My name is Sanjay Barf and I am from Mokhada in Palghar, Maharashtra. My family includes my parents, 6 siblings, my wife and 2 children. I completed my BA in Palghar and due to unavailability of employment opportunities, decided to pursue MA. I was the first person in my family to complete post graduate studies.
After completing my masters from Nashik in 2012, I settled there for a decent job and after a year got the opportunity to work at Pragati Abiyaan. We worked on apprising communities on employment related schemes. I got to work closely with vulnerable communities and understand complex social issues. To be closer to my home in Mokhada, I joined BIAF in 2014 and subsequently Action Against Hunger in 2017.
Looking back, I realize that I was always interested in working for my community. Palghar, for instance, has a high tribal population characterized by illiteracy and unemployment. This leads to lack of knowledge on child care and nutrition, while the seasonal migration due to unemployment disconnects children from schooling and health care. The prevalence of malnutrion in tribal communities is therefore not a surprise. I believe it is my duty to work for the upliftment of my own people, educate then on nutrition, child care, sanitation and ensure that we beat malnutrition in the long run. We as a team currently work on the 1000 day model of prevention. By working with pregnant mothers, we ensure a healthy pregnancy, safe delivery and optimum child care till the child reaches 2 years of age. We are working hard to prevent malnutrition in the first place.
I hope someday Mokhada will be a place where everyone is aware and equipped to raise healthy children. I am very happy to work for my own community provide our children the opportunity to grow up strong and ready to make the best of every opportunity they get as adults.