Steadfast Campaigns for ‘Anaemia-Free She’ in NGO Drive to Tackle Grave Issue of Anaemia among Women

Steadfast Campaigns for ‘Anaemia-Free She’ in NGO Drive to Tackle Grave Issue of Anaemia among Women

In a society where women often neglect their health while prioritising others, Team Steadfast took a significant step towards empowering women by initiating an iron-deficiency anaemia awareness campaign, Anaemia-Free She, in collaboration with the Shashakt Foundation. With a focus on educating adult women and adolescent girls about the importance of iron in preventing this rampant health issue, the campaign aimed to instil knowledge and promote healthier lifestyles among the participants. Anaemia is a grave health concern in India - as per the National Family Health Survey 2019, one in two Indian women is anaemic. The session was attended by over 60 adult women and adolescent girls.

Putting a Spotlight on Nutrition

A certified nutritionist from Steadfast took the stage to explain the vital role of iron and other nutrients in maintaining overall health and its role in preventing anaemia, particularly for women navigating a male-dominated society. Addressing common misconceptions, she highlighted the significance of iron-rich foods and the detrimental effects of poor dietary habits. She gave practical tips, such as avoiding the simultaneous consumption of iron and calcium-rich foods, and explained the importance of informed dietary choices.

Educating about Hygiene & Well-being

In addition to dietary considerations, the importance of hygiene in maximising iron absorption was emphasised by the nutritionist, who underscored the necessity of handwashing and regular blood tests to assess nutritional needs accurately. By empowering women with actionable advice, the session aimed to share a proactive approach to health and well-being.

Motivating Words by Steadfast Athlete Dr Varuna Raina

D. Varuna Raina, a Steadfast Athlete and mountaineer, captivated the women with her inspiring journey of overcoming adversity. Her resilience in the face of a debilitating head injury served as a powerful testament to the indomitable spirit of women. Encouraging participants to take on challenges and pursue their passions, Dr. Raina's words resonated deeply, inspiring hope and determination.

A Token for Better Health

Steadfast Nutrition also distributed its premium nutrition and wellness products, including its iron supplement, Peanut Butter Crunchy (rich in protein), a tube of SteadLytes, an electrolyte supplement. Each item symbolised a commitment to women's health and empowerment. The gesture summarised Steadfast's dedication to fostering small change through education and action.

Taking a Deeper Dive into Iron Awareness

Iron deficiency is a significant public health concern, particularly among women and adolescent girls. The symptoms of anaemia can range from fatigue and impaired cognitive function to more severe conditions such as hair fall and shortness of breath. Despite its prevalence, iron deficiency often goes undiagnosed and untreated due to a lack of awareness and resources.

By shining a spotlight on the importance of iron, Steadfast aimed to address this knowledge gap and empower women to take proactive steps towards better health. The session provided participants with comprehensive information about the role of iron in the body, the signs and symptoms of iron deficiency, and strategies for increasing iron absorption.

The nutritionist's presentation dived into the nuances of iron-rich foods, highlighting the importance of incorporating varied sources into one's diet. From leafy greens to legumes, the beneficiaries learned how to diversify their food choices to ensure adequate iron intake. She gave practical tips, such as pairing iron-rich foods with sources of vitamin C to enhance absorption and provided actionable strategies for optimising nutrient intake.

Beyond dietary considerations, the session also emphasised the importance of overall nutrition and hygiene in supporting iron status. 

Inspiring Story of Resilience

Central to the success of the iron awareness campaign was the inclusion of inspiring stories from women who have overcome adversity. Dr Varuna Raina's journey from a near-fatal head injury to conquering the highest peaks served as a powerful reminder of the strength and resilience inherent in every woman. Her message of perseverance and determination resonated deeply with participants. When the women during the session put up the question: “Here, I am learning how to operate and manage a food cart for 5 months, so how to manage my cart amid a men-dominated space”. Varuna inspired the women to not fear anything, and speak up for themselves proudly and face their challenges with courage and conviction.

In addition to personal anecdotes, the session highlighted the broader societal implications of iron deficiency. Women and adolescent girls play crucial roles in their families and communities, yet their health and well-being are often overlooked. By prioritising iron awareness and education, Steadfast aimed to empower women to take control of their health and advocate for their needs.

Steadfast Nutrition Building a Community of Support

At its core, the iron awareness campaign was about more than just disseminating information, it was about building a community of support and empowerment. Through interactive activities and open dialogue, participants had the opportunity to share their experiences and learn from one another. Adolescent girls, in particular, spoke candidly about their journey towards empowerment and the importance of breaking down barriers to menstrual health and other factors.

By fostering a sense of solidarity and sisterhood, the campaign created a safe space for women and adolescent girls to express themselves freely and access the resources they need to thrive. From practical tips for improving iron intake to emotional support and encouragement, participants left the session feeling empowered and uplifted.

The senior program manager at Sashakt was all praises for Steadfast Nutrition’s initiative. He congratulated the Steadfast team for the informative and educative session and welcomed the inputs from experts in the fields of nutrition and sports.

“Your Team has been really useful, I feel the audience today was a mix of adolescent girls and women of different age groups. Many of them were first-generation learners and people who are just starting to consume this information, it's great and for those who are even two steps ahead, it was really helpful for them. So, I would like to thank all of you and to the people who were actively engaged and tried to make sure everyone was comfortable during the conversation. Thanks,” he said.

Looking Towards the Future

As the iron awareness campaign drew to an end, the impact of Steadfast's initiative was palpable. The women at the foundation departed with a newfound sense of knowledge, equipped with the education they need to prioritise their health and well-being. By empowering women and adolescent girls with information, support, and resources, Steadfast has laid the groundwork for lasting change in communities across the globe.

On being asked about the learning from the session, a young and passionate girl from the session thanked Steadfast for educating her about the importance of iron.

Moving forward, the ripple effects of the campaign promise to extend far beyond the confines of the session, shaping healthier, more resilient communities. With continued dedication and collaboration, Steadfast aims to build a future where every woman and girl has the opportunity to thrive, empowered by knowledge and supported by a community of strength and solidarity.

In conclusion, Steadfast's iron awareness campaign represents a significant milestone in the journey towards eradicating iron-deficiency anaemia. By prioritising education, advocacy, and community building, Steadfast has not only raised awareness about the importance of iron but has also catalysed meaningful change in the lives of women and adolescent girls. As we look towards the future, let us continue to work together to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and create a world where every woman has the opportunity to live her healthiest, happiest life.

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