A holistic Nutrition Intervention and Early Learning program for 0- 6 children of construction and quarry workers in and around Bangalore.
It is a lesser known fact that although a lot of funds are generated for the cause of Education, most of it is focused on children over the age of 6yrs. The age group of 0-6yrs is a highly under-served one. Due to the lack of adequate funds and focus on this segment, UNICEF has recently placed India at No.1 for having the highest (worst) ‘under 5 Mortality Rate’ and ‘Most number of physically stunted children due to malnutrition’.
Did you know?
- 47% children in India suffer from malnutrition.
- 48% (more than 60 million) children under 5 in India suffer from stunting. This is 1/3rd of the stunted children worldwide.
- India has 25 million wasted (acutely under nourished) children, which is the highest in the world.
- Only 14% reach appropriate height and weight by the age of 6yrs.
- 43% of Indian children are underweight, which includes 53% of our poorest children.
- Only 30% children in India are covered by the Govt.’s ICDS scheme
- 52% of Indian women are anaemic and 63% of pregnant women suffer from anaemia.
Malnutrition is the underlying cause of deaths of children under 5yrs. Even if it does not lead to death, it often leads to permanent damage, including impairment of physical growth and mental development. It has been found that child malnutrition in India is among the highest in the world, higher even that sub -Saharan Africa and Latin America. Education inputs provided after the age of 6 do not achieve their full potential because the child in its formative years has become stunted, mentally and/or physically.
Pre-school children are one of the most nutritionally vulnerable segments of the population. Attention during the first 5 years has an impact not only on growth and morbidity during childhood, but also acts as a determinant of nutritional status in adolescent and adult life.
At UWBe, we work to bring focus and emphasize the importance of education programs for the under 6 category. This category is severely affected by malnutrition, and therefore the ‘Born Learning’ campaign was created to address both the education and nutrition requirements of children in the 0-6yrs.
These centres will ensure that the children are of normal growth by improving their gross motor, fine motor, cognitive, social, linguistic, emotional, aesthetic and personal skills, thereby equipping them with early learning abilities and ensuring that they are ready for school.
UWBe provides intervention in the following ways under the ‘Born Learning’ campaign;
1. Enhance the early learning skills of the children through a holistic early learning program
2. Educating mothers on early child care and raising child-centric awareness at community level.
3. Providing hot, wholesome and freshly prepared food.
So far, approx. 250 quarry children have passed out of these centers after acquiring enhanced learning abilities and normal growth. The goal is to reach out to children in areas where Govt. services are not available, set up Born Learning Centres, mainstream these centres with the Govt. Anganwadis and partner with them to fill in the gaps at State-run ones.
Extend your support to the ‘Born Learning’ campaign, spread the word & help us get these kids ready for school!!!
 Source: NIPPCED, NSSO Updates MHRD, and a report on Child malnutrition in Karnataka, by Adv. Clifton Rozario, Advisor to Commissioners of the Hon’ble Supreme Court