Young women from UP, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand have been working tirelessly to support mothers in breastfeeding - providing community and facility based counselling, reaching the hard to reach populations and using mass media to take breastfeeding support closer to mothers.
In India, 1.5 million underfives die every year. Global evidence shows that in developing countries, optimal breastfeeding in the first six months of life – initiation of breastfeeding within one hour of birth and exclusive breastfeeding for first six months - have the potential to avert an average 13 per cent of underfive deaths.
In India, however, only 46 per cent of infants younger than six months are exclusively breastfed.
Global evidence also highlights that counseling mothers at critical times - individually and in groups, supporting them to breastfeed when they face a problem and influencing social norms and influencers within the family and community can improve breastfeeding practices.
Champions helping mothers breastfeed successfully
Community champions like Uzma from UP, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand shared their experiences today at an event organized by UNICEF India to felicitate these young champions.
For every child’s sake, Kalpana turned resistance into widespread favour
At 29, she is aged beyond her years, but you can sense the satisfaction in her smile as villagers of Rajghat come to greet and bless her for her work. Kalpana has helped hundreds of babies in Rajghat to get a better start to their lives.
Fighting age-old myths harmful for mothers and babies
Shobhna Patel's personality does justice to the work she has chosen with Vasudhara Dairy Cooperative as a community mobilizer. This 33-year-old member of the self-help group of Dairy Cooperatives is not only outgoing, but also frank and expressive.