition & anaemia among children up to 5 years of age, adolescent girls, pregnant women & lactating mothers. It strives to bring about inclusive growth in the communities thus supporting the salient objective of nation building. Fortune SuPoshan, with unique intervention of SuPoshan Sanginis (community health volunteers) helps bridge the gap that the communities face in terms of malnutrition & health care issues. SuPoshan entails social behaviour change in terms of adopting appropriate practices of child rearing & feeding with lucid understanding of child development & growth into an adult, this being a key deliverable of the project, which has been steadfastly pursued over the last four years.

During the time of lockdown which brought insignificant impact on health services & economy, SuPoshan Sanginis continued to be proactive in performing their duties remotely while checking on the health status of mothers & young children, through messages & calls. Thus it serves as a great solace and comforting factor for pregnant mothers and young children even in such unprecedented times, when aspects like timely food availability, public health facilities weren’t accessible.   

In these times of uncertainty, technology is serving each of us as a light house in the stormy sea in which all human beings are floating like logs of wood, with a hope to see the sunshine and restoration of normalcy.

SuPoshan Sangini, an empowered resource being trained in use of technological resources has been effectively delivering the messages on various aspects of breast feeding, complementary feeding, healthy nutritious diet, hand washing, safe drinking water, personal hygiene & much more through the smart phones. The connect she shares with the families is of a guardian & a helping hand especially in these stressful times.

As COVID-19 has been stigmatized to a large extent, SuPoshan Sangini is helping break the myths & fear psychosis by convincing communities to just follow all the necessary precautions & maintain social distance.

While working in the entire Narmada district, Fortune SuPoshan is continuously striving hard & working in innovative ways to reduce the malnutrition & anaemia rates as per the Governments Poshan Abhiyan in the coming years.


Kitchen Garden

What is heart touching here is, the story of SuPoshan Sangini Hansaben Tadvi, resident of kakarpada village in Dediapada, who had started a kitchen garden in the backyard of the house of Minaben (Lactating mother of six months old child) in the month of February. SuPoshan Sangini along with Minaben had sown seeds for spinach, amaranth, lady finger & cluster beans. SuPoshan Sangini was closely monitoring the kitchen garden & was happy to see young tender leaves of spinach by third week of March, that’s when the lockdown got announced & everyone was forced to stay indoors. Hansaben being worried about the family & their food intake, decided to visit the family. She wore a mask, covered herself well & visited the house; she saw the leafy vegetables were ready to be plucked. She collected the spinach leaves from the kitchen garden & counselled Minaben on making poshtik rotla, along with other recipes like potato spinach vegetable, dal spinach, chilla so that the family does not have to step outside or remain hungry, rather use home grown vegetables in different ways – this indeed helped the poor family to maintain a good nutritional diet intake. Minaben got a ray of hope & followed all the instructions. SuPoshan Sangini is continuously monitoring the family & encouraging them to maintain the kitchen garden. That’s what the true care is all about. Fortune SuPoshan is promoting kitchen gardens across all its sites.

Another one from Gadit village, in Nandod block of Narmada, SuPoshan Sangini Rekhaben Vasava, was counselling Harilaben all through her pregnancy in order to ensure safe delivery. Amidst the lockdown too, she continued to maintain contact with her & guiding her on aspects related to social distancing, hand washing & healthy eating. She kept enquiring about her food intake especially during the last month. Finally on the expected date, Harilaben delivered a baby girl weighing 2.6 kg. It was a moment of joy for everyone in the village. Timely counselling played a huge role & till date SuPoshan Sangini is ensuring that the baby is breast fed & all precautions are duly followed by everyone in their home. That’s what effective communication is in times of pandemics.


Jayshreeben Machi stitching masks for pregnant & lactating women

Last but not the least, another SuPoshan Sangini Jayshreeben Machi from Jiropati village, Nandod block went a mile ahead by sewing masks for all the pregnant & lactating women in her community. Alongside her usual conversations with her beneficiaries on health & nutrition, she took the ownership of helping Gram Panchayat to prepare cloth masks & motivated everyone to wear while stepping out. In the same manner, Varsha Khandare one of the Suposhan Sanginis from Saoner block in Maharashtra took the lead of stitching masks by joining hands with the women self-help group & till date have stitched more than 17000 masks being distributed within the village & adjoining fifteen villages. That’s what a facilitator is - truly admirable.

As SuPoshan works towards inculcating healthy eating habits, SuPoshan Sangini is promoting the use of most abundantly grown moringa tree in the backyard of houses which is often neglected due to ignorance about its nutritional value. What other time to use this super food & miraculous leaves in order to get complete dose of vitamins, minerals & protein. Recipes such as moringa parantha, chutney, pulao, pickle, chilla are being promoted continuously & response has been credible. SuPoshan aims towards bringing a paradigm shift in the dietary habits of people to a state of complete well being.


Distribution of masks to people

With all that in mind, SuPoshan Sanginis have been forth coming in giving a helping hand in multiple activities, be it distribution of THR, masks & sanitizers to the households. They are supporting the Anganwadi workers in their regular-tasks. At many Fortune SuPoshan sites, to name a few such as Kawai, Raigarh, Varanasi, Sangini is participating to prepare the markings for social distancing while distribution of food kits for BPL families. She is actively supporting in Covid-19 health survey conducted by Anganwadi worker to collect information of migrated people and knowledge about quarantine.The purpose is not just limited to distribution of items but conveying the message to use them in effective ways within their communities.


Raigarh support in PDS distribution

SuPoshan Sanginis are being trained by SuPoshan officers at their respective sites through exchange of videos, messages, tutorials in terms of following all norms of social distancing, wearing a mask & hand washing along with nutrition related information.


Supporting people in Varanasi for THR distribution

Adani Foundation stands united with the nation in doing every bit to keep the citizens safe, motivated & optimistic. The above stories are heartening stories from the grassroots. India offers testimony to the relentless spirit of health workers, volunteers (SuPoshan Sanginis), Doctors, nurses in wake of this pandemic. With a multitude of initiatives & on ground activities, India will come out as a winner from fight against the novel corona virus.

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Impact-Story is a series on development and CSR interventions leading to some impacts on the ground. If you have a project, innovation or intervention that has changed the lives of a few people or a community, please share a brief note at shilpi@csrbox.org. Our Team will get back to you after validating the information for a detailed coverage.

Also Read: Protect, Predict and Practice: Dakshas is redefining Accessibility and Affordability in Healthcare


Kavita Has more than two decades of teaching experience with academic background of Post Graduation in Foods & Nutrition and Dietetics from University of Delhi. Is also Masters in Education. Has been actively engaged in channelizing women power, helping them embrace a healthy, nutritional status & thereby infusing in them the confidence to become a contributing part of the society, especially those in rural settings by first making them healthy through nutritional education using local produce in the food intake and then empowering them to vocational and quality of life imperatives thus making them independent & confident. Her passion towards spreading awareness on correct eating practices & building a healthier India made her join Project SuPoshan, a community based nutrition intervention programme to curb malnutrition & anaemia, presently functional across 13 states in India. Is a Resource person at Adani Institute of Infrastructure, for conducting sessions on Women Empowerment for Engineering & Management students.


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