Friday, April 1, 2011

In the Slums, Health is the true Wealth...


When we started the process for EKATVA over a year ago we didn’t really have a chance to focus much on the children’s health. For one, we started with 250 kids that we were working with in different batches. As we narrowed the kids down and eventually finalized the sixteen for the EKATVA project we began going more in-depth into their lives. Health, being one of the most important aspects to all of our lives, became an area of focus.
A few months ago we did blood lab tests for all the kids. The result we found was that all 16 of the children are anemic. And many of them had infections detected through their blood and urine tests. During this same time, Geetanjali Didi, a dietician, had visited us to have a conversation on health, nutrition and eating habits. It was a good conversation to integrate into our journey of ‘oneness’. For if we are not clean and healthy within then it becomes very difficult to nurture a healthy environment outside.
We are attacking this health challenge in two ways: 1) By educating the kids and their families and trying to get their support (ie. eating less fried food and sugar) 2) By providing as proper nutrition as possible during snack time after practice that we can practically achieve. Currently we provide the kids the following daily snacks:
-protein powder filled milk (1 glass) or juice
-banana
-bowl of peanuts and dried pulse
-wheat glucose crackers
-iron tablets
-glucosamine in their water bottle before practice

Some of the kids have stopped eating fried food during the morning. Its difficult to help curb any habit cold turkey, but we will continue to walk on our journey very conscious of our children’s health and trying our best to plant seeds of health consciousness and sustainability into their daily routine.
Love.

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