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Women members of Self Help Group (SHG) were identified as community nutrition advocates and named as Annapurna. These members are trained through developed modules over various components related to nutrition and health education.

As a chain process, they are imparting trainings to other SHG women, pregnant and lactating women and their family members. On the occasions such as Village Health Nutrition day, they provide counseling to pregnant and lactating mother and children, and are coming out as change agents in the villages.

It is a very well-known fact that patriarchal system of India bound women to eat only after feeding the entire family, both in rural and urban areas. But in the tribal regions of South Rajasthan, the situation is even worse; women either get a little left over food to eat or sometimes they have to go to bed empty stomach because of shortage of food. This negligence to their health is reported to make them frail and anemic. To add to the worse, this unhealthy practice also leads to malnourishment in children.

After the intervention of Vaagdhara – the NGO, training programs started being help for improving gender equitable household nutrition. Facilitators started getting into discussion with SHG women and male members, which resulted in change of practice and behavior all over. An example of a positive outcome is that now people in these areas have started eating meals together with all family members.

As a consequence of the NGO’s efforts, the situation has changed for better. Now after the continuous work in this area for one and half year, breastfeeding practices (exclusive and complementary feeding), institutional deliveries, usage of ORS for preventing diarrhea, improve in equitable household nutrition cases have increased. These Annapurnas are continuously contributing towards improvement in nutritional status of every poor and marginalized woman and gender equitable household nutrition. Looking forward for more such development activities including food security in tribal area.

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