World Toilet Day: How long till we take the poo to the loo?

24X7 Radio jingles, major ad campaigns, constant news updates, and hoardings that you can’t ignore. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has certainly swept us off our feet, and how! While several measures have been taken to create a cleaner, more sustainable environment – toilets still remain a bone of contention for India. As of today, over 50% of Indian households still don’t have properly constructed toilets, and that is truly shameful, considering the fact that the mission for proper sanitation started off approximately three years ago.

World Toilet Day is observed on the 19th of November each year, and is a reminder of the importance of hygienic sanitation, which is, needless to say – a necessity. For India, however, World Toilet Day serves as an alert, wherein we take stock of the current critical situation, analyse the progress, and speed up the progress.

892 still practice open defecation, and what may come as a surprise to many, is the fact that this unhygienic practice finds its roots in social evils like untouchability and caste discrimination. According to a lot of Indian villagers, defecating in open spaces is synonymous with being pure. While building toilets is a great initiative, educating the masses and instilling a sense of realisation is even more crucial for the cause. MBCN, through its social platforms, aims to spread the word and enhance people’s knowledge on the importance of toilets and their usage.

We are living in the 21st century, and what should be sorted at the basic level, still remains a big chunk in the road to our overall progress and growth as a nation. While several people are beginning to understand the urgency of the situation, we have a lot of scope, with a lot of action that needs to be taken in improving the sanitation, and overall well being of the citizens.

Source: Ponty Chadha Website

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Newborn Care Week – Taking the right measures at the right time

Infant mortality has always been a concern the world over, but more so in India. In 2016, India had an 8% decline in infant mortality, which was an improvement from prior years. In 2017, a number of robust campaigns and thought-provoking advertisements have definitely aided to the cause, and have created positive ripples of hope across India for many families.

Newborn Care Week, which is in sync with this pivotal cause, is celebrated every year, with an aim to generate awareness and suggest the necessary measures to improve health of newborn babies, while boosting child survival rates.

It is extremely sad to see thousands of babies die every year due to sheer negligence or lack of knowledge. What most people don’t realise is that a newborn’s first four weeks are the most crucial.

Some of the most common causes for death among the newborn:

  • Infection
  • Lack of oxygen for the baby
  • Premature birth
  • Delivery complications
  • Birth defects

Observing Newborn Care Week is extremely important in helping curb diseases and disorders in children as well. Speech and hearing impairments are often caused due to careless handling, and irresponsibility on behalf of the parents or caretakers. The right prenatal care is essential for healthy pregnancy and for a healthy newborn.

What are some of the suggestive measures?

  • Educating expectant mothers during pregnancy
  • Basic care during pregnancy, besides nutrition counselling and supplementation of vitamins and iron
  • Institutional/Hospital deliveries to be encouraged
  • Early diagnosis of health issues in newborns and prompt referral to hospitals for the best care and treatment
  • Timely vaccinations for the newborn

Each year, MBCN advocates various important measures around Newborn Care Week, which should not be ignored or left hanging. Ambiguity gives birth to despair, and taking precaution is the way forward, that can help us create a healthier world for our newborns, who have every right to live fit, wholesome lives.

Source: Ponty Chadha

Learning Kindness Through The Children Of Today

With the world that turns colder and harder by the minute, random acts of kindness are what we need to keep our humane spirit alive. These days, with social media gripping every nerve, we scroll through our Facebook and Twitter news feed, only to be saddened by how cruel and inconsiderate people have become. Whether it is towards other people or animals, there is a dearth of compassion and respect on all levels. With that being said, if there is a ray of hope, it is our children, who remain untouched by the brutal ways of the world. Their innocence and open hearts, willing to love and learn, are like a breath of fresh air for our society, and for the stifled environments we create for ourselves.

When we speak of humanity, it is important to stop and think twice about how we treat those who have some form of disability. Do we laugh at them, or do we reach out to them with a non-judgemental hand? Do we ignore them, or do we include them the same way we include other people? Children, with their pure minds, are free of judgements and inhibitions when it comes to loving and accepting others.

At MBCN, we take immense pride in our kids with special abilities, who set beautiful examples of what kindness means. Our teachers don’t just teach a regular school curriculum, but also teach values and the importance of being a good, kind human being to the children, who soak up these attributes like sponges. These special children are a true embodiment of the larger vision we have for our society, which we hope someday will be free of racism, casteism, and narrow mindsets, giving birth to unkind behaviour.

