The region northwest of Kolkata, India is home to a large number of desperately poor women and children. The average family has multiple children, but most of the young mothers have little to no experience or knowledge of how to care for them.
A lack of food and other basic resources leads to malnutrition, making many of these children prone to health problems such as diarrhea, malaria and acute respiratory infections.
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Twenty-one year old Nandi has been attending the Mankar Child Survival Program (CSP) with her 17-month old daughter Bani for a year. Nandi’s husband is a day laborer and earns less than a dollar a day. He does not find work every day. Most of his income is spent on food.
At the CSP, Nandi has learned how to make bags, along with tailoring and stitching skills that will help her earn money. She knows that she’s gained so much more than income-generating skills, though.
"I have become a responsible mother because I have learned to be conscious about myself and my child’s need, about her health and how to maintain hygiene at home. I have also learned about the need for timely immunizations and vaccines."