APAA members address meeting on women nutrition

By Kalpanika Tripathy, District Documentation Officer

Angul Pusti Adhikar Abhiyan was invited by GMR Varalakshmi Foundation of Kamalanga, Dhenkanal district in Odisha – GMR Kamalanga to share their experience of working with under-served communities. GMR Varalakshmi Foundation is known for sustainable impact on educational, health and livelihood development of under-served community. It was a great moment for us to share our experience, strategies and work process.

APAA members received a warm welcome from Mr. Dillip Kumar Kar, Senior Program Leader, GMR Varalakshmi Foundation (GMRVF).  Anganwadi workers and helpers from 16 Anganwadi Centres (AWC) of Kamalanga and Mangalpur gram panchayats and GMRVF staff had gathered for the meeting.

This meeting was organized on the eve of International Women’s Day to work towards strengthening women power to fight against nutritional barriers.

We discussed the need for formation of APAA with the gathering. We also spoke about our objectives – including identification and registration of beneficiaries at AWC, ensuring access to nutrition entitlements and services to the beneficiaries, and demand generation for nutritional rights.

We also spoke about the need and importance of fulfillment of 16 conditions of Mamata Yojana and proper utilization of Mamata money benefits. We shared experiences from our community interactions, beneficiary interaction, and dealing with administration and political representatives.

APAA’s strategy had also made an impact to bring about a behavioural change in panchayat members and beneficiaries. APAA facilitated them to submit applications for mini AWC and new AWC building construction. Motivation from APAA members also helped to arrange interim solution of HCM in 104 tagged villages.

Now, monitoring committee members of Jaanch and Matru committees are monitoring AWC services.

APAA members also advised all the participants to adopt ideal practices and to structure a health society.  Determination of APAA has brought about a in the behavioral practices of the beneficiary which has led to reduction in malnutrition among the pregnant and lactating mothers and children below 6 years of age.