‘SHE’ is the symbol of Strength, Humanity and Empowerment.
During this last year, ‘SHE’ has shown some exemplary courage. Particularly during the difficult times of COVID19, ‘SHE’ proved to be the pillar of strength, not only for their families but the community at large.
Today, we bring to you a photo series titled ‘SHE’ showcasing the incredible work done by her as part of our Food and Nutrition Security initiative supported by GIZ in Madhya Pradesh.
All images credited to Md. Ashif.
The lockdown brought Bhumani back to her native village in Chhatarpur district where she had to start her life all over again. After traveling hundreds of kilometers on foot from Haryana, she stood amidst sheer uncertainty – dreading the risk of extreme poverty and hunger. The GIZ supported FaNS COVID-19 Response Initiative helped to make a fresh start in her village, Tapariyan. She is now a member of the Nutri-mix, papad and bari production unit in her village, and earns atleast Rs 150-200 daily. Learning new skills and welcoming new opportunities, she is now supporting her family to get back up from the effects of the crisis.
Saroj Sivhare, an ICDS frontline Anganwadi Worker, has been providing nutrition education to mothers and children for the last 15 years in Dalarna Bagichi of Sheopur block in Madhya Pradesh. And during the pandemic, she played a crucial role in reaching out to the communities. The diet of women in the rural parts of India is often too poor to meet their nutritional needs. Through Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) process, Saroj has successfully created awareness among pregnant and lactating women about the importance of breastfeeding, nutrition security, food diversity, kitchen garden and more. Through her role and deep connect with the community she has supported hundreds and learnt diverse, effective ways to engage the community members around important topics, especially women.
To address malnutrition in children, the women in the villages of Sheopur and Chhatarpur are the quintessential example of real change makers. In collaboration with ICDS, Pravasi Ekta Mahila Samuh Nutri-Mix unit was trained and supported by MGSA to locally produce ready-to-eat nutri mix for the identified SAM/MAM children in the two districts during COVID19. Empowered and trained to unlock their potential, these women are helping over 1500 families with SAM/MAM children and scoring opportunities for enhancing well-being of the community at large.
Volunteers have been an indispensable asset for our GIZ supported FaNS COVID19 Relief Initiative for providing assistance and creating awareness among the communities. One such volunteer is Sakshi Sharma who amplified our ground relief measures and passionately supported hundreds of returned migrants in the Sheopur district. Associated with Mahatma Gandhi Seva Ashram, Sakshi directly engaged with the community and provided humanitarian support such as ration and hygiene kit to the vulnerable in the district.
Ensuring a healthy and clean environment is Puja’s topmost priority and during COVID19 her commitment became stronger. With the help of MGSA she constructed a ‘tippy tap’- a handwashing station, at her home and ensured that her neighbours benefit from this handwashing facility. Puja is an inspiration within her community for her steadfast advocacy on the significance of handwashing. She also raised awareness within the community on the necessary safety and preventive measures such as the use of masks, importance of social distancing, need of proper nutrition among young children during an emergency. As part of our GIZ funded FaNS COVID19 response initiative, 3,185 such Tippy Taps were installed during the pandemic.
Living in Gandhi Nagar in the Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh, Nati Bai has fruitfully improved the health of her family by creating a nutrition garden in her backyard. Through homestead nutrition gardening, she is not only ensuring a healthier and balanced nutrition intake, but also prospering socio-economic returns. Under the Food and Nutrition Security COVID-19 Response Initiative supported by GIZ, 9,018 such families have successfully established Nutrition Gardens in the Sheopur and Chhatarpur districts of Madhya Pradesh.
One of the thousands of migrants who returned to Chhatarpur district during COVID19, Manisha from the village Gudhpura in Chhatarpur district, took a conscious effort to build a better life as the pandemic forced her to think anew. The GIZ supported FaNS COVID19 initiative provided her immediate relief of millet-based ration kits with diverse food items. She is one of 3000 such families who were supported with millets-based ration kits under the program to help improve nutrition in the community.
Linking the community and our program team, Lopamudra brilliantly handled the Monitoring & Evaluation system of the GIZ supported FaNS COVID-19 Relief Initiative. She actively engaged in conducting the socio-economic study of the migrants and played a key role in evaluating the data collected from Sheopur to understand the ground reality and immediate needs of the migrants during the lockdown. The uncertainty revealed the importance of agility in the face of change. With her proactive and participatory approach, Lopa helped reach thousands of people on the ground with her communication and reporting skills.
Effectively expanding and building the capacities of the team, Jeetu Chouhan led the team of Chhatarpur district to support the migrants under our GIZ supported FaNS COVID19 Response Initiative. She helped find effective and sustainable ways to support and create awareness around COVID-19 prevention and its awareness, accessibility of migrants to entitlements, monitoring of activities, providing humanitarian support, establishing nutrition gardens and other integrated ways for providing relief on ground. Jeetu played a pivotal role in steering district and state level advocacy to improve the protection of migrants and ensure food and nutrition security by engaging in various public development schemes for effective results.
Being a returned migrant Heerabai had to fend for herself and her family; she used her stitching skills promptly. Under, our GIZ supported FaNS COVID19 response initiative, she stitched more than 5,600 masks which were distributed to the locals. Slowly expanding her skill-set, Heerabai now stitches a range of other products and earns around Rs. 200-300 per day. Her determination and courage in the face of change has helped her family to survive and rise above this crisis.
Constantly unlearning and learning, Shiva gained substantial experience and selflessly helped hundreds around her from the deadly effects of the lockdown. Working as a block coordinator from Lavkushnagar in Chhatarpur district, Shiva closely coordinated with project volunteers, WCD supervisors, block officials and assessed their capacity building needs and focused on efficient and effective implementation of the project activities in the villages under her blocks. Shiva reminds us of the importance of looking out for each other during a crisis – living like one big family.
Rising to the occasion, a nutrition educator in the village, Jyoti, quickly jumped into action and actively engaged in providing relief to the thousands who migrated back during the COVID-19 lockdown. She is the block coordinator from Sheopur under the FaNS COVID-19 Response Initiative. Relentlessly and courageously fighting back, she continued to share her knowledge of nutrition and health and reached out to the returned mothers and children and created awareness among them on preventive and hygiene practices.