Bharuch District Development Officer (DDO) Yogesh Chowdhary handed over two Smart Anganwadi Centres at Utraj and Dhamrad villages in Hansot taluka on Friday.
Both Anganwadi Centres have been renovated and equipped with tools to ensure a safe and positive learning environment for young children and adolescent girls. These renovations were completed under Project SAAHAS (Strengthening Access and Awareness of Health) in collaboration with Kaka-Ba Hospital, a CSR arm of Cadila Pharmaceuticals.
SAAHAS has been working in the region to reactivate key health schemes that safeguard child and adolescent health and nutrition. Spearheading the project is Dr Bharat Champaneria, Trustee, Indrashil Kaka-Ba and Kala Budh Public Charitable Trust, a CRS initiative by Cadila Pharmaceuticals.
“This project has made inter department convergence very easy and strong.All schools are giving Weekly Iron & Folic Acid Supplements (WIFS) to students on regular basis. This had helped in reducing anaemia among boys and girls and cases of malnourishment have also decreased,” said Yogesh Chowdhury, DDO, Bharuch, who has been providing his continued guidance to Project SAAHAS to ensure that all children in the block receive the care and nutrition they require.
“I request all Gram Pradhans to get associated to this initiative and make it a replicable model in other geographical areas. I have seen that most of the initiatives are focused on infrastructural development, but this is a unique model which focuses on physical as well as social development,” he added.
“The key to successful implementation is collaboration between government, technical experts & CSR. I humbly request you to come forward & work together to make this district & block a model of excellence for the future,” said Dr Champaneria at the launch event.
Global Health Strategies and Kaka-Ba Hospital have been working in close collaboration with Government of Gujarat for the last many years to strengthen the health and wellbeing of communities in Hansot. With a strong focus on the health and nutrition of child and adolescent, Project SAAHAS has successfully reactivated key government health schemes that aim to protect child health. One of their major priorities has been to strengthen Anganwadi Centres.
Taluka Development Officer (TDO) Dr Alpana Nair, who has been instrumental in driving progress in the block, to improve the health and nutritional status of children, said, “I have received a lot of insights and information on health and education ever since project Saahas has started. They have brought together all the departments, keeping in mind inter departmental convergence sharing their issues on daily basis and making this block stronger.”
Ghemal Singh Prabhubhai Patel, Taluka Pramukh, Hansot, made a special address at the event. “We request all the parents to send their children to Anganwadi Centres on regular basis and make the best use of the facility,” he said.
Following the speeches, a ceremonial handover of the keys of the Utraj Smart Anganwadi Centre was conducted with Anganwadi Worker. A tour of the newly refurbished AWC was conducted.
SAAHAS has been conducting trainings with Anganwadi Workers every month since October 2021, to increase their interpersonal skills and ensure efficient communications with parents and caregivers. This training has been critical in convincing caregivers of children with health issues, such as Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), to take urgent and proactive steps to seek timely health care. SAAHAS also reactivated Anganwadi Centre health screenings, which had been disrupted for over two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.