SARVAM, Sri Aurobindo Society observed National Nutrition Week from September 1-7, 2022 as part of its project – Enlightening the Minds of Community on Nutritional Food.
National Nutrition Week is celebrated from September 1 to September 7 every year in India. As part of its mission, it aims to promote the importance of a well-balanced diet that provides our bodies with all the necessary nutrients for the functioning of our bodies and for the maintenance of our emotional and physical health. The week-long programme is helmed by The Food and Nutrition Board of India, under the aegis of the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
National Nutrition Week focuses on a particular theme each year and addresses it with the launch of various programs. This year's nutrition week theme is - 'Celebrate A World of Flavors'.
SARVAM organized various programs on account of the nutrition week to reflect the national theme of nutrition. The nutrition week started with a meeting with Auro Sakhis and its coordinators. The program director stressed the importance of spreading awareness about nutritious food in the community and ways of enjoying it. There were children, students, youth, women, and the elderly among the participants throughout the week.
On Day 1: An interactive discussion between the Auro Sakhis, coordinators, and volunteers on nutrition week and creating community awareness. With a joyous heart, they took the pledge to sincerely carry out awareness raising. It was planned to send The Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s quotes related to nutrition and balanced foods through What's App on all the 7 days as a means of creating awareness.
On Day 2: Women of SHGs were assisted by SARVAM to inaugurate a micro food processing plant to start making nutrition powder. The local panchayat officials and community leaders were impressed by the nutritional talks delivered by the Auro Sakhis, and they all promised to support spreading of nutrition awareness among vulnerable communities.
On Day 3: On this day, the students pledged to eat nutritious food and avoid junk foods. Also, there was a discussion on the importance of consuming nutritious food at a young age. Students were encouraged to write slogans expressing the importance of nutritious food and to draw their own pictures illustrating nutrition. Activities were conducted. Preschoolers were motivated to consume healthy nutritional foods.
On day 4: During a talk about nutrition for old age people in their respective villages, the Auro Sakhis encouraged the older people to participate in a competition of giving tips on nutritional foods with medicinal value. There was a lot of satisfaction experienced by the aged women involved in the competition whose contributions were very valuable. The respect given to the vulnerable elderly people made them feel happy and dignified.
On Day 5: A nutrition program providing nutritional food preparation was developed in the project villages, with selected women invited to take part. Each of them prepared their favourite healthy food. At the end, they shared the prepared food with each other and it was a wonderful get-together for the women, as well as a discussion about the importance of nutrition foods.
On day 6: The cooking competition on nutrition food without fire was attended by Auro Sakhis, coordinators and volunteers. It was a joyful preparation with nutritional ingredients as well as getting the judges' congratulations. The judges congratulated the participants for their delicious preparations which had good nutritional value.
On day 7: The community women discussed about adding in more nutritious food to their daily menus. They vowed that ‘nutritious food joyous life’ will be their motto. Many women planned on starting their own kitchen gardens. They pledged not to give junk foods to their children, and flew balloons as a sign of their commitment. A model of group kitchen garden was also established by the SHG women.
Overall, this was a week filled with abundant health and delicious food. The week also concluded with positive results and bright hopes for a healthy community and happiness.