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We Can't Do It Alone , We Need Your Support
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Thursday, 21 June 2018

4th International Yoga Day -2018



Happy Yoga Day !

Yoga is not only a form of exercise to improve out physical health but it is also becomes a genuine spiritual practice. Making us mentally & physically awake.Yoga helps us to understand one’s self, once we understand that, we are close to  God & super natural powers.
Yoga is a dynamic participation in one’s life. It motivate & inform us to bring harmonious relationship between all other living beings and bring more closer to one’s self and super natural power.
Quote “Yoga not only bring healthy body & mind but also bring wisdom” –Gaurav Kashyap .


Friday, 15 June 2018

Happy Eid Mubarak !


Eid Mubarak !To Everyone ! May Allah's blessings light up the path and lead to happiness, peace & success .

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Anemia in India


Anemia has been plaguing the Indian population at incredibly high rates for decades, and while the government has been trying to implement programs to lower the rate of this deficiency among Indian people, there have been ongoing calls for a more effective effort to be made. According to the World Health Organization, 63.7% of Indian women and 22.3% of Indian men were anemic in 1958. In 2016 these numbers had dropped to 53.1% for women and had risen to 22.7% for men. So while it could be argued that the public health effort has been helpful at least for women, it is also very plausible that there are outside factors affecting these numbers, especially because we see a slight increase in men suffering from anemia. In fact, while government programs do provide iron supplement pills for children and pregnant women (low iron is one of the main causes of anemia) very few people are actually receiving these supplements, and of the people who do receive them, even fewer are taking them regularly due to lack of understanding about what they are.
So, the question remains now... how can you tell if you are anemic? And if you are, how can you treat it? How much cause for concern is there really? First of all, let’s talk about what anemia actually is. There are different levels of anemia deficiency, so someone could have mild anemia and never even realize it. In more severe cases, anemia can seriously interfere with one’s day-to-day activities and even be life threatening. When someone is anemic, it means that they carry smaller amounts of something called haemoglobin in their blood. Haemoglobin helps carry oxygen through your veins to reach your organs and the rest of your body.2
Some common symptoms of anemia are fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and numbness in extremities. If you are concerned that you may have anemia, reach out to your doctor. They can ask you to get a blood test which will reveal your red blood count cell and tell you your haemoglobin levels- this will be under the blood test section called CBC (Complete Blood Count). Since one of the main causes of anemia is low iron levels, a good way to avoid this deficiency is through a healthy diet including lots of leafy dark green vegetables like spinach, soybeans and peanuts, and if you’re non-veg red lean meats and organ meats. Citrus fruits and other foods with lots of Vitamin C are also great for keeping anemia at bay. If you are already eating lots of these foods on a regular basis and are concerned you may be anemic, reach out to your doctor. While iron deficiency is the most common cause, anemia can also be genetic or may be caused by parasites. 3
Remember, in most cases, anemia is mild. If are anemic and your symptoms are mild, likely all you will need to do is adjust your diet or add a supplement. Whether or not you have anemia, it is important to be aware of the symptoms so that if you or a loved one begin to experience them you will know what to do for relief. If you have a teenage daughter or know a woman who is pregnant, be sure that you speak to them about anemia. These groups are at high risk: menstruating girls because of the blood loss and pregnant women because they need to support a whole extra little person with nutrient-rich blood.
HEEALS is trying to raise awareness about anemia because it is such a big issue in India. If you would like to volunteer with HEEALS or learn more about what we do, reach out to us at : communications@heeals.org and don’t forget to check out our social media!


-Rachel 
wash & intern coordinator 








source
Picture : HEEALS 
1 http://www.indiaspend.com/cover-story/making-india-anaemia-free-can-india-achieve-what-it-has-failed-to-for-70-years-39256
2 https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-anemia.aspx
3 https://food.ndtv.com/health/anemia-in-indian-women-causes-symptoms-and-steps-for-prevention-1410155

Monday, 11 June 2018

Child bride in India !


I grew up in a country where some children dream of their wedding day; The dress, the location, and the dancing all seem like components of a magical day that signifies spending the rest of your life with the person of your dreams. I also grew up in a country where some children do not; Instead, they dream careers, or adventures, or education, or family. The nuances of what marriage means is less important as the main difference here: In much of the Western world, we have a choice of who we marry, and when we marry. Yet, for over a quarter of children living in India, this is not the case.


