Lockdown Heroes: Citizen Group Fills Nutrition Gap for Poor Pregnant Women
Members of Mana Peddapuram contribute generously towards a worthy cause
The importance of nutrition for mothers during pregnancy is well documented, but the poor women of Andhra Pradesh, dependent on the government for supplements from the Anganwadi kendras, have been badly hit due to the coronavirus lockdown. Disturbed by this, an organization in the Peddapuram town in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari district called 'Mana Peddapuram' (Our Peddapuram) has decided to fill the gap.
The group led by Naresh Pedireddi, one of its founders, named the programme Matrutvam (Motherhood) and has distributed nutrition-rich kits among the poor pregnant women in the town.
"We started our programme by providing hampers to scores of pregnant women in the Dalitwada area of Peddapuram. This is one of the most impoverished areas of the town," says Pedireddi. Each hamper contains fruits such as apples, pomegranates, fresh coconuts, jams, eggs, dry fruits, biscuits, food supplements and other materials.
"Lack of nutrition during pregnancy leads to various problems during and after childbirth. We sought the help of doctors in creating these kits," says Pedireddi. The group also took the help of local Anganwadi kendra officials to identify the "poorest of the poor" to distribute these kits. "We are connecting with other parts of the town and we will support as many people as we can," says Pedireddi.
Apart from providing nutrition kits, the group has also been educating women on how they can meet their nutritional needs and also conducted prenatal yoga classes for pregnant women. According to the group, thousands of members have donated money for the cause. Mana Peddapuram has, in the past, run community-based campaigns on cleanliness, blood donation, organ donation, deforestation and other issues.