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Millennium Fellows at NIT Karnataka supporting women and children through project "Nurture"

Millennium Fellows at National Institute of Technology Karnataka Surathkal share their Millennium Fellowship project, Nurture, a project that aims to provide mother-child kits to provide antenatal care for mothers and to inculcate the importance of education and immunization for children.

“If the poor cannot come to Education, Education must go to him.” - Swami Vivekananda

What makes a sustainable system of development? Is it a system that enables the complete eradication of oppressiveness of marginalized communities? Or is it the idea of striving towards the end goal of empowerment and creating a long term self-sustaining system?

Our cohort consists of 8 diverse students, joining together with one motive, that was to create a change in any way that we can. For our cause to be recognized to be a part of the Millennium Fellowship Program only strengthened our need and passion for making a difference.

As part of advancing towards SDG-3, ‘Good Health and Well-being’, our team initiated a project named ‘Nurture’. The focus of this initiative pivots around the holistic development of women and children by focusing on the grassroots of their various issues. Financial barriers and a lack of awareness can deter children from pursuing their goals and can likewise prevent women from the work they wish to do or even taking care of their well-being. We want to nurture the community that nurtures us and work towards a more wholesome future for all.

From tackling issues such as Menstrual Health and Financial Literacy, we aim to empower women through education and also support underprivileged children’s learning endeavors. This led us to organize our first on-ground operation: a​ sanitary kit drive.​

Located in Bangalore, Periyar Nagar in Devarajeevana Halli is an area with many underprivileged communities residing there. Unfortunately, proper sanitation and personal hygiene are not easily accessible to women in that area, and there is a lack of awareness regarding the same. This being our first self-funded project, we learned a lot of important lessons. We supplied the women with 4000 oxo-Biodegradable pads, 100 Dettol bottles and 100 tissue packs, all distributed in eco-friendly cloth bags, ensuring 100 kits in total.

Reflecting upon our goals and progress in this initiative so far, our focus is now directed towards our various upcoming projects. As one of our projects, we aim to emphasize ​Mother-Child care​ by raising awareness regarding antenatal care for mothers and instilling the significance of immunisation of the child after birth. The percentage of Mothers in India implementing proper antenatal care is on a low, and women in rural communities are unaware of the same. We seek to provide Mother-Child kits, consisting of books, sanitary napkins, the essential information in regional languages regarding immunisation of the child and guidance in the various stages of pregnancy for the Mother. We are working towards forming a more definite structure for this project and towards hopefully widening our social impact outreach.

Educating Children and helping in providing them with a better future and more opportunities in their lives is a goal that is close to all of our hearts in Nurture.

For most underprivileged families, education is not a priority as compared to different aspects of their life and is also not easily accessible. Our goal is to encourage education as well as providing them clear guidance on the next step in their life, in accordance with their needs and financial situation. Researching in-depth about educational schemes and Scholarship programs, we aim to provide more affordable, accessible alternatives to underprivileged students that they can avail and utilise for further opportunities and Higher Studies.

We also aim to implement a ​peer-mentoring program where students educate other students through regular peer-to-peer engagement.

The Millennium Fellowship has provided us with the nudge to bring our goals and dreams to action. We made new friends, connected globally, learned what it means to be inclusive, compassionate and the importance of education and the lasting impact it has. Having the necessary tools and getting educated on the leadership traits we have to acquire to accomplish what we wish to achieve through the project was a valuable addition, something that we will carry forward in both our personal and professional journeys.

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much” - Helen Keller.

Partcipating Millennium Fellows: Adithya Lhs, Liz George, Nishchith Sriram, Prajna Hebbar, Supritha Harishankar Suraj Jagannath, Vageesha Mishra, Yash Gupta

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