As HEEALS is an organization that seeks to empower local Indian communities in the sector of health, education, environment and livelihood, we thought it would be appropriate to focus a blog post on a prominent issue that has an effect on almost all of these areas: Child Marriage. This post will focus on defining child marriage, exploring its justifications and impacts, analyzing what the government has/is doing to stop it, where the government is lacking, and finally, where third-party organizations have a potential to bridge this gap.

Child marriage is defined as a marriage to which either of the contracting party is a child; For girls, a child is considered one below the age of 18, and for boys, a child is considered one below the age of 21.

Child marriage is something that is ingrained in societies worldwide, and the justifications for this inhumane practice can range. For some, the reasoning for child marriage could be cultural, in that it is justified by traditional patriarchal attitudes that see the female child as a burden to be married off as soon as possible. For others, the decision could be economical; Some parents see child marriage as a route to secure the female child’s economic future. In addition, from an economic perspective, many still participate in the act of giving and receiving dowries, despite the illegality as of 1961. In this sense, a dowry is less expensive relative to the youthful age of a female bride, encouraging early marriage. Finally, another common belief suggest that child marriage is a protection for girls against unwanted male attention and promiscuity, though in reality, child marriage opens the door to cycles of sexual, mental and emotional abuse. From this perspective, child marriage is seen as a way to ensure chastity and virginity of the bride.

Regardless of the various justifications for child marriage, the impacts of this practice are detrimental all the same. Physically, child marriage is cited as a prime cause for high maternal and infant mortality, as well as inter-generational cycles of malnutrition. Child marriage exposes young girls to early motherhood, reproductive tract infections, STIs, HIV/AIDs and other health complications. It provides the legal sanction for engaging in sexual activity and procreation, amounting to sanction for sexual abuse and rape. In extreme cases, female foeticide results in the buy-in of young brides, particularly in states with a skewed sex ratio; some girls are victims of “fake marriages”, after which they are trafficked for either sexual exploitation or for labour. From a psychological perspective, child marriage leads to a sudden decline in social networks for young girls, with such social isolation posing challenges to promote their own health, development and well-being. On top of this, it imposes social and decision making roles for children who are not mentally or emotionally prepared, preventing them from obtaining education in the meantime. As a whole, the practice of child marriage is a blatant violation of rights to care and protection, basic rights to good health, nutrition, education, freedom from violence, abuse and exploitation.


The first measure taken by the Indian government in preventing child marriage was the “Child Marriage Restraint Act” (CMRA), or the “Sharda Act” of 1929. This act prohibited marriage involving girls below the age of 15 years old, and boys below 18. Amendments to the CMRA in 1978 sought to make the act more effective, as well as to raise the minimum marriageable age by three years (18 for girls, 21 for boys). The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA) was established in 2006 to overcome constraints in the former legislation in effectively dealing with the problem of child marriage, and still exists as the primary legislation dealing with child marriage today. The PCMA applies to all citizens of India regardless of religion, with exceptions for the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Pondicherry.

Under the PCMA, child marriage is an offence punishable with imprisonment of up to 2 years, or a fine of $100,000 (1 Lakh), or both. Those who can be punished under this law include: whoever performs, conducts or directs child marriage, a male adult above 18 marrying a child, or anyone having charge of the child at the time. Child marriages are voidable and can be annulled when sought within a period of 2 years after the child becomes a majority, or, if a minor, when filed through a guardian. The PCMA also specifies that the adult husband (or guardian of husband if a minor) must pay marriage to the minor girl until her remarriage. The legislation designates the role of Child Marriage Prevention Officers (CMPOs), empowered to provide all possible aid to children affected by child marriages.

In addition to the PCMA (2006), other laws that may provide protection to a  child bride include the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act (2000), The Domestic Violence Act (2005) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (2012).

Despite the PCMA having been implemented to overcome constraints in the former CMRA, government intervention is still lacking due to a limited detailed knowledge of how to apply the laws, as well as little trust in institutions in general. Although the PCMA has outlined the prohibition of child marriage on a legal level, it has done little to enforce said policies in many (primarily rural) communities across India. Even in communities where there is knowledge of the PCMA, individuals feel that traditions and norms supersede laws and institutions. In these cases, officials and CMPOs have limited capacity to go against the community that they, themselves, are a  part of.

Yet just as there is a lack in government ability to transform policy into action, so is there a potential for NGOs to fill this gap with information. By increasing awareness in communities through gender sensitization programs, community-based workshops and educational programmes, NGOs have the potential to finish the job that the government began in creating the PCMA, by encouraging communities to act on implementing it. In addition, NGOs can serve to check loopholes in the provisions of the PCMA, correcting shortcomings in order to strengthen the law. Finally, NGOs can intervene through reporting witnessed cases of potential child marriage scenarios in communities where members feel obligated to stay silent, acting as an impartial third party without any reservations to reporting these cases to CMPOs.

