Surguja Fulwari Initiative, Chhattisgarh

Name of the Initiative
Surguja Fulwari Initiative, Chhattisgarh

 

Initiative Champion
Shri R. Prasana, Collector & District Magistrate, District Surguja, Chhattisgarh 

 

Initiative in Brief

Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) is the main national programme on nutrition. Its resources, however, are focused more on children in the age group of 3-6 years. For the pregnant women and under-3 year old children, ICDS mainly provides Take Home Rations (THR) which are not adequate to address the gaps in dietary diversity and day care. 

 

Addressing the needs of pregnant women and under 3-year old children and pregnant women is of crucial importance while tackling the persistent challenge of malnutrition. Surguja Fulwari Initiative is an innovation to set up Community managed Child Nutrition-cum-Day Care centers called Fulwaris to focus on addressing malnutrition among under 3-year old children. 

 

Implementation Highlights

  • Tribal habitations with higher levels of deprivation and malnutrition were prioritized for starting Fulwari centers. Out of these, habitations where the local community resolved to run a Fulwari centre by contributing voluntary time for child care were selected. Gram Panchayats and Community Health Workers called "Mitanins" worked together for mobilizing the communities. The Zila Panchayat provided a grant (average Rs.50,000 per annum) to mothers’ group in each selected habitation to run the Fulwari. 
  • The Fulwari stays open for 7 hours a day, 7 days a week. Children aged 6 months to 3 years and pregnant and lactating women come to Fulwari and receive three hot cooked meals daily. Eggs, green vegetables and oil form some of the key components of food in the Fulwari. Everyday two of the mothers volunteer their time to cook and take care of children in the Fulwari. The space is contributed voluntarily by any willing member of the community. The grant from Zilla Panchayat is mainly used by mothers’ group for buying ration and vegetables for the Fulwari. Mothers, through their active involvement in running the Fulwari, also learn more on child feeding and hygiene. Mothers are also encouraged and trained to grow kitchen gardens, backyard poultry, fruit trees etc. in their homesteads. 
  • Fulwari is an innovative initiative which does not appoint any new worker nor does it need any new infrastructure and yet is able to provide nutrition and daycare services for young children. It is a sustainable model which spends Government funds directly on food for children and pregnant women and not on paying more workers. The biggest advantage is that there is hardly any gestation period in starting the Fulwari since no recruitment (of staff) or construction (of building) is involved. 

 

Impact

  • Mothers’ groups have managed to run close to 300 Fulwari centres for almost a year now with their voluntary efforts. Around 3,500 children and 600 pregnant women have benefited from the project. The initiative has succeeded in involving Panchayats in addressing malnutrition. The knowledge of mothers has also improved in terms of child-care practices.
  • A significant drop in measurable indicators of child malnutrition, morbidity and mortality has been recorded. 
  • The initiative has also succeeded as a mechanism for promoting social cohesion as community comes together for taking care of its children. It has reduced gender discrimination. Mothers are able to participate in earning opportunities (like MNREGS work) as Fulwari serves as a collective for childcare. Fulwari has also taken the practice of untouchability head-on. Children and pregnant women from all castes eat together at the Fulwari.

 

Knowledge Resources

Presentation on Surguja Fulwari Initiative, Chhattisgarh




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