The story of Abhijit Baski : In the Green Zone of Health

Written consent was received from all the persons portrayed in this story

Abhijit Baski, aged 4yr 9 months, is a healthy and happy ‘CINI Nutrimix baby’ having been fed CINI Nutrimix regularly along with other food. Abhijit was detected as severely underweight at a screening camp for children 0-5 years at the ICDS centre, in Kurulia village when he was 2.5 yrs old. The Anganwadi worker (AWW) along with CINI’s Suswasthya Project Staff Anuradha, had conducted a screening camp where Abhijit was detected in the severely underweight category or ‘Red zone’. Born in the hospital, Abhijit had weighed 3.5 kgs at birth. Subsequently, he slipped into the red zone of malnourishment. Abhijit’s Mother, Bahamoni admits that he was neglected when she had to give all her attention to her sick son who was epileptic and subject to fits. Bahamoni hardly had time to cook and so Abhijit was left to himself. “He ate whatever he could find on his own, also wasted some; there was no one to take care. He must have lost weight then. There was no one to guide us” says Bahamoni. Neglect was not willful. Bahamoni has to go to the fields to work. Her husband works in the mines and is seldom at home. Thus, she is the sole caregiver to her 3 sons aged 18 yrs, 13 yrs and Abhijeet, the youngest. “I have to work in all seasons. There is no one to look after my children at home. Rain, shade or sunshine, they have to adjust. Being poor, we have no choice.”

Identifying the malnourished children at the screening camp was the starting point. Abhijit is not a standalone case. Out of the 30 children screened at the camp, 15 were found to be malnourished. Along with the frontline workers, the CINI Project Staff checked the weight, height of the children and the date of birth from the MCP card (since DOB is not always known to the mothers); plotted the measurement on the growth chart of each child and counselled each mother separately regarding their child and what they should feed their children. This was followed by continuous monitoring and follow-up visits by the CINI Staffs along with the frontline workers. Post screening, CINI’s Suwasthya Project Staff visited Abhijit’s house and counselled the mother on care and diet of Abhijit in addition to group meetings with other mothers. “Anuradha Didi told me that my baby was underweight. I should take good care of him, feed him three proper nutritious meals, maintain hygiene, and ensure that he didn’t walk around barefoot. She also showed me the measures for wheat, rice, and dal to make a nutritious khichdi for my son. I could add whatever vegetables I grow in my yard to make it more nutritious.” Meetings with the mothers were held at the ICDS Centres where the nutrition demonstration camp was held. “We learned about making dry Nutrimix, khichdi,and laddoos; proper cooking practices, health and hygiene, and care of new-borns and young children. All the mothers listened because there are many children who are in the Yellow Zone. My son is now in Green but I try share what I learned and show them how to make Nutrimix.” The colours of nutrition status of the child are all known to Bahamoni. She has her Mother Child Protection (MCP) Card and is able to track Abhijit’s weight on it. Each mother tracked by CINI Staff has been given an individual chart for growth monitoring and creating awareness among the mothers regarding nutritional status of her child. This has helped them learn basic growth monitoring of their children. The most significant outcome is that all the fifteen children including Abhijit, who were identified malnoursihed, are back to normal weight. Bahamoni has learned how to make Nutrimix and she now demonstrates the making of various recipes to other mothers in her group. CINI has also supported her during the past two years by providing the CINI Nutrimix product (6 kgs) – “A multigrain nutritional mix, fortified with a premix of essential micronutrients that provides a balanced and wholesome nutrition”- for which she is grateful. Mothers who participated in the meetings are now are aware of basic health and nutritional needs of infants and young children and are able to take care of their offspring.

Protection Program

CINI’s commitment to child protection is deeply rooted in prevention and intervention. We’ve structured our preventive measures into three interconnected levels: primary, secondary, and tertiary, each tailored to the level of vulnerability children face.

Health & Nutrition Program

CINI recognizes the profound impact of household and community-level health and nutrition education on the lives of the most marginalized. Through our efforts with adolescents, children, and mothers, we’ve harnessed the power of holistic health and nutrition improvement at the household, community, and service delivery levels.

Education Program

CINI’s education programme places paramount importance on securing the educational rights of socio-economically disadvantaged children. We provide continuous care and support from ages 3 to 18, encompassing early childhood care and education, age-appropriate academic outcomes, and the promotion of secondary and higher secondary education.

THE LOREM IPSUM IS SIMPLY DUMMY TEXT LOREM IPSUM

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s,

THE LOREM IPSUM IS SIMPLY DUMMY TEXT LOREM IPSUM

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s,

THE LOREM IPSUM IS SIMPLY DUMMY TEXT LOREM IPSUM

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s,

Mary’s Resilience: A Journey Back to Education in the Hills of Maligaon, Assam

Written consent was received from all the persons portrayed in this story

Nestled in the hills of Maligaon in the Kamrup Metropolitan district of Assam, 15-year-old Mary once had a deep passion for school, reading, and drawing. However, her life took an unexpected turn when her mother left, leaving Mary in the care of her father. Although her father and grandmother did their best to provide for her basic needs, Mary shouldered household responsibilities alongside her studies.

 

From a young age, Mary became the primary caregiver for her father and other family members. This added responsibility began to take a toll on her academic pursuits. Balancing household chores and schoolwork became a daunting challenge, resulting in declining grades and growing self-doubt. Faced with the financial struggles of her father, Mary’s education became an unsustainable burden in his eyes, a sentiment shared by many fathers in similar circumstances who believed that education held no value for their daughters, destined for marriage. Tragically, Mary had to bid farewell to her school life in the 8th grade.