As an organization, HEEALS works in the implementation of capacity-building workshops in schools and rural communities in states across India, educating populations about the truth about child marriage and empowering communities to report these cases as they arise. In addition, we work in creating content that gives a firsthand perspective of the child marriage situation in rural India.

I encourage whoever reading this, from wherever you are reading this, to research how this practice informs your home, your  country, and finally, your globe. Noting that the only difference between me and a child bride in India is privilege and opportunity is a harrowing yet crucial realization.





-Jayde! 





Sources:
Child Marriage Handbook
UNICEF- Child Marriage
CRS India Case Studies
Poster : HEEALS

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Happy World Environment Day -2018 !


Beat Plastic Pollution ! Go Green & Save Our Environment !!




Happy World Environment Day 2018

This year world environment day 2018 theme is Beat Plastic Pollution .Plastic is giving slow poison to our environment everyday. before it is to late ,we should stop using it .We have to adopt and use bio-degradable product and Eco -friendly product . If we really want to make our environment safe for our future generations . It's never too late to start so from today onwards lets say no to plastic bags!On World Environment Day ,Let's join together to beat plastic pollution and make our city plastic free. Please Do not ask for polythene bags while doing shopping ,Use you Eco Friendly hand bags like Jute or home made hand bags .

Come Join Us Today ! Please contact us at: communications@heeals.org





The Thorn in India’s Environmental Side: Open Defecation and a Review of Swachh Bharat



Happy World Environment Day from all of us here at HEEALS! In honour of this important day, this blog post will reflect on India as this year’s global host for World Environment Day, with specific focus on The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation’s “Swachh Bharat Mission”, and it’s goal of making India Open Defecation Free (ODF) by 2019.

India is the open defecation capital of the world, with just under half of the population - 564 million people - unable or unwilling to use a toilet.[1] Beyond the obvious and devastating impacts that this has on Indian health, open defecation is a serious environmental concern for several reasons. Human waste introduces toxins and bacteria into the ecosystem that cannot be broken down in a sustainable time, relative to the amount that they are released. This buildup of microbes harms aquatic systems and the life that occupy them. Open defecation also contributes to eutrophication, preventing light diffusion and oxygen from reaching life underwater. Above the surface, even the smell of human waste in excess pollutes the surrounding air.[2] One often hears of open defecation from the perspective of it's health impacts, and for good reason; However, regarding open defecation from an environmental lens provides a more nuanced and complex perspective to the issue.


On October 2nd, 2014, the Prime Minister of India launched the “Swachh Bharat Mission” with the objective of facilitating a clean and ODF country over a five-year time span. The strategy for implementing this massive task includes augmenting the institutional capacity of districts to allow for behaviour change activities at the grassroots level. The program also intended on providing more flexibility to states, so as to incentivize local communities based on individual context and maximize coverage.[3] The mission places priority on facilitating behaviour change, as many rural communities are unaware of the health and environmental impacts of open defecation, and therefore see it as more convenient than using a toilet.

So, with just over a year left until the projected “ODF India”, let’s explore how the project has performed; The Swachh Bharat website suggests the facilitation of 17 ODF states since 2014, with a grand total of 73,680,690 household toilets built since October 2014.[4] The mission has reached 62.48% of its goal, and while nowhere near the projected 100% ODF, one must commend the mission on having made it this far. With a population size like India’s, making any claim for completeness - especially regarding something as ingrained in society as open defecation - is quite unlikely to be achieved. Nonetheless, 62.48% is quite significant. The five districts with the highest ODF coverage are ordered as follows: A & N Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Chandigard, Chattisgarh, and D & N Haveli.

Now for the projects downfalls. For a project that claimed to give more autonomy to individual states, there is a significant gap in the project implementation that leaves Low-Income States (LIS) behind. The four listed LIS - Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh - lack the same progress as their neighbouring states in terms of ODF districts. For example, of the 33 districts in Assam, only 11 were declared ODF, and the verification information is not listed on the website. In Uttar Pradesh, only 7 out of 75 states were declared ODF, and of those 7, only 2 were actually verified ODF.[5] This is in comparison to states such as Haryana, Gujarat and Chattisgarh, where 100% of districts were both declared and verified as being ODF.

