In a recent major development, Poddar Foundation in partnership with the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and Mr. Kewal Kapoor, a well-known IEC expert who runs the largest project in India on ageing, are set to embark on a massive movement to curb issues such as obesity and ill-health plaguing the country from a very young age. In an initiative to curb health issues that arise at a much later stage in life, Poddar Foundation aims at proactively targeting the subject from the very beginning by offering preventive measures that can be tackled during childhood itself by altering the health and food environments starting with schools across Maharashtra.
According to a latest report by World Health Organization (WHO), around 22 percent prevalence rate of obesity was reported in children and adolescents aged between 5-19 years over the last 5 years in India. Globally, the trend is high among children under five years of age with at least 41 million found to be obese or overweight in 2014.
Poddar Foundation’s Managing Trustee, Dr. Prakriti Poddar and IMA Maharashtra have tied up to create awareness in arresting obesity, mental health deterioration and its stigmas along with other related areas of good physical and mental health. IMA has committed its 37,000 member doctors and medical professionals to fight obesity on the ground level. Poddar Foundation will extend its support to this much needed initiative and will develop a first of its kind, digital repository for children, parents and teachers to educate, empower and assist them in this important venture.
Commenting on this thoughtful initiative, Dr. Prakriti Poddar, Managing Trustee, Poddar Foundation and an expert mental health therapist and counselor, said, “We look forward to garner suitable support from the Government of Maharashtra and relevant corporate CSR programs. As a team we are aggressively taking concrete measures to ensure that the program accords the highest priority as it affects the future wellbeing of our country. Mr. Kewal Kapoor and IMA as our partners will bring on board years of wisdom, experience and knowledge to ensure a wide reach of preventive measures capable of curbing such issues right from the child’s formative years.”
Dr. Jayesh Lele, President, Indian Medical Association (IMA) also expressed his views on this association. He said, “Various studies suggest that mindfulness can help treat or avoid obesity in children as it helps them control overeating impulses. We intend to consciously treat such kids through this initiative and create a strong awareness
about it. This is a perineal issue amongst growing children which needs immediate attention.”
The project’s first phase will go live, to give a digital identity across schools in Maharashtra, such as Symbiosis International School – Pune, Dhirubhai Ambani International School – Mumbai, Anubhuti School – Jalgaon, D. Y. Patil International College – Pune and provide them a one-point access at any given time. IMA Maharashtra will bring invaluable medical research and on ground initiatives that will see the online material and communication disseminated across its huge network spread across the state. A step by step approach to build this empowerment repository both in English and Marathi will have audio, video and other options available in the medium to make an efficient and exhaustive communication on this subject comprehensible to all strata.
Mr. Rohit Poddar, Managing Director, Poddar Housing, said, “We are delighted to have Dr. Prakriti take on the role of the Managing Trustee of the Poddar Foundation. With her at the helm, we see our Foundation contributing great value to addressing and helping solve the issues caused by mental health deterioration. In this day and age of stress, strife and inequalities, tools such as this one, that Dr. Poddar is developing, with the help of the Government of Maharashtra and concerned Corporates via their CSR initiatives, will be a valuable mechanism for awareness and greatly help in the mental health space. I wish Dr. Poddar all the success in this important mission of addressing mental health and the well-being of our Nation.”
The Poddar Foundation will soon be making a presentation to the Honorable Chief Minister of Maharashtra to press upon the urgency of a time bound program to be implemented.
About Poddar Foundation:
A family foundation in existence since 1983. This foundation has been focused on the upliftment and charities provided in the areas of Art, Education and Health.
The Foundation’s focus narrows and deepens into a single minded focus of Mental Health Awareness in India.
Photo Caption: Dr. Prakriti Poddar, Managing Trustee, Poddar Housing