Early years are of crucial importance for every child’s development. Early years of childhood form the basis of intelligence, personality, social behavior, and capacity to learn and nurture oneself as an adult. It is a period of great opportunity, but also of vulnerability to negative influences. Many children do not reach their full human potential because of malnutrition. The World Bank estimates that India is one of the highest ranking countries in the world for the number of children suffering from malnutrition. One of the major causes for malnutrition in India is gender inequality.
Due to the low social status of Indian women, their diet often lacks in both quality and quantity. Women who suffer malnutrition are less likely to have healthy babies. In India, mothers generally lack proper knowledge in feeding children. Consequently, new born infants are unable to get adequate amount of nutrition from their mothers. Good nutrition and health and consistent loving care and encouragement to learn in the early years of life help children to do better at school, be healthier, have higher earnings and participate more in society. This is especially important for children in poverty. The right to a child’s development has been accepted and embraced by the international community.
In the years of intervention and as per the need to establish child rights in Hazaribag district Swaraj Foundation has been intervening in 78 villages in three blocks of Hazaribag namely Barkagaon, Daru and Tatijaria. During the period of 18 years (from 1997), Swaraj Foundation has promoted 49 women groups with the name of AMMA (Asangathit Mahila Majdoor Abhiyan), Kishore Vahini and Yuva Vahini. With the help of these stake holder organization aware the community on RTE and malnourishment an advocacy with government agencies.
The socio-economic condition of these three blocks in terms of child rights is very vulnerable. In this line it has been the main focus of Swaraj Foundation on it’s intervention to “Raise voice and mobilize the community towards land settlement, Creating awareness among the rural folks regarding the better hygienic practices, disseminating information regarding the Health issue, Activation of ICDS, PDS, Health Centres and Schools so that the community could get better knowledge on the issues and their child could get better nutritional support and education”.