Marshila’s Transformative Nutrition Education
Marshila says her life has been transformed by the India Banka Dumka Jamui program’s emphasis on agriculture, nutrition and sanitation. As a child bride, she had little knowledge about the world or ways to improve her family’s health. To her, food was for filling the belly to have the energy to work. The family generally ate only rice and potatoes and, even though lemons, guava and custard apple grew in their yard, Marshila did not know enough about them to add them to meals.
She always wondered how she could save her children from disease and malnutrition, so when the program offered agriculture and nutrition training in her village she jumped at the chance.
The first training she received through her Self-Help Group (SHG) helped her to understand the importance of nutrient-rich foods and a diversified diet for good health. She learned about “Tri-color Meals” – white for carbohydrates, green for vegetables, and yellow for protein-rich legumes. She now grows vegetables in her kitchen garden and has learned delicious ways to serve them. She has taken to heart the lessons on the importance of a clean home environment, and her children think it’s fun to wash their hands before meals.
Marshila’s SHG also gives workshops on dramatically increasing rice yields, and basic animal husbandry and veterinary skills for caring for goats. Women in her remote village, formerly isolated and hopeless, now feel they are part of the larger world. Their SHG and Village Organization belong to a wider federation whose members share knowledge and envision transformation.
Photo caption: Kitchen gardening improves family health
Photo courtesy of LWR
India Banka Dumka Jamui Program
Led by Lutheran World Relief and local partner PRADAN
12 communities, 640 households, 2,163 individuals