#EAT LOCAL EAT HEALTHY – PROMOTING THE USE OF UNDERUTILIZED NATIVE CROPS!!

eat local 1.JPEG

Agriculture forms an integral part of Indian history, from the days of the Indus Valley civilization to even modern day era, and forms an integral part of Indian lifestyle and culture. Even today, agriculture holds a major role in the Indian economy, contributing 17-18% of the nation’s GDP and in a recent Economic Survey 2017-18 released in the parliament last year, and agriculture employs more than 50% of the total workforce. However today, traditional knowledge about India’s indigenous plants have reduced in the younger generation, mainly due to the influence of urbanization. India is rich in diverse plant species, ranging from food, materials to even medicinal properties. Not only do India’s indigenous plants have economic values, but also have major health benefits equal to those of avocados and other foreign crops.

eat local 3.png

Tasteful examples include star fruit, rich in antioxidants, potassium, and vitamin C, okra, a vegetable with a rich source of vitamins and minerals, and the seeds provide quality oil and protein. Phalsa is another fruit similar to blueberries and extremely rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and vitamin C. It is a super fruit with an effective cooling effect that is perfect for summers. Others also include lemongrass, turmeric, and many other herbs, used to add a little bit of flavor and have medicinal properties.

Today’s integration of connectivity has changed even the food we eat, as now many of the younger generations opt for international ‘superfoods’, often forgetting the value of the crops we grow on our own soil. Foods that we have been cultivating, researching and eating for generations have now lost importance, and it’s important that we bring them back.

eat local 4.jpg

Many people are uncomfortable with market-bought fruits and vegetables, and rightfully so, because it may not be as fresh or reliable as advertised. Therefore we encourage growing locally grown produce right at the comfort of your own home. Options such as terrace farming, kitchen gardening are always ideal, and even if you lack space a smaller balcony farm works just as well.

We at SHARP NGO encourage the use of locally available crops and spread awareness about them under our NUTRITION PROJECTS through awareness campaigns, talk shows, promoting kitchen gardening, educational games in communities &villages to promote dietary diversification of indigenous crops to lead healthy lifestyle, encouraging people from all age group like children, pregnant ladies, adolescents to consume them for a healthy mind & healthy life.

local crop iron photo.JPEG

Advertisements

“When I give up on hunger, vegetable germinates and life continues”

About one-third of the world’s population suffer from one or more deficiency of micro-nutrient. In India food insecurity is a major problem with nearly 195 million undernourished people sharing a quarter of global hunger burden despite the achievement of national food self-sufficiency. Nearly 47 million people i.e. 4 out of 10 children in India are not meeting their full human potential because of chronic under nutrition or stunting. Due to this malnutrition problem, children suffer throughout their lifespan with less capacity of learning in their productive age in comparison to a normal people who have adequate nutrition throughout their nurture. Besides the fact that India is the third largest food exporting country, hunger and malnutrition still survives!

Food security and nutrition are basic human rights and fundamental to a healthy and productive life, therefore it’s important to look for an answer to these issues. Will “KITCHEN GARDEN” help in reducing all these problems?

Kitchen Garden- Bringing Nutrition & Livelihood Support

Kitchen gardens is a community adaptive strategy that can be established and maintained on a small patch of land with minimum technical inputs; hence, these gardens provide the rural resource poor communities with a platform for innovations in supplemental food production as well as an opportunity to improve their sustainable livelihoods.

Family labour, especially efforts of women, becomes particularly important in the management of these gardens. Empowered with reasonably minimum amount of skills and knowledge, these women members of rural families can easily fight crop losses and other negative implications, thereby making kitchen gardening a profitable initiative. Besides, the major use of organic farming practices makes these gardens environment friendly as well.

Kitchen gardens are cost-effective, practical and easily meet the balanced dietary requirements of rural households as well as add substantially to the family income. Crops are selected considering the prevailing food habits and climatic conditions of the implementation areas, and with the larger goal of ensuring availability of wholesome and nutritious food.

Therefore, to promote supplemental food production among the underprivileged and poor people in the rural areas, reaching to about 1.5 lakh primary school children through 1511 primary schools, NGO SHARP under GSK MISSION HEALTH (2017-2018) project promoted the small kitchen garden model in schools and communities with an aim to improve nutrition security and supplement household income. The primary rationale behind this model is to help improve the nutrition status of small and marginal farmers and their families, providing them with an assorted mix of vegetables for a considerable stretch of the year.

 Benefits

Economic Benefits: Kitchen gardens will help increase household income either by sale of the food products grown in the gardens or by the consumption of the same food items that the families would have otherwise purchased from markets using a significant portion of the family income. Apart from income generation and household economic welfare, this initiative promotes entrepreneurship, especially among women.

Social Benefits: Kitchen gardens will directly contribute to household food security by increasing availability, accessibility, and utilization of food products. Food items produced in kitchen gardens add to the family nutrition substantially, which directly leads to reduction of food insecurity. This initiative points out to reduce hidden hunger and also curbs the possibilities of suffering from diseases caused by micro-nutrient deficiency by ensuring a small but continuous flow of subsistence food products in the daily household diet.

Environmental Gains: Use of organic methods of cropping including organic manure will lessen the dependence on chemical fertilizers and pesticides automatically making kitchen gardening an environment friendly initiative. In addition to this, kitchen gardens provide environmentally sound opportunities for waste disposal. Composting is commonly used for household wastes including kitchen waste, paper, and even animal waste, which are used to enrich the soil. Kitchen gardens serve as an eco-friendly and sustainable agricultural practice to improve food security and enhance economic growth of rural households.

With our past expertise & experience in promoting and facilitating the development of kitchen gardens we would integrate these efforts at school and community level in our Projects like ANSH & PUSHTI implemented by NGO SHARP & JSI R& T foundation under GSK Mission Health. These projects invests majorly in improving the nutrition and health status of the mothers, children under 5 and adolescents as prime benefactors whereas others like family members (especially mothers) community workers, teachers etc. as secondary benefactors.

The geography of the project is selected based on their poor performance in key indicators as identified by Niti Aayog and are designated as Aspirational districts. Therefore, there is a need to ensure key nutrition sensitive interventions to increase awareness and promote dietary diversity for enhanced food choices as a sustainable investing in improving the overall health and nutrition of the community.

We will keep sharing our experiences and updates on such sustainable nutrition sensitive initiatives!

To know more about Project Mission Health Visit our you-tube link :https://youtu.be/vn4EJNxieYw

Written by: Juhi Arora

Team SHARP NGO

Personal Hygiene

In its effort to help children across the country through the problem of lice, Mediker had the vision to make Haryana the first lice free state in the country by the 2010. Partnering Mediker through this effort is School Health Annual Report Programme (SHARP), committed to safeguarding the health of school children. Thus, SHARP is conducting hygiene and lice checks in every school in Haryana so as to ensure that every girl child in Haryana is declared free of lice. 55 schools have been covered so far and Ryan International School, Faridabad is the 56th.
In the pursuance of Health awareness programmes in school children we got an opportunity to make our operations in Haryana in collaboration with Marico Industries Ltd, Mumbai to conduct free Hygiene Check-up Programme in school children between the age group of 5 to 12 years (Classes III to VIII). During hygiene check-up, the following things are inspected for:
i) Hair Hygiene ii) Dental Hygiene iii) Nail Hygiene iv) Nape Hygiene v) Ear Hygiene. The survey report of all these parameters will be made available after the completion of Ist Phase of the programme. During the survey it has been found that very few children are conscious about the good personal hygiene, which is the basic of leading a good healthy life.