Daulati Kumari is a thirteen year, non-school going regular young girl coming from an economically underprivileged background from village Jalapur, Tekari. Education is not considered important, particularly for girls in many parts of the country. The idea stems from the orthodox practice of restricting women to the house.
Because of lack of education, many girls in rural areas fail to understand the importance of nutrition and good health as they are not well-versed with these concepts at the right time. Daulati visitedAnganwadi centres regularly but her approach towards nutrition and hygiene was very different. She never use to wash her hands before/after meal consumption, didn’t know she was anaemic or underweight, never wore slippers or had breakfast in the morning (except tea and biscuit for the morning). Her lack of knowledge kept her away from reaching out to anybody for guidance, struggling in her own ways not knowing these issues were so important.
After SHARP team visited Jalapur village under project ANSH, she started to realize the importance of nutrition and hygiene through effective communication and intervention activities that were conducted through platforms like AHD (Adolescent health days), personal counselling&home visits etc. She even learnt the importance of healthy breakfast, dietary diversification, proper steps to hand-wash, gained knowledge on anaemia prevention practices and maintaining personal hygiene by the means of various interventions. During the home visit, her parents initially were unsupportive but after continuous efforts, they realized how important it is to understand the nutritional status of their adolescent girl as she was going through various physical, mental and emotional changes in her body. Her BMI and Hemoglobin reports were also shared and explained to her parents so that they are well versed with her progress.
Daulti now is very conscious about her health and hygiene. She wears her slippers daily, wash her hands with soap whenever necessary, use the toilet and is always curious to know more about her nutritional status from the team members. She has even convinced her parents to set up a small kitchen garden outside their home.
She is now confident to deal with her challenges and also tries to sensitize her peers, neighbours and other family members and thanks the intervention for this change in her attitude.