On a recent tour of one of the many sites of our Suaahara project, which empowers women, their young children and their communities to build better lives through better nutrition, I met Bindu Bogati. She and her 13 months old son, Sushant looked healthy and well. She told me she feels happy looking at her son because he is so big and strong, something that was not always the norm for the children in her ward.
Bindu Bogati with her 13-month-old son
80% of brain development occurs during the first 1000 days of a child’s life — from conception to age two — and this fact was a key motivator in keeping with the program. As she continues to learn about keeping her baby healthy and strong, she has taken the path of the classic idium “prevention is better than cure,” adopting exclusive breast feeding for six months and adding eggs, rich source of protein, as part of her son’s meals. In addition to the nutritional benefits, she has easy access to eggs through the poultry provited through the program, which she raises right at home. Prior to her participation, she found eggs rarely available at her local market. She has also learned the best ways to mix in grains, green vegetables, and meat to make porridge more nutritious and the importance of washing her hands when caring for her young child to prevent infections and diseases like diarrhea and cholera. She proudly showed me her soap and hand washing styation nearby her house.
Her father-in-law, Rudra Bahadur Bogati, also praised Suaahara for providing such high egg yielding improved breeds of poultry, seeds and education to their family. He is also a big fan of the Suaahara weekly radio show, which promotes these healthy practices in an entertaining soap opera format. “The Bhanchhin Aama radio program has spiced up my life!”