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By the Brahmaputra (Vol: 54)

C-NES Newsletter

(For the period October– December 2021)

Workshop on Health and Nutrition

The State Alliance on Food, Health and Nutrition, of which C-NES is a part, was formed soon after the onset of the pandemic in May 2020 with the involvement of Oxfam. The Alliance has been pushing to set up nutritional kitchen gardens at the community/school and individual level. It is important for the community to have control over food resources to safeguard future generations and promote organic and indigenous food. The World Food Summit of 1996 defined food security as existing “when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food preferences for an active and healthy life.”

Participants at the workshop

On 6th October 2021 an interactive workshop was organised by the Alliance. Participants discussed various possibilities of encouraging local communities to focus on their individual and community level kitchen gardens with locally available resources to improve their nutritional status. Traditionally such gardens are present in all homes. Communities need to be made aware of the potential of such gardens. Providing better seeds and flood and drought resistant crops with increasing climate change were some of the steps which needed to be taken.

Jennifer Liang, Co-founder of the Ant, (the main goal of which was to work for the development of the northeast region through voluntary action) at the Technical Sessions  at the workshop. The ant was started on 13th October 2000 by Sunil Kaul (who had been a medical doctor in the army and later left to work in villages first in Rajasthan and since 1996, in Assam) and Jennifer Liang (a trained social worker of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai who also came to the northeast in 1996). The two were supported in forming the ant by (Late) Sh. Ravindranath Upadhyay, a reputed Gandhian of the Sarvodaya Movement who had worked in remote villages of Assam for over 40 years.

The World Food Summit of 1996 defined food security as existing “when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food preferences for an active and healthy life.”

Taking part in the session, Communications Officer Bhaswati Goswami spoke about how C-NES, through its boat clinics, has been aiming for holistic community development. The contribution of BCRS towards building community awareness on nutrition from locally available resources and  cultivation of morninga as a means of better livelihood is also shared by her. VHAA, ANT, NEN, and OXFAM were some of the participants of the session.

VHAI Review meeting

Noor Jamal, District Coordinator (Goalpara) briefing about the project progress.

The third phase review meeting of the project titled; Empowering community-based institutions for routine Immunizations demand generation and supporting Risk communication and Community Engagement for Covid-19 was held on 17th November 2021 at Guwahati, Assam. Organised by the Voluntary Health Association of India in collaboration with UNICEF. Abhinoy Sinha, Assistant Programme Manager, Noor Jamal, District Coordinator (Goalpara) and Anup Kalita, Accountant attended the meeting on behalf of the organisation. Noor Jamal presented the progress, achievements and challenges of the project in his district. The review meeting also discussed the progress of the project, further identification of Left-out, Dropout and Resistant (LODOR) children and challenges of immunisation.

News from the field

The Barpeta Unit 1 team on their way to conduct a camp in West Adurichar village on November 2021. Innovative transport is often used by health teams to reach remote island villages where boats are the only means of communication under challenging physical conditions.
Morigaon Boat Clinic team visiting Kasem II Char Island Village for Covid Vaccination on 10th November 2021.
Very often the boats get stuck with the onset of winter and subsequent river water subsiding. In the photograph,  the Barpeta boat clinic unit I seen getting stuck on the way to a health camp in early November 2021 with team members struggling to get it out.
Health cum Covid vaccination camp organised by the Bongaigaon boat clinic on October 21, 2021  at Mohanpur Island Village, Part II. The focus was on mobilising beneficiaries who were still not vaccinated, including pregnant and lactating women.
A new mother with her infant at a health camp in Guwalbari on October 26th 2021 by the Lakhimpur Boat Clinic team. Women and children are part of the boat clinic focus group.
The Morigaon boat clinic team after conducting a Covid Vaccination session with routine immunisation and general checkup at Nabur island village on October 2021. 33 beneficiaries were given COVID vaccines.
Family planning awareness is an important component of the boat clinics. On 28th December, nine beneficiaries were successfully inserted IUCD by Kamrup Boat clinic unit at Toper Pathar.
 11 beneficiaries were successfully inserted IUCD by the Barpeta Boat clinic unit-1 at Nirola char on 29th November as a family planning initiative.
Family planning and awareness generation on the need to have a small family has shown distinct positive results. Beneficiaries at a camp conducted by the Boat Clinic Barpeta Unit 2 during a one-on-one counselling session with health workers on 25th November 2021.
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