BALCO culminates two-month celebration of initiatives boosting Mother and Child Care

The celebration included a range of activities under Poshan Maah and Breastfeeding Week

Balconagar; 3rd October 2023: Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO), India’s iconic aluminium producer and a subsidiary of Vedanta Aluminium, successfully concluded a two-month long celebration of maternal and child health initiatives as part of its flagship project, Project Arogya. The celebration included a range of community awareness efforts as part of Poshan Maah and Breastfeeding Week within the company’s nearby communities.
Conducted in collaboration with the District Health Department and several community partners, the celebration promoted healthy nutritional practices focused on breastfeeding, nutrition, and overall personal well-being. Together, they positively impacted over 1000 women from 32 Anganwadi centers in the community.
Highlighting the impact of BALCO’s health interventions under Project Arogya, Mr. Rajesh Kumar, CEO, and Director of BALCO, said, “BALCO’s community development efforts envision a brighter, healthier future for all, one where every child can thrive, and every mother receives the care she deserves. As we recommit to a focus on Maternal and Child Health during Breastfeeding Week and Poshan Maah, BALCO reaffirms its commitment to nurturing healthier, happier communities through consistent and transformative efforts.”

Expressing her appreciation towards BALCO’s initiatives, Shrimati Jaya Rathiya, Sarpanch of Bela village in Korba, said, “The awareness sessions organized by BALCO on anemia and cancer were truly enlightening. In addition, the breastfeeding support sessions have been instrumental in normalization conversations around women’s health. These interventions are set to make a profoundly positive impact on maternal and child health in our community.”
Aligned with Poshan Maah, an initiative launched by the Government of India, BALCO, through its Project Arogya health initiative, observed a dedicated Nutrition Month in September with the aim of addressing community healthcare, raising awareness about the importance of nutrition, and promoting healthy nutritional practices, especially among pregnant and lactating women, as well as mothers of malnourished children. The month encompassed a range of activities such as:
• Awareness Sessions on Anemia: The month-long celebration featured a series of activities, including awareness camps and sessions led by nutrition experts and gynecologists, covering topics related to nutrition and anemia.
• PD Hearth Sessions and THR Training Programs: These sessions include Positive Deviance/Hearth (PDH) sessions, an effective behavior change program for rehabilitating and sustaining malnourished children without medical complications. It also included training on Take-Home Rations (THR), which is a supplementary food product provided by the Women and Child Development Department) for improving the nutrition levels of mothers and children.

• Recipe Competitions: Interactive discussions, Q&A sessions, and a ‘Vyanjan Pratiyogita’, a special recipe-making competition utilising THR
• Godh Bharayi: BALCO celebrated traditional Indian Baby showers of 30 pregnant women from the community, providing them with expert advice to enhance their nutrition intake.
• Distribution of Poshan Badi Kits: BALCO also encouraged the development of Nutrition gardens with the distribution of Poshan Badi kits containing fruit and vegetable seeds and fruit saplings to malnourished households, in collaboration with Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK).
• Nutrition for Men: The month also featured special awareness talks that emphasized the nutritional needs of men, highlighting and creating awareness on men’s health.

BALCO also observed ‘Breastfeeding Week’ under Project Arogya with the theme ‘Let’s make breastfeeding and work, work’ in the month of August. The campaign, underscoring the significance of breastfeeding, especially for women engaged in agricultural and household activities, included several initiatives such as:
• Awareness Sessions on Cancer Prevention: Expert health professionals, including Cancer Specialists, Gynecologists, and Doctors from BALCO Medical Centre, BALCO Hospital, and Government Hospital, conducted informative health talks with women and lactating mothers in the communities, covering breast cancer awareness, early detection, risk factors, self-examination techniques, and proactive breast health practices.
• Health Check-up Camps: These were organised in partnership with the District Health Department, offering free diagnostic tests for diabetes, blood pressure, and hemoglobin, emphasizing on the importance of regular medical check-ups.

Project Arogya, a comprehensive health initiative by BALCO, provides quality primary healthcare services, with a focus on maternal and child health. The project has successfully reached over 30,000 individuals through curative and preventive healthcare services. Over 3000 mothers and 430 malnourished children have benefitted in FY23. The project has trained over 600 mothers on recipes from Take Home Ration (THR) and developed 150 Nutrition gardens at Anganwadi centers, households of pregnant & lactating mothers and malnourished children.

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