Children are immanently kind. They don’t judge, they don’t get vicious thoughts, they don’t seek revenge, and they don’t let anger or hatred consume them. They act on instinct, without any expectations, and they love, without keeping a score. Whether it’s offering an old person a seat on the bus or helping an old lady with her grocery bags, children may be years apart in age, but they are years beyond us in wisdom and kindness.

This World Kindness Day, let’s take notes from the little ones, who have so much love and kindness to offer, and who can definitely teach us a thing or two, if not more about humanity!

World Cerebral Palsy Day – One Step At A Time In The Right Direction

In case you haven’t heard of the term before, cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder caused by a brain injury or malformation that occurs while the child’s brain is under development. Cerebral palsy, or what is commonly referred to as CP, affects body movement and muscle coordination. Treatment for cerebral palsy depends on the patient, and the degree to which it affects him or her. The earlier it gets detected, the better chances one has for improvement.

Each year, October 6th is recognised as World Cerebral Palsy Day. Apart from creating awareness, it is an opportunity for one to celebrate and express pride in the many milestones people with cerebral palsy have achieved, despite their limitations. In addition to this, it is an opportunity for communities across the world to create a strong voice for cerebral palsy patients, which in turn, motivates them to go out and change the world for the better.

As an initiative to create a support group, MBCN recently held a #CerebralPalsyDay interaction session with parents of those affected. It was an open forum where they shared their challenges and feelings. Busting certain myths around CP and addressing pivotal issues, was the crux of this session. The parents were extremely happy with this session, and requested for similar sessions in the future as well. Here are some pictures for you to see:

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Cerebral palsy is a condition that needs to be treated with utmost care and concern. There are 17 million people across the world who live with cerebral palsy, and 35 million are closely connected with either a child or an adult who suffers from this condition. While apathy is necessary, educating the masses and creating a bridge of open communication is just as important.

Paving A New Path On World Mental Health Day

One in 4 people are bound to be affected by mental health issues at some point of time in their lives. Whether the issues stem from some sort of trauma or have built up over the years, creating acceptance and awareness around mental health is extremely vital in our society.

When we speak of the corporate world, the word ‘stress’ is commonly used to describe our work and day-to-day activities. In the race to make it big, we often forget to take note of our health, and little things that contribute to our overall well-being. Taking on more work than one can, cracking under pressure, having meltdowns, and forgetting to invest time in relationships are some of the leading causes of depression and other mental illnesses, which creep up over a period of time.

The other side of mental health issues also involves people with disabilities. Certain limitations make it impossible for them to live a holistic life. At the end of the day, it is harder for people with disabilities to lead a life of normalcy. Unlike others who can vent out their frustration through several means and seek counselling, people with disabilities have it harder, and can’t express as freely, or with the same amount of impact. It is, therefore, important for society to take charge and address mental health issues for the disabled in the same light as for those who are able.

With regards to World Mental Health Day, which takes place on October 10th each year, MBCN has initiated a campaign called #WorkNotJudge. The campaign revolves around mental health at the workplace, and the importance of including people with special needs. Besides giving tips on how to cope with day-to-day pressure, the campaign opens doors for those who may wish to seek help, but don’t have a voice to do so.

Going in line with the importance of having a healthy mind, Skills Academy, which is PCF’s brainchild, does a splendid job in instilling confidence and the right amount of skill set in the underprivileged youth, who are capable of so much more than they think they are. From housekeeping to gardening and preparing a 4-course meal like professional chefs, Skills Academy not only provides skill training, but also helps build self esteem and ambition.

At the end of the day, a healthy mind is as important as a healthy body. The road to overcome mental health issues may seem never ending, but with a little effort and love, we can make all the difference in the lives of those who find it difficult to catch the light at the end of the tunnel.

Positive Parenting: A Powerful Tool For Growing Healthy Kids

Positive Parenting: A Powerful Tool For Growing Healthy Kids

What is positive parenting? And why is it important? That fact that its message is reaching far and wide, makes it absolute imperative for parents to understand how to improve the quality of parenting. And hence, this blog!

