Maternal Knowledge, Wellbeing & Child Health: Evidence from the Indian Slums
There has been a rise in the incidence of malnutrition in India between 2018 and 2019. The pandemic has made matters worse, putting those already vulnerable at most risk. The main objective of this project is to understand whether raising awareness among mothers (the primary caregiver) about the importance of a balanced diet, nutritional value of different fruits and vegetables, traditional home-made nutrient rich food items, basic hygiene and breastfeeding can help improve the health and wellbeing of both young children and their mothers. Moreover, since mothers are primarily responsible for childcare, their poor mental health may also have an adverse effect on the growth and overall development of the child. This can be due to negligence in infant and toddler care—such as improper feeding practices, exposure to infection, and inadequate psychosocial care. The reseachers therefore also plan to see if improving mental health and wellbeing of mothers and training them to manage time and health, improves childcare quality and eventually child health.
In the proposed project, the researchers will focus on 1,200 mother-child pairs (one pair from each household) from 60 different slums in Kanpur in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The implementing partner shall be Shramik Bharti, an award-winning NGO. The experimental intervention will be provided to women from households in the slums of Kanpur Nagar district in Uttar Pradesh, where Shramik Bharti has a strong presence and has been implementing similar training programmes focused on maternal and child health for more than a decade.