February 26, 2014, Durgapur, Bardhaman District, West Bengal: Essar Foundation recognizes the relevance of good health amongst children and mothers as critical to their well-being. The Foundation has implemented the Aanchal Project in Durgapur sub-division in Bardhaman District of West Bengal in partnership with Child in Need Institute (CINI) to improve reproductive and child health status through adolescents and women leaders. As part of this project, a Healthy Mother and Healthy Baby Show was organized by Essar Foundation to emphasize and advance good health amongst mothers and babies on February 26, 2014 near Molandighi Gram Panchayat in Kanksa Block of Durgapur sub-division. Healthy mothers and babies were judged on various parameters and awarded at the event.
The proceedings commenced with a traditional Santali folk dance performed by volunteers of Akandara village. The event was chaired by Mr Md. Saukat Ali, Joint Block Development Officer, Kanksa Block, who commended Essar’s efforts on improving child and mother’s health in the area. Mr Ashok Mukherjee, Chairman, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), Kanksa and Durgapur-Faridpur Blocks, also present on the occasion, said, “Through such awareness camps, Essar has been encouraging mothers to nurture their children’s lives. We extend full support to Essar for such initiatives.”
The event saw participation from 200 people comprising health officials, mothers and babies. The first screening process of selecting healthy mothers and babies took place at the Anganwadi center. Subsequently, the second screening was done by the auxiliary nurse midwife with the support of the Block Medical Officer – Health. The selection of mothers was done based on various parameters encompassing checkups in anti-natal phase; folic acid and iron consumption during pregnancy; tetanus injection; institutional delivery and weight as per age. 126 mothers and babies were shortlisted in first round, of which 32 healthy mothers and babies from 30 villages were declared winners.
Under the Aanchal Project, 30 drop-in centers have been set up in different locations for adolescents to provide a platform where they can meet, share and be informed about various issues related to adolescence and life skills. On this occasion, games and sports equipment were distributed to representatives from 30 villages.