Shimla: Are we all healthy in Himachal Pradesh? The answer to this question is unfortunately a sadâ€¦..NO. The rural villagers of the state suffer from Improper and insufficient diets, resulting in malnutrition. There are many reasons for this serious issue affecting our people and they include not only poverty but also lack of nutritional education, replacement of higher quality traditional foods, and gender issuses and inequities between young girls and boys.
Poor, uneducated parents lack the proper knowledge to give essential nutrient diet to their children especially during their early, formative years. The resulting malnutrition can often affect their physical and intellectual development.
My Himachal funded it’s fourth consectutive HEALTH MELA in Kullu working with the medical staff of the Jibhi CHAI project in the Upper Banjar Valley. Jibhi CHAI (part of Lady Willingdon Hospital (LWH), Manali) was under the direction of Dr. Jeph Mathias and included staff and doctors from LWH, local villagers, and volunteers.
The NGO, SAHARAâ€™s Kala Jatha (Street Theater) gave performances with health issue themes in the local language that was very well received.
My Himachal provided donations of about $4500 USD (Rs.191,385 INR) for the mela, said Mr. Avnish Katoch, President of My Himachal.
He further said, “I was surprised to see the feeble and malnutritioned condition of many children and My Himachal is thankful to Dr. Jeph of LWH, Padam Singh and others for realizing this five day Health Mela.”
The Health Mela started on May 26th of this month and will end on May 30th, 2008. Approximately 800 children from 22 villages will be examined all from the Khabal and Shikai Ghat Panchayats of the Banjar Valley. Nutritional supplements are being provided along with health and dental exams.
The mela started from Tandi panchayat of Banjar, Kullu and moved ahead to four more villages, as told by Katoch.