There is an urgent need to create mechanisms to empower widows in Yavatmal and Vidarbha, and give them the support they need to pick up the pieces of their lives and move forward. However, such initiatives are rare. One of the few such projects for the welfare of the helpless women is run by Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR) and its sister organization Sampada Trust.
Health & Nutrition
WOTR’s interventions in Health have been in several areas :
- Taking 2 indicators – Children’s Growth and HB – to understand the nutritional status of the community and communicate it to them so they can take the required measures
- Setting up a cadre of Health workers and their capacity building to intervene in the community
- Facilitating interventions that address Nutritional security in community at the family level as well as at individual levels with women and children
- Awareness building on nutrition, sex education with adolescents
- Connecting with local institutions – Anganwadis (for children under 5 years of age) and Primary Health Centre to carry out health interventions at an institutional level
- Research & Studies that provide insights into health and nutrition issues
Under the Child Growth & Monitoring Programme, various health related activities are taken up: regular health and weight check-up of the children of the age 0-5 years; Motivation and Training of women for providing a balanced diet for their children and the family; trainings of the Anganwadi Sevika (the worker who is in charge of the government run Integrated Child Development Program in villages), and Mahila Pravartaks (woman health promoters) on various aspects of basic health care particularly nutrition, care of the 0-5 years old children, immunization, hygiene and sanitation.
The Mahila Pravartak is a key to the program. She works in close coordination with the Health Sub-center and the government departments for child care and immunization. She is also given training on how to identify mothers and children who are malnourished and to give nutritional advice, basic medicines for simple health problems.
Besides this, she is given an overall idea of mother and child care, family planning, discusses the problems of women’s health issues, home remedies, HIV /AIDS.
Child-Growth monitoring chart displayed in the village
Taking a Climate perspective:
Climate variability combined with economic volatility and depleting ecosystem are expected to put tremendous stresses on the community. WOTR’s watershed interventions till date have addressed stabilizing and strengthening the ecosystem which communities live in. Under the climate lens WOTR seeks to understand the adaptive capacity of the communities to the combined overt and insidious stresses and intervene at the Household level where necessary. This has meant looking at food and nutrition security that looks at the food grown and eaten, in agriculture to encourage growing and consumption of local foods and traditional, locally adapted hardy grains that are highly nutritive, and new vector-borne diseases that are likely to emerge due to rising temperatures.
WOTR has in the last year begun to involve itself in Mental Health – understanding the issues, stresses, and triggers and addressing these by going beyond mere psychiatric help to strengthening the social fabric and relationships by stabilising the resource base. The interventions promote key livelihoods that can decrease the pressures and stresses of agriculture dependent local economies.