 

During this time, the CINI Kamrup Metropolitan team initiated their work in the area, forming an adolescent group where Mary found a place as a member. Through the efforts of MCGL’s India-Yash programme and the engagement of the teenage group, the team and her peers learned about Mary’s aspirations and her dream to continue her education, complete her studies, and provide for her family.

 

With unwavering counselling and continued support, the Kamrup Metropolitan team rekindled Mary’s hope and motivation to pursue her education. They helped her rediscover her inner strength and her belief in herself. With newfound courage, Mary approached her father, pleading for a chance to return to school, promising to excel and make her family proud as a responsible young woman. Mary’s tenacity prevailed, and she embarked on her educational journey again. Today, she proudly attends the 9th grade at Adinggiri High School, a testament to her resilience and the transformative power of determination and support of our work in the hills of Maligaon, Assam.

 

Rupa’s Triumph: A Journey from Adversity to Advocacy with CINI in West Bengal

Written consent was received from all the persons portrayed in this story

At the tender age of 14, Rupa had already encountered a lifetime’s worth of challenges. She had endured early marriage, faced early pregnancy, dropped out of school, and grappled with the absence of familial protection. Her life stood at a crossroads, teetering on the precipice of adversity. But Rupa’s narrative underwent a remarkable transformation, thanks to the intervention of CINI.

 

Growing up, Rupa shouldered the burden of household chores and the care of her younger siblings in a home where neglect and overwork were her constant companions. In a courageous bid to escape an arranged marriage, she fled home and married the boy she loved.

 

However, her marital home did not usher in the expected bliss. Financial struggles loomed large, and her husband departed for work in Chennai, leaving Rupa at the mercy of her in-laws. She was confined to a dim, austere space with meagre food, all while carrying the weight of pregnancy. In this challenging period, our team in the village identified Rupa as high risk due to her early marriage and pregnancy, and her harrowing journey unfolded before us.

 

Our foremost priority was to create a haven for Rupa within her marital home. Through unwavering commitment, we embarked on consistent visits, heartfelt discussions, and empathetic counselling. Gradually, her in-laws began to accept her presence and provide the care she needed. Tragically, Rupa’s life took a devastating turn when her premature baby fell ill and, despite vaccinations, succumbed to the illness.

 

In the face of unimaginable grief, CINI’s team remained steadfast in their support for this resilient young girl. We initiated her re-enrollment in school, ensuring easy access and financial assistance while she attended regularly. Despite progress in rebuilding her life, the spectre of early pregnancy and discrimination within her family continued to loom. Recognizing the persistent threats to Rupa’s well-being, we maintained regular outreach and support, focusing on nutrition and health. Witnessing CINI’s unwavering dedication, Rupa embraced our guidance and emerged as a formidable advocate within her community.

 

Today, Rupa comprehends the perils of early marriage and teen pregnancy. She has made it her mission to educate her community and peers. With the invaluable support of CINI’s Suswasthya Project, Rupa and other married adolescents in Khoyrasole have united to form a group dedicated to being agents of change in their locality. Their goal was to eradicate child marriage and prevent teen pregnancy.

 

Rupa’s journey is an indomitable testament to resilience, empowerment, and the transformative impact of CINI’s tireless work. Through the Suswasthya Project, Rupa and her fellow adolescents have become beacons of change, working relentlessly to abolish child marriage and shield their community from the perils of teen pregnancy.

Rohan’s Hope: Rebuilding a Life Through Support and Sponsorship in Ranchi’s Slums

Written consent was received from all the persons portrayed in this story

In 2009, tragedy struck when Rohan was just two years old – he lost his father. The loss left his mother grappling with trauma, making it increasingly difficult for her to care for Rohan. With Rohan too young to fend for himself, his maternal aunt stepped forward, shouldering the responsibility of providing a nurturing environment for him.

 

Rohan began a new chapter of his life, residing with his maternal aunt, uncle, and three cousins in one of Ranchi’s slums. However, the family faced dire economic hardships, their income barely sufficient to meet the needs of all four children.

 

In 2019, CINI extended its helping hand to the area where Rohan and his family resided. A Child Protection Committee (CPC) at the slum level was established, initiating a vulnerability assessment exercise. Rohan and his cousins were identified as vulnerable and needing care and protection during this assessment. The CPC members conducted a family visit and determined that although Rohan’s aunt and uncle did their utmost to provide for the children, additional financial support was necessary.

 

Driven by their commitment to making a difference, the CPC members connected Rohan with the government’s ‘Sponsorship Scheme.’ CINI provided vital assistance in preparing the requisite documents and the application for support from the scheme. The application was submitted to the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) in Ranchi through a collaborative effort between CINI and the CPC members. Thankfully, the DCPU recognized the family’s need and agreed to provide support. Once Rohan was enrolled in the scheme, the family began receiving Rs. 2000 per month. This financial assistance proved a significant relief, offering resources to cover school fees, provide nutritious meals, and meet other essential family expenses.

 

Expressing her gratitude, Rohan’s aunt stated, “I am thankful to CINI and CPC members for helping us secure sponsorship support.” With this newfound support, Rohan thrived, growing in a nurturing family environment and continuing his education.

Rohan’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of community efforts and our efforts in facilitating this.