While it makes sense to contextualize local realities by regulating Swachh Bharat at a state level, it does not help to ignore state capacity in the process- without aiding Low-Income States reach the same level of progress as those more capable, Swachh Bharat becomes less of a national mission, and more of a fragmented mission open to states who are able to implement it properly.

This World Environment Day, let us reflect on our own individual capacities to do better for our world, and take these capacities into account in our advocacy work. Let us raise each other up in the process of creating a better and more sustainable planet. Happy World Environment Day!

-Jayde 
WASH and Menstrual Hygiene Intern Coordinator





source:

[1] http://www.teamswachhbharat.in/get-the-facts.php
[2] https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/how-open-defecation-affect-human-health-environment-and-solutions.php
[3] http://swachhbharatmission.gov.in/sbmcms/index.htm
[4] http://swachhbharatmission.gov.in/sbmcms/index.htm
[5] https://sbm.gov.in/sbmReport/Report/Physical/SBM_VillageODFMarkStatus.aspx

Tackling Plastic Pollution


At HEEALS, one of our main concerns is keeping our environment healthy. We’re living in an age where single-use plastics are everywhere, especially in the hot months when people switch from their paper cups filled with teas and coffees to cold beverages in plastic cups. We wanted to write a special blog post for World Environment Day – especially because this year India is the host and the theme is “Beat Plastic Pollution.” To be totally honest, doing the research for this blog post was devastating, and showed me personally how much more informed I need to be about environmental issues and how much more I need to be doing. So, without further ado, here is a fact list that will break your heart.
·         While India has a lot of visible plastic pollution, there is actually less produced here per capita than in most other countries- and by a long shot too. On average, Indians use 24 pounds of plastic in a year, and when you think about how light plastic is, you realize that this is quite a lot. On the other hand, Americans are using an average of 240 pounds of plastic per year- and while I couldn’t find the numbers for Canada it would be safe to guess that it’s around the same amount 


A plastic bag can take up to 1000 years to decompose. A plastic bottle takes around 500 years. A foam cup can take between 50 and 100 years.

·         Throughout the world, 20,000 plastic bottles are purchased every single second. That’s 1,728,000,000 plastic bottles purchased every day- adding up to a grand total of six hundred and eighty billion, seven hundred and twenty million every year (680,720,000,000).
·         Trash on beaches and in oceans often get carried north by the water currents and eventually wash up onto Arctic shores. In 2017, Dutch scientists found an average of 575 pieces of garbage per 100 metres of beach on Jan Mayen Island, dubbed the “most remote” island in the north of the Atlantic Ocean. By comparison, they found only 375 pieces/100m on Dutch beaches, even though these areas see an immensely greater number of humans every day.
As devastating as reading these facts can be, it’s important to remember two things: (1) the world can’t be expected to change overnight, but (2) we all have a role to play in conserving the environment and no effort is too small. This can mean bringing a reusable bottle or thermos next time you go to Starbucks, or carrying your empty plastic bottle a little further until you get to a recycling bin rather than just a trash can. It can mean writing to politicians and business owners, starting initiatives if you have those positions of authority, and teaching kids young about the importance of keeping our Earth clean.
In India right now there are some really cool initiatives going on. The organization ExtraCarbon will pick up your recyclables for you and even pay you for them as well! Unilever has developed a method that will allow us to recycle PET bottle indefinitely, with none of the health and safety concerns that have been present in the past, and in areas of India there are even roads being made out of recycled plastic!
HEEALS has also been doing some work in the recycled plastic sector. We have a “Say ‘No’ To Plastic” campaign promoting the use of reusable bags over plastic ones and have a catalogue where you can purchase recycled hand-made jewelry and crafts to support the NGO. We also have a partnership with BlueHorse Group, who make and sell eco-friendly and organic products. If you want to know more about what HEEALS is doing to help the environment and learn how you can get involved, reach out to Gaurav Kashyap, director, at gaurav@heeals.org.

-Rachel 
WASH and Menstrual Hygiene Intern Coordinator




Sources:





Sunday, 3 June 2018

Greatest Challenges Of 21st Century –Water Crisis In India .


