Pregnant women get nutritious food in Pudukottai villages

A not-for-profit organisation is working with single women to prepare nutritious food and provide it to pregnant women and their children in Pudukottai district. Working in association with anganwadis and Primary Healthcare Centres, the project aims to monitor child growth and keep a check on malnutrition.

Centre for World Solidarity, a non-governmental organisation headquartered in Secundarabad has joined hands with Seva Trust based in Pudukottai to monitor child growth, mother’s well being and nutrition for both. The project includes sourcing, making and distributing ‘sathu maavu kanji’ (nutrient-rich porridge) for pregnant women and mothers of newborns and is currently working in 11 villages in the district.

“Our aim is to care for the mother and child for the first 1,000 days. These days are the most crucial for both the mother and baby and we work along with the PHCs and anganwadi to provide them with necessary nutrition and guidance,” Vrinda Raman, Programme coordinator, Centre for World Solidarity, said.

Single women – both widows and those who have been abandoned by their husbands in the villages – prepare this nutritious food for the mothers-to-be. “It is a beautiful way in which women support other women,” R. Vasuki, Managing Director, Seva Trust, told The Hindu.

Raising and cooking

Single women, who were part of previous projects with CWS, were taught how to grow the seeds, pulses and legumes for the ‘sathu maavu’ through organice farming. Another batch of single women would prepare it. The farming is done at Kunnandarkoil, while the preparation and distribution is done at 11 villages in Annavasal, Aranthangi and others. “The women farmers are able to sustain themselves. The ones making the ‘kanji maavu’ are compensated for their work,” Ms. Vasuki said.

Once a week, the women prepare and provide the porridge flour to anganwadis and PHCs in the 11 villages. “We are trying to supplement the work done by the government. There are a few women who complain about not knowing how to prepare the ‘kanji,’ or not having time to prepare it,” Ms. Vasuki added. Their work then is to be able to ensure that nobody is left behind.

CWS also provides seeds, fencing and other material to these women so that they can cultivate and consume vegetables. “Many say that they are unable to purchase and consume healthy vegetables regularly. This way we ensure it is consumed,” she said.