The state of Madhya Pradesh is home to a large tribal population and various unique cultures. Although tribals account for over 20% of the total population of the state, most of these tribes are characterised by low income, and low literacy rates.
The district of Dhar, located in western Madhya Pradesh, consists of 13 blocks of which 11 are classified and tribal by the Government of Madhya Pradesh. Agriculture and forest produce, practised for generations, serve as the main occupation and have been consistently affected by low yield, resulting in low income. To cope with inconsistent income, in most families’ adults spend the entire day on the field or for paid labour while children are often left to fend for themselves. This coupled with poor child feeding practises and lack in diversity in local diet has resulted in a high prevalence of undernutrition among children.
National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad in its study found that the under-nutrition levels were as high 33% for wasting, 54% for underweight and 47% for stunting. Given the above figures, almost 50% of children under five within the district of Dhar are under nourished.
Action Against Hunger began its operations in Dhar in November 2015 and we work in close to 300 villages. We identify children under 5 years of age suffering from acute malnutrition, refer them to the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres (NRC), educate mothers on nutrition and sanitation and build capacities of frontline Government workers.
Our Dhar program has 3 major pillars of intervention
Apart from working with the community, we also train Anganwadi and ASHA workers on identifying early signs of malnutrition and refurbish anganwadi centres to make them a playful and inviting place where children can learn and grow.
We work in 145 villages in Dhar reaching out to close to 1000 malnourished children and a total population of 1,56,046.