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Hello, I’m Sakthivel, a proud fifth-grader at Panchayat Union Primary School in Kottur, Anamalai Block in Tamil Nadu. I’m excited to share my journey as a member of the Children’s Club at my school under the Eat Right Schools Project. It’s been a fantastic adventure of learning, growth, and change.

One of the first things I learned was the importance of personal hygiene and handwashing in keeping germs at bay. We had this super cool “Glitter Activity” that showed us just how easily germs can spread through our hands. It was mind-blowing! Now, I make sure to wash my hands before and after meals, after playing, and after using the restroom. I even use footwear when I visit the toilet to keep dirt and germs away from my feet.

Healthy eating was another eye-opener. I used to start my day with tea and biscuits and munch on parottas, packaged snacks, and bakery items regularly. But since I became part of the Children’s Club, I’ve been attending club meetings every month at school. We learned about the risks and consequences of unhealthy eating habits. Now, I drink water as soon as I wake up in the morning, and I’ve said goodbye to Maida (refined fluour) products, packaged snacks, and bakery items. I’ve even convinced my parents not to buy junk food for my younger brother and me. Instead, we enjoy healthy snacks like groundnut burfi and dates. We’ve also embraced local seasonal fruits and vegetables, like Vitamin A-rich carrots, which are great for our eyes.

Our school has this amazing grow bag kitchen garden. We grow brinjal, tomato, green chili, ladies’ finger, radish, and greens. These veggies are not only clean but also packed with nutrition. Inspired by this, I started a small kitchen garden at home with brinjal and tomato plants. I love sharing what I’ve learned with my siblings, parents, and neighbors.

The Eat Right Schools Project believes that children can be powerful agents of change. That’s why they established Children’s Clubs and champions in 22 selected schools, training us on health and nutrition education. Now, we’re equipped to pass on our knowledge to other children, our siblings, school management committee members, and our parents.

I’m thrilled to be part of this incredible journey. Together, we’re making a positive impact on our health and the health of our community. It’s not just a club; it’s a movement, and I’m proud to be a part of it.

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