Karuna project was started in October 2012 with an aim to fight the ravages of children under nutrition and reducing malnutrition by improving nutrition security through multi-sectoral approach. Dr.Shambhunath Singh Research Foundation (SRF) with the generous contribution of Save the Children has rolled out Project Karuna in 190 villages in Pindra block of Varanasi district. The broad key intervention areas of this project is to establishing multi sectorial coordination and convergence of health, ICDS, Panchayat, Education, Social Welfare, Agriculture and Jal Nigam departments on one platform at district and block level. Besides, facilitating nutritional actions through VHSNC at panchayat level and strengthening VHND at village level, organizing training for capacity building of frontline workers and making ICDS more effective through inclusion of Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) have been an integral part of this project. For behaviour change of community and improving IYCF and safe handling practices among them,Karuna project has given inputs through nukkadnataks, prabhatpheris, puppet shows, videos shows and healthy baby shows, drawing competitions, recipe competitions, wall writings and handwashing practices. Nevertheless, advocacy for convergent nutrition actions through media, networks, alliances, government and NGO have been also the focused area of Karuna. The direct coverage population of the project is 70,000 including children, adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and indirect coverage is more than 2, 00,000 population of the Pindra block.
- Since inception of the project, two-thirds of SAM children admitted in the outpatient therapeutic programme have been cured. The incidence of SAM identification has been reduced from 1.67 per cent to 0.22 per cent and MAM identification from 5.91 per cent to 2.13 per cent during the last three years.
- Representatives of key departments have issued various letters for improving the supply of equipment, and drugs as well as services during VHND, VHSNC and ICDS.
- Engagement of Pradhans in VHND sessions increased from 2% to 30% till October 2015.
- On the occasion of National Nutrition Week, nutrition insecure zones in Pindra were identified and seeds of iron rich and high vitamin crops were distributed to 500 SAM and MAM families.
- Karuna has provided training on VHIR and ICDS MIS registers to ASHA, AWW and their supervisors in Pindra block on record updation. As a result of it, more than 80per cent ASHA’s VHIR and 77 per cent AWW’s ICDS MIS registers has been maintained in Pindra block.
- Project staffs and frontline workers including AWWs and ASHAs have been doing regular counselling through home visits and mother group meetings. Home visits and inter personal counselling by AWWs has been improved from 11 per cent to 71 per cent.
- Supply and services of VHND sessions has been also improved. IFA tablets availability increased from 55% to 85%. Vitamin A solution is available in all VHND sessions. BP apparatus availability increased from 39% to 73%. Presence of 3As increased from 75% to 94%. Weight measurement of pregnant women increased from 54% to 96%. Abdominal check-up increased from 20% to 31%. BP measurement increased from 27% to 56%.
- Due to regular advocacy at district and state level since two and half years and Joint visits of CDO, CMO, DPO and NRHM officials conducted at hospitals, issues regularly discussed in district level meetings, NRC has been established and made functional in Din Dayal Upadhyay hospital.
- CDO, DDO, DPO, CMO, ACMO, DPRO, DPM of NRHM, MOIC and CDPO along with Karuna staffs have done 67 joint visits done in Pindra to mobilise and sensitize the block level officials for improvement in their works.
- 72 per cent VHSNC meeting has been organised every month in accordance to the micro plan in Pindra and untied fund utilization has increased from 1 % to 53%, in which following items like carpets and chairs for VHND, weighing machine, stethoscope, blood pressure machine bleaching powder etc. have been purchased.
- 87 SAM families linked with MNREGA programs and Samajvadi Pension Scheme respectively and 2 families have got BPL cards, 26 SAM and MAM families have been linked under Lohiya and IndraAwaas Yojana, while, 8 new hand pumps have been installed and 13 old hand pumps have been re-bored because of the continuous efforts of Karuna staff.