More and more parents have, over the years, begun realising that a change must be made in their child-rearing practices. That no bookish knowledge can ever instil the right parenting skills in them. In the light of it, here’s a lowdown on the good, the bad and the ugly of positive parenting. First and foremost, what we, as parents, must understand is that every child is unique. How they behave, cannot be boxed under the categories of ‘Right’ or ‘Wrong’.

Children soak up behavioural patterns like a sponge, and therefore, what we do as individuals is of utmost importance when it comes to parenting. What our children observe is what they end up doing in their day to day lives. Whether you lie to someone, make fun of a friend or use harsh words – your child will inculcate it all.

That being said, there are no rules or formulas, but certain aspects you can use to guide yourself throughout this never-ending journey.

Narrow down the one area you wish to work on the most: One of the key problems most parents face is not knowing where to start. But this is actually quite simple. All you have to think about is that one thing that puts your child at a greater risk. Is your child hurting someone physically or mentally? Do they break things at home due to bad temper? Start here, and start small. Smaller steps create bigger ripples.

Pinpoint what you wish to change: If your child has a bad mouth and tends to use a lot of swear words, try and understand the root of the problem, and give them an alternative. For example, you could tell your child that the next time they get angry and wish to curse, they need to go inside their room for a few minutes till they feel better. Reprimanding them for the same will only worsen the situation. Whereas, your job is to smoothen the road for them.

Give them the reason to change: Telling your child to change something about themselves without explaining will only leave him/her confused. Even if they do alter something for your sake, the results will most likely be short-lived. If you wish for your child to change something for good, then always give them the reason in a nice, logical way. Shouting and yelling won’t work here.

Chalk out goals for you and your kid: Working together as a team always gets better results. Parenting is never one-sided; it is about you and your child. Tell your child that you hate punishing them for something as trivial, and that you wish to come up with a way where you both can be happy. This will make your child look at things in a more practical way, and kids love to be problem-solvers. With this adult-like approach, you fix the problem, while putting them in charge.

Encourage their special talents & skills: Your child’s hard-earned 50% is as good as a hard-earned 100%. With the amount of competition in our society, putting additional pressure on kids only makes them crumble. Whether it’s painting, dancing, cooking or fixing gadgets – your kid has a special talent, and it is your job to encourage that.

In a nutshell, positive parenting only requires a change in mindset. As a parent, you must be committed to approaching your kids with affection, empathy and patience.

Importance of Doctors in Society

Prior to the discovery of modern medicine, life had been a fleeting motion for all of mankind. The environment was replete with unseen dangers in the form of diseases and unexplained medical conditions. With the passage of time and advanced technology, medical practice changed into an organized profession, and humans experienced a significant improvement in the quality of their lives. Even though, one might argue and say that technical advancement may have replaced these ‘angels on earth’, but the position of doctors in our society has not diminished, and till date, they remain indispensable.

Saving Lives

For people around the world, a doctor can at times mean the difference between life and death. Ask a soldier or a competitive athlete, and you would hear countless tales of how their fractured and wounded bodies found solace and healing through the hands of a skilled physician. A regular cough and cold is not where the job of a medical professional starts and stops.

Extending Life

Cancer survivors usually owe their endurance or survival to doctors, whose skills and dedication are crucial for their cure. Modern medical technology coupled with a doctor’s’ care can give patients diagnosed with terminal illnesses, the hope for living longer.

Being Human

Humanitarian work and doctors have been synonymous since time immemorial. Some public support groups related to health and wellness, such as cancer and diabetes, draw membership from the medical profession and help promulgate information about how to avoid certain illnesses through lifestyle changes. From volunteering, to working on missions that provide healthcare to disaster victims and the underprivileged, doctors play more than just one role in our world.

Conducting Extensive Research & Controlling Epidemics

SARS, Bird Flu, and Dengue were at some point of time diseases that led to inevitable death rates that could not be cured. In today’s day and age, when such fatal diseases outbreak or occur, information provided by doctors can help contain the epidemic. Doctors check the spread of such diseases by creating awareness amongest masses. They do so by alerting them about bad hygiene, and risky behaviors that lead to such ailments. Besides this, doctors also work alongside researchers to find new cures, and run tests on consenting patients in order to come up with the perfect medical concoctions.

Source: http://www.thepontychadhafoundation.org/blog/health/importance-of-doctors-in-society/