TEZPUR, Dec 6 - Of late, a ray of hope has been ushered in by the ABITA-UNICEF joint initiative in various tea gardens across the region on health, nutrition, WASH, child protection, child rights and on the educational front.
This project is being implemented in 114 tea estates under three zones of ABITA till date, thereby improving the health and nutritional status of the tea garden people and promoting social harmony, socio-economic development, adolescent empowerment, good practices in regard to sanitation and hygiene, to name just a few of the positive outcomes.
After implementation of this programme, changes in respect of behavioural practices, social norms and taboos, health, nutrition, education, child protection and rights were noticed.
While talking to this Correspondent, the Coordinator of Zone 3, ABITA, Rajdeep Bhuyan said that it takes time and patience to bring about these changes amongst the tea garden population.
�However, through our sustained efforts under the programme, we have been able to bring about significant change among them, which is a big achievement for us,� Rajdeep said, adding, �as part of our continued effort from November 24 to 28, a series of programmes, including workshop on young reporters� network building with special focus on journalists� way of news reporting, 5W &1H, inverted pyramid, finding stories and issues, importance of photograph and video and it�s impact, interview, questionnaire, soft news, etc., were also organised.�
Further, cooking demonstration with the objective of imparting knowledge on proper method of preparation of complementary feeding with locally available ingredients and diet diversity for children below 2 years, sensitization meeting with child protection committee members to create awareness on strengthening their roles and responsibilities to create a child-friendly, healthy and hygienic tea estate, were also part of the itinerary.
A special event called MIYCN&WASH, i.e., to orient ASHA workers for quality service delivery with special focus on maternal-infant-young child nutrition, growth monitoring, screening and management were conducted respectively in Adabari Tea Estate of Sonitpur district, Hatigarh and Gormur tea estates of Udalguri, besides Bargang and Barmahjan tea estates of Biswanath wherein officials of ABITA Zone-3, Mrinmoy Baruah, Secretary, Rupjyoti Khaklari, WASH Consultant, Tilumoni Gogoi, Programme Coordinator of Child Protection, Gautam Rajkonwar, Programme Coordinator for Nutrition, Subrata Guha, Programme Coordinator of WASH, Rajdeep Bhuyan, Programme Coordinator, Bhaktimala Choudharee, Young Reporter Coordinator and Shambhu Boro, Tezpur Correspondent of The Assam Tribune, took part.
It may be noted that the two-year long programme that started from the last part of 2018 has brought in perceptible changes in terms of bringing about institutional delivery and reduction of unsafe home deliveries in tea gardens. This in turn has reduced both infant and maternal mortality in the tea gardens.
More importantly, many gardens have set an example by reaching 100 per cent institutional delivery target. Regular ante-natal check-ups, well-structured awareness generation and efforts of the adolescent and mothers� groups have been the key to this achievement.
�We have also noticed that in the gardens where this project is being implemented, routine immunization has improved considerably. Awareness created for early registration of pregnant women and timely pre and anti-natal check-up is being done, which has been largely beneficial for the pregnant women in the gardens,� the coordinator of the project mentioned.