In the serene village of Hariram Ka Pura, nestled in the Gohad Block of Bhind district, Madhya Pradesh, there lived a young girl named Radhika Chauhan. Her story is a remarkable transformation of resilience, learning, and change.
In the little village, most people were engaged in agricultural labor and factory work to make ends meet. Radhika’s life used to be quite different in the past. She was frail and hardly ever participated in any activities in her school. Undernutrition was a pressing issue, and her daily bouts of stomach pain made attending school a challenge.
Radhika’s mother, Smt. Girja Chauhan, disclosed that they regularly used to consume leftover snacks and fast food like momo, samosas. Which had adversely affected Radhika’s health. This forced Radhika towards frequent absenteeism from school and hindered her education. Similar challenge was faced by many other children in Radhika’s school.
With the introduction of ‘Eat Right School Program’ in her school, collaboration with Bal Raksha Bharat, things started changing slowly. This program emphasized the importance of nutrition, health, and hygiene. The message was clear – a balanced diet with fresh, homemade meals was essential, and consuming unhealthy street food like momos and samosas was discouraged. The project introduced interesting methods like, cooking demonstration, competition etc. to make home-made recipes popular and interesting among children.
“As I joined this program, it opened my eyes to the importance of nutrition and cleanliness. I realized that eating street food, which was often prepared in reused and unhealthy oils, was detrimental to our health. It could lead to illnesses that would affect our ability to attend school and concentrate on our studies”, mentioned little Radhika.
To spread this message further, with support from school authorities, Nutrition Fair was organised. During this fair, participants from the community learned about the importance of nutrition and cleanliness. Workshops were also conducted to develop leadership skills in children.
Little Radhika was one of the active participants in these workshops. She was transformed from a quiet, frail girl to a confident, self-assured individual, following the training programmes. She was instrumental in replacing the lock from our school’s restroom door, which had been a problem for a long time. This small change made a big difference in her as well as her peers’ life.
Today, Radhika, along with her friends Annu and Preeti, has adopted a healthy lifestyle, and they’re no longer tempted by unhealthy snacks. They continue to inspire the teachers, their peers and their families to make positive changes in daily life.
“I want to express my gratitude to Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Chauhan, the Health and Wellness Ambassador (HWA) for her dedication. She has set a shining example for us by practicing what she preaches and encouraging us to do the same”, mentioned Radhika’s mother Girja Ghauhan
Radhika and her mother, Mrs. Girja Chauhan, have set an example for their family, school, and community. They’ve shown that with determination and the right knowledge, we can all lead healthier and more fulfilling lives. Their story is a shining beacon of hope in the village.
Together, we can make a positive change in our lives and our communities. It’s time to eat right, stay healthy, and spread the message of cleanliness and well-being far and wide