Project Shubharambh: Empowering Adolescent Girls Against Anaemia

India’s National Family and Health Survey – 5 (2019-21) highlights a concerning rise in the prevalence of anaemia among women of reproductive age, with an alarming 57%. This signifies a 7.3% increase from NFHS 4, indicating a pressing need for targeted interventions. In the adolescent demographic, the increase is even more pronounced at 9.2%, escalating from 54.1% to 59.1%.

In response to this health crisis, Action Against Hunger India has launched Project Shubharambh, a pilot initiative in Sanand, strategically aimed at mitigating the burden of anaemia among adolescent girls.


  • Proactive Anaemia Testing and enhancing the quality of T3 (Test, Talk, Treat camps)
    • Strengthening T3 (Test, Talk and treat) camps to facilitate early identification and testing of anemia amongst adolescent girls.
  • Alleviating Burden on Specific Adolescent Girls:
    • Targeting high-prevalence areas in Sanand to focus resources on those most in need.
  • Nutrition Health Education sessions: Organizing nutrition and health education sessions and guiding adolescent girls on the basics of anaemia, its prevention, and treatment.
  • Community Engagement and leveraging festivals
    • Integrating community engagement and awareness programs by leveraging festivities of the traditional dance, Garba organized during and after the festival of Navratri to raise awareness on anaemia at the school and community settings.

Capacity & Ecosystem Strengthening:

In parallel, Action Against Hunger India is committed to strengthening the healthcare ecosystem. The organization will provide:

  • Capacity-Strengthening Training:
    • Focused capacity building of frontline functionaries of health and ICDS department by strengthening the current practices of identification, prevention, and treatment of anaemia.
  • Sustainability Measures:
    • Promoting sustainable practices of consuming locally and traditionally available iron rich foods in anaemia management to ensure long-term impact.
    • Establishing partnerships with local authorities and stakeholders to integrate anaemia prevention into routine healthcare services.
    • Promoting awareness among family members and adolescent girls to recognize the initial visible signs of anemia, encouraging adolescent girls to undergo testing, and facilitating early identification, prevention and treatment. This initiative not only aims to sensitize the community but also strives to promote the utilization of government-provided programs and facilities under anemia control initiatives such as free distribution of IFA tablets at schools and community settings and ensuring its consumption

Project Shubharambh is a holistic initiative designed to combat the rising numbers of anaemia among adolescent girls in Sanand. By combining targeted interventions, community engagement, and capacity-building efforts, Action Against Hunger India aims to create a sustainable model that can be scaled up to address anaemia challenges nationwide. Together, we strive for a healthier and brighter future for the adolescent girls of Sanand.

An Action Taken For Nutrition: Read Mayawati’s resilient story towards a Healthier Tommorow.

In the remote village of Doondabar, Rajasthan lies a close-knit community of the Shahariya tribe, heavily reliant on the forest, agriculture, and daily labor for their sustenance. Amongst them, 10-month-old Mayawati’s (name changed) family struggled to make ends meet, with her parents working as daily wage laborers, earning a meager income of INR 25000/- per year.

During a routine screening, Mayawati was identified as severely acute malnourished (SAM), weighing only 5kg with a Z-Score of <-3SD. Our dedicated team, determined to help Mayawati, engaged in extensive counseling efforts to convince her mother to admit her to the nearest malnutrition treatment center. Although Mayawati’s mother agreed initially, the celebration of festivals led her parents to reconsider, and they brought Mayawati back home after two days of admission.

Undeterred by the setback, we enrolled Mayawati into the ‘Naya Savera Programme,’ a government initiative to combat malnutrition at the community level through energy-dense nutrition supplements. Despite facing challenges of inaccessibility due to heavy rainfall and adverse weather conditions, our team ensured that Mayawati received regular EDNS supplies through the Anganwadi Worker and ANM.

Monitoring her health and growth was not easy, but our team persevered. We provided the family with extensive orientation on health practices, nutrition, WASH practices, and even cooking demonstrations, ensuring they were equipped to care for Mayawati effectively.

Her health condition had left her unable to walk and visibly irritated, but with constant efforts and regular support, Mayawati began to show signs of recovery. A few moths later, her measurements were truly heartening, with her weight at 8.1kg, height at 74.5 cm, MUAC at 125 mm, and Z-Score at 1SD

Mayawati’s transformation was astounding. From a SAM child to a normal, happy, and active little one, she even began walking, much to the joy of her family and the entire community. This inspiring journey of recovery exemplifies the power of dedicated efforts, timely interventions, and community support in combating malnutrition, even in the most challenging environments. Mayawati’s story is a testament to the impact that proactive and caring organizations like ours can make in the lives of vulnerable children and their families.

From Despair to Recovery: The Inspiring Journey of Prema – A Tale of Community Mobilization, Collaboration, and Triumph Over Malnutrition

The case story of Hiral (name changed) is a testament to the dedication and effectiveness of community mobilizers like Tejas Korada, and the collaborative efforts of Action Against Hunger India, ICDS, the health department of Jawhar P.S., and local NGOs.

In the Katkari hamlets of Nandgaon village, Tejas our community mobilizer was conducting routine screening activities when he came across Hiral (name changed) and her daughter Prema (name changed). Immediately recognizing the signs of malnutrition in the 22-month-old child, Tejas decided to screen her for further evaluation. The screening revealed that Prema’s weight-for-height Z score was -3SD, indicating severe acute malnutrition (SAM).

