Inculcating a healthy lifestyle in our children has been a tough challenge, considering the backgrounds they come from. Most families – of about 7 to 8 members, live in homes with single rooms that double up as a bathing area and kitchen for the women of the family. These are as big as 120 sq ft on an average, with hardly any ventilation, and no drainage.
The main objective of this programme is to develop healthy and informed adult human capital by promoting physical and mental health through childhood and adolescence. To Identify incipient diseases, disorders and disability by adequate and timely intervention and also become the anchor for preventive and promotive health
Such an unhealthy home environment is detrimental to any child’s physical and mental health, resulting in irregular attendance at school, higher drop-out rates and frequent complaints from parents about the child’s ill-health
- The School health Nurse takes proper medical care of minor ailments of children.
- Preliminary medical screening of student’s at-least twice a year on aspects of general health, eye and dental.
- Timely referral of students in need to appropriate heath facilities
- Finance a varying percentage cost for medical treatment
- Medical counselling of parents to ensure access to information in case of child suffering from any disease.
- Multi specialty camps conducted in the community twice a year
- Health education classes by teachers
- “Nukkar – Nataks” by health club in the community to generate awareness on seasonal medical ailments.
- Monthly record keeping of weight and height under the health program. Bi annual check of immunization record.
- Improve hygiene and sanitation habits for children through timely intervention from WESH .
- Provide nourishment through food and nutritional supplements
The screening done by Ek Tara in-house nurse is recorded in Health record forms on daily basis. Other data such as record of treatment given for minor ailments , health awareness programme done, medical camps, stocks at Ek Tara etc are documented in hard and soft copies.
In order to enable a smooth transition between two opposing lifestyles, we ensure our students are counselled to be able to accept and change for the better. The programme includes the following:
• Counselling for children with special needs
• Group counselling for kids
• Counselling for parents
• Parents’ support group
Teachers identify various emotional and behavioural problems in their students and refer them to project managers of health program. Counsellor works individually and in groups to facilitate emotional and behavioural therapy. Record keeping of development / changes in individual child files
• Monthly check-ups such as dental, eye, BMI, paediatric, menstrual and gynaecological
• Maintaining individual Health Cards for each child with their vital statistics, including their blood group, family background, vaccination records, etc
• Awareness campaigns by qualified medical practitioners on relevant problems faced by the community
• Regular monitoring on immunisation
• Regular de-worming for kids
• Access to better health facilities by referring special cases to private practitioners
• Distribution of first-aid kits
• Distribution of medicines
• Workshops by volunteers to generate awareness and implementing healthy living practices
• Constant community outreach to monitor living conditions at home, and implementation of practices proposed at Ek Tara
A nutritious and balanced diet is imperative for all school going children to ensure good health as they develop both physically and mentally. Poor nutrition not only hampers their quality of life but also the ability to absorb knowledge, learning and to reach their full potential. Children with diminished cognitive abilities and sensory impairments naturally perform less well and are more likely to repeat grades and drop out of school. Lack of nutritious food remains a widespread problem in urban slums served by Ek Tara as diets primarily contain an excess of carbohydrates and starch (potatoes, rice, etc.), rather than proteins. With several mouths to feed, the focus is on filling stomachs rather than help a strong and healthy growth process. Children who attend Ek Tara’s Education Programme, more often than not, are encouraged to depend on local unhygienic eateries for their daily breakfast. Aside from the meagre ration of proteins, their diet also lacks low cost seasonal vegetables and fruits.
To address these issues Ek Tara introduced a Nutrition Programme, designed by an empanelled nutritionist, with a Menu Plan including a Hot Meal and Snack. The daily menu changes depending on the availability of seasonal fruits and vegetables procured from the local market. In all four types of alternate menus are followed to provide a variety in taste. The Kitchen has a trained team of 6 people, comprising Supervisor, Cooks, Helpers and Cleaners. Ek Tara focuses on Staff capacity building and therefore the kitchen team has been trained to maintain Kitchen rosters/ Food registers and other important documents of procurement and maintain quality hygiene standards.
Monthly nutrition workshops are conducted which also includes audio visual content for the children to understand easily. Further, periodic meetings and workshops are also organized engaging parents to create household and community awareness.