The study was conducted as part of a project being undertaken in the 28 villages by Akhil Bhartiya Samaj Sewa Sansthan (ABSSS), Chitrakoot, with support from ChildFund India (CFI), New Delhi.

The 28 villages, like the rest of Manikpur block, fall under a region known as Patha, which is a rocky upland with poor soil and severely degraded forests. The major part of the population comprises people of the Kol adivasi group, which is designated as a scheduled caste in UP. Victims of exploitation for generations, the Kols are a highly marginalised and poor people with low educational and health levels. Many of their villages are in remote locations which are frequented by dacoit gangs. Public services in the area are scarce abd ineffective.

Poor health and nutrition levels are most alarmingly reflected in child malnutrition figures. According to data collected for 938 children of 0-5 years in the 28 villages through a health camp organised by ABSSS in association with the Community Health Centre (CHC), Manikpur, 21% of male children and 19% of female children are severely malnourished.

Considering the above, the ABSSS-CFI project has been designed with the objective of “enabling all children from 0-5 years and pregnant and lactating mothers living in poverty to lead healthier, more productive and self-sufficient lives through an integrated approach to tackling the health and nutrition issues”.

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