Suraksha’s first project was holding a medical camp for all the children at the Indira Nagar Slum in Vizag in December 2008. We identified 32 children (0-5 yrs) in the slum who were malnourished and/or had severe medical issues. Families of these youngsters were given “Suraksha Medical Cards” entitling each child access to an individual volunteer. The children were supplied with high-nutrient ladoos—made of powdered groundnuts, barley and jaggery. These sweet tasting food supplements contain essential nutrients that provide proteins, iron and calcium.
We have held 14 monthly nutrition camps since that day and, in the latest medical check up, several kids have shown improvement in their height/weight ratios, Iron, Calcium and Vitamin A levels. The instances of immediate medical need were rare but, in those cases, our volunteers immediately took the children who needed medical attention to the local doctors. We continue to monitor these kids along with the new babies/lactating mothers in this slum. We have hosted a number of Adult Education and Women’s Rights awareness programs. We are hoping to replicate our success in Indira Nagar in other slums around the city. We have held a medical/nutrition camp at ASR Nagar slum and have started supporting ICDS/Anganwadi Classroom efforts in this slum.