Our new volunteer Mr vijay has been actively trying to find out about problems faces by communities living in Virar...Please go through some of the mail trails of volunteers on this issue...
I did small survey among the peers working in Village Panchayat and Tahsildar office, revealed the followings:
Among the others, local children are currently facing problems of One: lack of regular food and nutrition: Secondly: Proper Education in the Municipality schools across the Districts.
Add to that, it was found that, many families struggle to meet daily needs and where some children rely on school lunches as their only meal of the day.
And in summer worst for them, as during the summer schools are not in session the school children faces serious problems to survive.
In this, regards now need to set priority among the Education or Foods. I think any body want to survive is the first most priority than educating them selves, any way I am thinking in this direction and how to take this matter ahead.
We need some back ground information like - no. of members per family and no. of working members per family. Do all employable people getemployment and if not then why not.What is the main occupation of the people of the village ?Do the women also go out to work ?Do all the children go to school ? etc......I do not know if these villages are agricultural villages ???? What do the women of the village do ? Do they also work in the fields during the day? If they do then it would be difficult to start vocational training classes for them.
This info would help us to pinpoint the exact areas in which we could help. An idea is to start classes for children during the vacations and all children who come to the classes would get a free meal and maybe a small snack packet eg. peanuts and jaggery, chikki, etc to be consumed later. As you said, we can provide the raw materials and the women can get together or take turns in cooking it. Also, children who have siblings below the school going age could also bring them along for the free meal. Simple food like wheat porridge, mix veggie khichadi etc would be easy to cook and very nutritious. But this would very strictly have to be only for those children who attend the classes. Nutritionist Dr.Usha, one of the many doctors who help out DreamIndia from time to time, had said that we can implement this project very systematically starting with the weight of the children before the project starts and then keeping tracking of health and weight and then send the complete project report to WHO etc who may be able to help us implement the programme in other places also.
However, if we start this programme , we are going to need dedicated volunteers for at least a year in order to be able to see some results and record them. So, either we need to start a centre at Virar or get the co-operation of another NGO which may already be active in that area.WE WILL NEED VOLUNTEERS WHOCAN GO TO THE SITE REGULARLY.