A happier, healthier childhood

Updated Sep 06, 2018
Written by World Vision India; Edited by Kaija Hutteri and Katie Hackett

Like many young children in the impoverished community of Bhopal, Neha’s eight-month-old daughter Alia was malnourished.

Neha is married and used to live with her husband and in-laws in a neighbouring district. Her in-laws treated her poorly, so she decided to move back to Bhopal to live with her father, who has late-stage tuberculosis. Her mother passed away when she was young.

Alia was healthy at the time of her birth, weighing 5.5 pounds. However, the stress of Neha’s situation made it difficult to provide the level of care a growing baby needs. At eight months old, Alia weighed just over ten pounds.

Alia’s poor health came to the attention of a local health volunteer when Neha attended a community meeting for mothers to learn how to prevent and treat diarrhea. In the area where Neha lives, there are 90 families with boys and girls under age five. By supporting a child in Bhopal, Canadian sponsors make it possible for us to provide awareness sessions like this that help many children grow up healthier.

The volunteer urged Neha to take Alia to be treated for malnutrition. While Alia regained her health, Neha learned a great deal about childcare and how to prevent her daughter from becoming malnourished in the future. Neha was enrolled in a program that would deliver baskets of food to help her provide proper nourishment for Alia.

Many mothers in Neha’s community were hesitant to have their children treated for malnutrition. However, Neha’s willingness to treat her daughter—and Alia’s successful weight gain—reassured other parents and motivated them to get their children the medical care they needed.

With proper treatment and a determined mother who is willing to learn, Alia’s health improves daily.

“I am grateful for all the support I received to ensure the growth and well-being of my daughter,” says Neha. “Thank you for opening my eyes."