Manthan

The Manthan project was funded by Dempo Mining Corporation Pvt. Ltd (currently owned by SESA Goa Limited) as part of the of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative.

Objective
To promote the health and well-being and improve the educational outcomes of adolescents through the development, implementation and evaluation of a school based intervention package.

Activities
The Manthan Project was a part of Strategy 1 of the SHAPE Program. Initially six School Health Counsellors (SHCs) were trained and placed in the five schools to implement the intervention package at the universal, group and individual level (as described in the SHAPE program).

A total of 1,142 students from the five MANTHAN schools benefited from the services between the years 2008-2010.

A Needs Assessment carried out in the schools identified the following as priority needs to be addressed in the schools: under nutrition, lack of motivation to study, lack of career guidance, lack of study skills, learning difficulties and bullying.

Unlike 2008-09, where one SHC covered two schools, in the second year each school was provided with one full time SHC. The intervention was made more structured and regular supervision was provided by the senior staff through weekly supervisory visits on-site. The monitoring and evaluation process has also been made more robust based on lessons learnt during the pilot phase of the program.

A nutritional status report on the BMI data collected from the children in the 5 schools was disseminated to all schools on 14th Nov 2009 as part of the children’s day programme.

Salient Findings:
We identified a high prevalence of under-nutrition in secondary school children. Four out of every 10 boys and three out of every ten girls were underweight. Approximately 60 per cent experienced hunger due to inadequate food consumption, which they reported adversely affected their academic performance. Underweight students had caloric intakes lower than the recommended amounts, indicating that they were underweight because of lack of food. The findings support the need for routine monitoring of nutritional status and high-calorie supplementary nutrition programmes for secondary school children.

The programme benefitted as many as 14 schools in the rural mining belt of Goa in the talukas of Sanguem, Bicholim and Darbandora, reaching nearly 5000 students with around 225 teachers participating. Around 600 awareness generation meetings of various kinds were held for students, parents and teachers, along with 79 School Health Promotion Advisory Board Meetings.

Saganth has been appointed a technical consultant by the Goa Education Development Corporation under the Directorate of Education, Government of Goa to implement the school health counselling programme across 76 super school complexes (covering approximately 480 secondary schools) in the 11 talukas of the state (approximately 1.2 million population). The Goa Education Development Corporation will appoint 67 school health counsellors and 15 supervisors, and Sangath will be responsible for providing training, monitoring and supervision services to this programme.