Preventing Harmful Effects on Children by Financially Empowering Families

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The well-being of any nation relies heavily on its citizens and relies on them to maintain the physical and social infrastructure of society. This requires them to be physically healthy, emotionally stable, educated, and responsible for performing civic duties while pursuing better outcomes in life.

Importance of strengthening families

Of all age groups, children are obviously the nation’s most valuable assets and depend on strong families to provide them with sufficient nutrition, medical and educational support in order to grow into healthy adults. Despite this required attention, 36% of India’s children under five show signs of chronic malnutrition while 19% suffer from acute malnutrition, according to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-21.

With regard to levels of education, 28% of women have never attended school and only 10% have completed 10 years or more of schooling. This relationship between low levels of adult education and poor nutritional standards maintained for children highlights the importance of empowering marginalized families, especially in the rural hinterland of India.

Correlation between economic hardship and child development

Families experiencing economic hardship may have serious difficulty in providing adequate care for their children, which ultimately leads to their abandonment. The median number of years of schooling is much higher in urban areas than in rural areas and is directly proportional to household wealth, according to the same NFHS-5 study. This requires young adults and parents to achieve a minimum level of financial security in order to provide for their children and support them with adequate counselling, skills or job training support to increase their employability.

In fact, fundamentals like immunization coverage for children aged 12-23 months increase dramatically with an increase in their mother’s schooling, with 80% of children whose mothers have been in school for 12 years or more having received all vaccines basic. The corresponding vaccination rate is only 68% for children whose mothers do not attend school. To avoid this, it is important to target the most vulnerable sections of society and empower them to build their capacity to care for the young children who are the future of a nation.

Stimulating poverty reduction by developing rural communities

With the aim of eradicating poverty among rural households and relieving them from extreme stress during dire situations like the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to provide livelihood support to young families while also working at the development of these communities to achieve self-reliance. With this goal in mind, various organizations provide essential services to children, such as education, health and nutrition services, while at the same time enabling their parents to earn a living by providing them with educational support. skills-based.

After ensuring that adults are able to find employment to support their families, it is important to raise awareness of vital family health practices, such as annual checkups, timely vaccinations, and access to existing support mechanisms such as anganwadi workers, who provide nutritional services, supplementary or supplemental health care. to children and pregnant women under the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme (ICDS Scheme) in India today.

Importance of supporting healthy families with key interventions

For India’s burgeoning social development sector which includes many non-governmental organizations Organizations (NGOs) working to prevent adverse socio-economic impacts on children, it is necessary to cover all aspects necessary for the creation of healthy family structures. This involves providing educational/academic support & advice for young adults and raising public awareness of issues affecting children. These may include communicating the importance of early vaccination, how to maintain a healthy diet for young children, and essential hygiene habits to prevent the spread of disease.

In addition, these organizations could provide nutritional supplements to families who cannot afford adequate food, in order to solve the problem of malnutrition that is rampant in rural areas. By integrating educational programs focused on imparting skills or vocational training as well as family empowerment initiatives, these organizations can move forward and help create families with sustainable livelihoods. To sustain all these initiatives, nurturing a network of Self Help Groups (SHGs) that will function as effective community development agents in these rural pockets can go a long way in bridging the current gap and creating a stronger India.

Building for a better future

The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the situation for many parents around the world, and particularly in Asia, as they struggle to maintain their livelihoods to access health care, nutrition and education. vital education. While India has made many strides in areas concerning family health through various flagship programs launched by the Indian government, it will take a concerted attempt by all organizations involved in the social sector, as well as government agencies. , to bring about a lasting currency change.

The goal is to ensure that every child in our vast country has access to quality food, education and developmental opportunities, which will in turn increase their chances of becoming a healthy and capable person. that will support the nation on its journey of growth. To this end, Strengthening Families will act as a vital cog in the great wheel of family health support, with a clear focus on educating young parents and empowering Indian children to reach greater heights. .

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