Tejas wasted no time and, together with an Aanganwadi worker, visited Prema’s household to inform her caregivers about the seriousness of malnutrition and the need for immediate treatment. The caregivers were counseled on various aspects of malnutrition and convinced to admit Prema to the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) at the sub-district hospital in Jawhar.

On the same evening, Prema was admitted to the NRC, where she stayed for 14 days undergoing treatment as per protocol. Tejas provided continuous follow-up during her stay, ensuring she received the care and attention she needed to recover. However, upon discharge, it was observed that Prema had only gained 0.2 Kg of weight during her time at the NRC, which was not sufficient for her full recovery.

Recognizing the need for further intervention, Action Against Hunger India, ICDS, the health department of Jawhar P.S., and a local NGO jointly organized a health check-up camp for SAM and MAM children who were not showing progress despite treatment. Prema was referred to this camp, and transport arrangements were made to ensure her attendance.

During the camp, Prema underwent a thorough examination, and her blood and sputum samples were sent for testing. The results revealed that her hemoglobin levels were dangerously low, necessitating a blood transfusion. Additionally, it was discovered that Prema had developed a pediatric tuberculosis infection, and she was immediately put on medications to begin her treatment.

Throughout this challenging period, Mr. Tejas Korada continued to provide unwavering support. He conducted home visits to ensure Prema was receiving proper medication as directed by the medical officer.

In November, as part of routine follow-up, Prema was screened again, and the results were heartening. Her weight had increased to 8.00 Kg, and her height remained at 71 cm. Her weight-for-height Z score was now at -1SD, indicating that she had successfully overcome malnutrition and was on the path to recovery.

The success of Prema’s treatment was not only due to the efforts of the healthcare professionals and the community mobilizer but also because of the accountability and dedication shown by Prema’s caregivers. The timely and effective referral to institutional services played a vital role in ensuring Prema received the necessary medical attention and recovered from malnutrition.

Empowering Change: Shaneen Sheikh’s Inspirational Journey in Maternal and Child Healthcare Advocacy

Shaneen Sheikh’s (name changed) journey in Nehru Nagar slum became an inspiring case study for the dedicated team working on maternal and child healthcare. At 27 years old, Shaneen lived a modest life with her husband and children in a rented house, with her husband being the sole breadwinner for the family. It was during her second pregnancy that she enrolled with us in our healthcare program aimed at supporting pregnant women and new mothers in the slum.

Throughout her pregnancy, the healthcare team diligently visited Shaneen’s house, providing her with essential prenatal care and educating her about the significance of exclusive breastfeeding for her newborn. Shaneen seemed committed and assured the team that she was following their instructions carefully.

In November, Shaneen gave birth to her baby, and the team continued their regular visits. However, during one visit in April, Shaneen informed the team that she had visited Cooper Hospital and obtained the necessary medicine for her baby’s condition. However, she also revealed that her family had started giving complementary feeding to the baby, contrary to their earlier advice on exclusive breastfeeding.

The team didn’t lose hope and persisted in educating Shaneen about the significance of exclusive breastfeeding until the baby reached six months of age. They explained the potential risks of introducing solid foods too early and the benefits of breast milk for the baby’s overall health and development. Shaneen, despite her family’s pressure, promised the team that she would not initiate any complementary feeding until her baby completed six months.

Shaneen’s determination to prioritize her baby’s health and follow the team’s guidance even amidst familial pressures impressed the healthcare workers. Her willingness to embrace change and learn about better healthcare practices made her a role model for other mothers in the community.

The success story of Shaneen Sheikh and her baby became an example of how education, persistence, and genuine care can make a significant difference in the lives of vulnerable families. The healthcare program in Nehru Nagar slum continued its mission, inspired by Shaneen’s journey, to improve maternal and child healthcare outcomes in the community.

Unveiling Project Sampurna: Sculpting a Healthier Tomorrow in Ankleshwar, Gujarat!

The launch of Project Sampurna in Ankleshwar, Gujarat, supported by Glenmark Life Sciences and implemented by Action Against Hunger India, marks a pivotal moment in our collective journey. The project adopts a comprehensive life cycle approach, seamlessly integrating health and Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) to provide holistic support to the community.

As part of the initiative, Project Sampurna will conduct a robust baseline assessment, anemia screening in adolescent girls and screening for malnutrition amongst children. Our commitment extends from the pre-conception stage in girls through adolescence, incorporating Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) interventions aligned with a 1000-day approach.

This project is poised to make a significant impact on the health and well-being of mothers and children up to 5 years old. We ensure timely referrals for facility interventions when necessary, ensuring that every child receives the care they need for a healthy start in life.

Our shared goal is to sculpt a robust, anemia-free India by addressing health challenges at their roots. The project is a testament to the transformative power of unity, illustrating how collaboration can pave the way for a healthier and brighter future for all.

This initiative is not just about addressing immediate health concerns but is a long-term commitment to fostering a community that thrives. Join us in this journey as we work together to create a meaningful and lasting impact on the lives of the mothers and children we aim to serve. Together, we can build a healthier, brighter tomorrow.