As per United Nation Food & Agriculture Organization ( UNFAO-2011),irrigation and livestock segment use 91% of water withdrawal in India. About a third of the water withdrawal comes from underground water. Ground water level is depleting at a very fast rate due to its use in irrigation, industrialization, urbanization and along with rural and urban water supplies. Currently 54% of Indians suffers from water crisis .There is urgent need of sustainable and judicious use of water resources. We all know that water is essential for life .But we must know that it is not unlimited. Our fresh water resources are limited. Indian warm climate dry up lakes, river and water bodies’ .Indian population is making burden on the existing water resources. As per latest data, per capita availability of water in India has fallen from 6,042 cubic meters in 1947 to 1545 cubic meter in 2011, this could reduce further to 1341 cubic meter to 1140 cubic meter by 2025 & 2050 respectively. India is the world largest user of ground water, which provides 80% of the county drinking water. About 84% of irrigation comes from ground water. United Nation world water report 2018 recommends nature based solution for water.
Huge deprivation in access to water is a silent crisis, which is mainly experienced by the poor 7 middle class family. It also raises the inequality between rich and poor to access the basic need. There is tremendous inequality in access to clean safe drinking & sanitation at a household level. Overcoming the crisis in water & sanitation is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. As Mahatma Gandhi Says “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed”.
Water Mafia: There is huge shortage of water in urban slums connecting with NCR belt (National capital region) Water in unauthorized colonies and urban slums are regulated by water mafia. Turnover of water mafia is kept on rising by supplying water to people at inexorable price. They sell water through water vendor and tanker. I guess government is fully aware about their business .Instead of controlling and stopping them, they are encouraging water mafia to run their business peacefully. Stopping of water mafia will save wastage of water and save us from water crisis.

Water Facts in India
  1. Underground water table are falling
  2. In equality in irrigation ,A wealthy farmer extract more water & access to more water than small & marginal farmers .This widen the gap between wealthy farmer & poor farmers .Which results in huge gap in crop production and income generated through agriculture .
  3. Caste rules that govern access to water now weakened, but we still hear the news of upper caste domination on water & water bodies.
  4. India is facing a fresh water crisis. India has just 4% of the world’s fresh water — but 16% of the global population.
  5. Half of India’s water supply in rural areas, where 70% of the country’s population lives, is routinely contaminated with toxic bacteria.
  6. Every year, about 600,000 Indian children die of diarrhea or pneumonia, often caused by toxic water or poor hygiene.
  7. India spends more on Military budget than on water & sanitation.
  8. With rapid industrialization & urbanization ,underground water table is falling .Situation is even more worse in metro cities ,Like Delhi,Gurgaon & Noida .Report shows that there are presence of arsenic ,mercury & fluoride content in the underground water table.
  9. More than 60 -70% of India is vulnerable to drought & 1/3 of the country’s district have faced more than four drought in the past decade .Drought prone areas increased by 57% since 1997.
  10. There are about 5 million springs across India, nearly 3million in the Himalayas region alone. Which are facing threat of drying up due to increase in water demand?
Let’s go back to Ancient Indian Water Conservation Techniques.
We can save India from falling into water crisis ,by just adopting our ancient traditional techniques .Which are less expensive than Modern techniques .Archaeological evidence shows that practice of water conservation is deep rooted in ancient India. Indus valley civilization has excellent system of drainage system & water harvesting. Ancient Indian kingdoms had one a lot of work on water harvesting. Some of the water conservation techniques are Bawari,Talab Jhalara ,Baoli etc. and adopt Micro –Irrigation  practices ,More crops per drop .Drip & sprinkler irrigation system . Drip irrigation irrigates the root zone of the crop not the whole surface.
Over half of the world will face water scarcity .27% of the global population or 1.9billion  people live in potential severely water scarce areas .About 73% of the affected people live in Asia.
Many  NGO are working hard to protect the environment and save water program .HEEALS  NGO from last eight years has been creating awareness workshop  program regarding water ,hygiene ,sanitation, safe drinking water and judicious use of water in schools and communities and encouraging children and communities to adopt clean water ,sanitation ,hygiene and save water practices .They are creating awareness workshop on water and water conservation ,rain water harvesting ,not polluting the water ,river and water bodies ,Do not put waste materials into rivers , prevent leakage of water from tapes & pipes ,Creating awareness in residential areas to check over flow of water from tanks ,Use only safe drinking water at school and workplaces ,Do not litter around school & toilet ,Use dustbin in school and community places , Avoid wastage of water while washing clothes & cleaning utensils and Use of waste R.O Water for cleaning & gardening .They are organizing water workshop in schools ,villages and communities area and time to time organized drawing competition in school related to save water ,hygiene and sanitation .

“SAVE WATER SAVE INDIA”
-Gaurav



Source : UN world water report (Facts)
-Ministry Of Rural Development India
Picture : HEEALS