The Need:
Data illustrates the vulnerability of children and poor families, as well as the risks to families forced to limit health spending, discontinue schooling and exposed to malnutrition.

Project priorities: 

  • To provide preschool education with supplementary nutrition to underprivileged  children
  • To provide education to underprivileged children
  • To help parents and families understand the importance  of education and health
  • To prevent the exploitation of poor children
  • To organize medical camps for the underprivileged

To organize medical camps for the underprivileged:
Children aged 2-6 in slums do not have access to quality pre- school education. The children are identified by the project team, women from local SHGs who know families and willing to send their kids to school

Details of location:
Cultivating Healthy Habits through Education project is located in Mumbai and specific area of operation is stated below


Geographic, social, cultural, economic and political determinants of the strategy considered
It has been observed that geographic, social, cultural and economic factors in isolation or combination of each other plays determining role on the educational, indicators, health indicators and overall development indicators of an individual or  the society. The students whose parents are educated and connected well to the information, networks and trends in the education are better off. But same cannot be said about uneducated parents who are engaged in informal labour. The social, economic background and socialization in the typically backwardness scenario becomes a handicap students. The students from the slum area of Mumbai and Thane along with rural and remote tribe area struggle for desired social infrastructure in the form of better schooling, conducive educational atmosphere, motivation and aspiration. The students and families continue without or lack of awareness on educational opportunities predicating their future life. Students continue to grapple with lack of awareness, lack of quality education in the school and colleges and more so with the economic constrains. Under such prevailing situation the fate of the students are mostly sealed and compelled to advance towards informal labour.

Keeping this socio economic background in mind, efforts were employed to accommodate social, economic and geographic area as determining strategy during implementation of the “Cultivating Healthy habits through Education” project. The project keep into account few factors like social status, economic realities and access to the resources from the slum area.

Orienting the concept of formal education to slum children so that children develop an interest and thus reducing future drop outs and involving parents in educational advancement of children.

23 balwadis in different slums in Andheri (E). Trained teachers and assistants are engaged in learning through play, music, drama, puppets, stories and songs, personal hygiene, discipline, character building and personality development. Basic literacy, number skills and general knowledge imparted. Nursery rhymes, which builds their vocabulary of Marathi, Hindi. Introduction of English. Use of toys and teaching aids (audio/visual medium)

Parent-teachers meetings, beneficiaries committee meetings and meetings with teachers. Teachers document all the activities. Visits by project functionaries.


  •  Every Balwadi centre has averagely 31 children of the age group 2 to 6 years old.
  • Children are taken care for 3 hours per day in the balwadi.
  • Supplementary nutrition through local registered SHG’s are served daily, and Monthly Weight recorded in each month and grade of child aware to Parents in every month in Parents meeting and awareness done about health and Nutrition.
  • Healthy child Gift provided to one child in every balwadi in each monthly parents meeting to motive parents and children.
  • Monitor the children’s growth and treat those that are sick.
  • Regular Monitoring and Surprise visits done on daily basis by Field coordinator, Program Officer and other monitoring staff for better functioning and better services.
  • Eye check-up and Health camps for children.
  • We help children to get into local schools after pre primary.

Integration of children in Main stream:

  • Children placed in formal schools in 2010-2011: 212
  • Children placed in formal schools in 2011-2012: 315
  • Children placed in formal schools in 2012-2013: 371

Parent Say’s:- Good food = weight increase = better nutrition

In our Balwadi project — which is named Cultivating a Healthy Habits through Education — apart from the emphasis on learning, we are also working towards improving the health and nutrition of the little children in all our centres. Like education, this too is a long-term goal that will improve a child’s overall quality of life and keep them in good stead even in adulthood.
For this purpose, we ensure that we feed the children a nutritious snack every day and we regularly monitor their nutrition to ensure that they are not underweight and undernourished. Each child is weighed every month, and this weight is noted down, so that the teacher and projects team can keep track of a child’s progress. If a child is found to be underweight or there any other health issues, these are discussed by the teacher and Balwadi projects team at the monthly meeting with the parents of the balwadi kids.


Scope: Education, health, awareness, gender equality, women’s empowerment projects