Mothers Empowering Mothers: Redefining motherhood at the Adani Foundation

May 13 , 2024 By Vivek Yadav, Head - health & nutrition

Every year, Mother’s Day comes as a sweet and subtle reminder to honour the role a mother plays in the life of us all. The day is layered with gratitude that we owe to them. We must ensure our mothers are valued, loved, respected, and taken care of every day. It is also a day to acknowledge the challenges our mothers face in their daily lives. By taking the right steps, we can empower our mothers by making them self-reliant, healthier, and stronger.

For years, the Adani Foundation has been working tirelessly for the betterment of women, and mothers, through holistic initiatives. It is building and running schools, hospitals, skilling centres, and training them to gain livelihood in its effort to make them empowered.

One of our most widespread initiatives called SuPoshan is binding the essence of education, healthcare, and creating livelihood opportunities for women. The programme is designed to benefit women and children by enhancing their health. Its impetus is on imparting awareness towards alleviating Malnutrition and Anaemia. It is targeting children in 0-5 years of age, adolescent girls, pregnant women, lactating mothers and women in the reproductive age.

One of key drivers of SuPoshan are community-level volunteers called SuPoshan Sanginis. There are responsible for spreading awareness and educating people about the indispensable importance of providing quality nutrition for mothers and children.

Our Sanginis – several of them mothers themselves – are advocates of good health and nutrition. Through their collective efforts with women of their respective regions, they are spreading the practice of healthy eating among people. Currently, the Foundation is working with 502 Sanginis across the country.

This Mother’s Day, we look at some of the powerful stories of mothers who stood for disseminating correct knowledge about eating right, their hustle for enhancing their nutritional security, and adhering to the guidance and learnings provided by SuPoshan Sanginis.

In the heart of rural India, in Neemuch district of Madhya Pradesh, lives Shanti, a dedicated mother of two young children. Sharing similar concerns that other mothers usually face, she faced the daily struggle of ensuring her children received adequate nutrition. This concern of hers was addressed after SuPoshan made its way into her village.

Shanti came in contact with a compassionate Sangini named Neetu Jat. Neetu, well-versed about her role to spread awareness about quality nutrition among women in the village, became a beacon of hope and change. Through her efforts and teachings, Shanti not only learned the importance of proper nutrition but also embraced her role as a caretaker within the community. With Neetu’s guidance, Shanti mastered the art of age-appropriate feeding for her children, ensuring they received the nourishment that were necessary for their growth.

Shanti didn’t stop there. She started to extend help by becoming a pillar of support for other mothers in the village by sharing her newfound knowledge and spreading awareness about the significance of proper nutrition.

Neetu’s guidance coupled with Shanti’s efforts have transformed the way the mothers of this region cater to the nutritional needs of their children. Shanti has now blossomed into a confident and empowered mother, forever grateful for the guidance that transformed her life and the lives of those around her.

In a remote, lush green village in Haldia in West Bengal lives Surati Khatun, a resilient mother who once faced the agonizing reality of her child being identified as severely malnourished. Surati, a hardworking labourer in the fields, found herself torn between providing for her family and tending to her ailing child.

Soon, her life started undergoing a transformation after she came in contact with Priyanka, a dedicated Sangini. Priyanka recognized Surati’s plight and embarked on a mission to bring about a change. She detailed Surati’s family about the deteriorating condition of her child and the need for urgent medical intervention and correct guidance. Through personalized guidance and unwavering support, Priyanka empowered Surati to prioritize her child's health above all else.

With Sangini Priyanka’s encouragement, Surati made the courageous decision to step away from her regular work and took her son to the Nutrition rehabilitation center (NRC) in the region. Her son was admitted there for 14 days. Gradually, he started showing signs of recovery, weight gain and improvement in appetite.

Equipped with the knowledge provided by the Sangini and her guidance, Surati embraced her role as a full-time caregiver, ensuring her child received the care and nourishment needed for recovery.

Through sheer perseverance and the invaluable support of Sangini Priyanka, Surati’s child emerged from the shadows of malnutrition, transforming into a healthy child. Surati’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of love and dedication that comes naturally to any mother.

In the heart of the bustling urban slum of Haldia, West Bengal, Pratima embarked on her journey of motherhood. She faced numerous challenges along the way, including from her family members who were entrenched in traditional beliefs. Amidst the cacophony of daily life, she found solace and guidance from Shanti Kar, a dedicated SuPoshan Sangini committed to empowering mothers like her.

Shanti’s teachings centered on essential newborn care, emphasizing the significance of exclusive breastfeeding and proper latching techniques. Through proper demonstrations and hands-on support, Pratima learned to overcome the complexities of caring for her infant.

Despite encountering resistance from her own family, Pratima remained resolute in her commitment to ensure her child's well-being. Reinforced by the Sangini’s unwavering encouragement and guidance, Pratima confronted these challenges head-on, emerging as a more confident and empowered mother, fully capable of taking care of her child.

As Pratima’s baby thrived under her loving care, her confidence soared, further boosting the bond with the Sangini. This is a perfect example of how women empower other women, and mothers empower other mothers. Together, they are now on a mission to inspire other mothers in their community, helping them embrace their journey of motherhood with courage and determination.

Salma, a resident of Nimtala village in Haldia, West Bengal, was married off at the young age of 16 and became pregnant soon after. She was determined to provide the best for her baby, but was unaware about how she could ensure she was taking care of her nutritional needs during the crucial months of pregnancy.

It was after Tashlima Parvin, the local SuPoshan Sangini, came into the region that Salma realized the necessary steps she needed to take to ensure her baby remained healthy. Tashlima tirelessly advocated for Salma's maternal health, emphasizing the importance of proper nutrition and institutional delivery. Over nine months, she not only provided Salma with essential education about childbirth and taking care of herself, but also instilled in her a sense of confidence.

When Salma went into labor alone at home, her inner strength shone through. She called Tashlima and reach out for help, demonstrating her newfound empowerment as a new mother. Salma safely delivered her baby boy and was promptly brought to the hospital. She not just carefully and responsibly delivered her baby, but also emerged as a symbol of empowerment, advocating for her own well-being and also for her newborn.

These tales reiterate the fact that mothers are the epitome of strength and resilience. By prioritizing the health of children, SuPoshan aids mothers to take correct measures to look after the overall nutrition of their kids.

This Mother’s Day, it’s time for a role-reversal. Let us come forward to take care of the one who took care of us when we were children. Let’s continue with our efforts to make mothers stronger, healthier, and happier.

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