A New Initiative: Chahhak School Health Program

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A new inter-ministerial initiative was undertaken by Dr. Sr. Prema Devaraj, SND, in the healing ministry involving education and social work ministries in a school health program (SHP). The program promotes a healthy lifestyle from an early age in the schools–formal and non-formal. It will improve quality of education and overall health of the society. The students will be healthy and there will be less absenteeism and fewer drop outs. The children become agents–CHILDREN FOR AWARENESS IN HOLISTIC HEALTH AND KINDNESS (CHAHHAK)–of preventive and promotive health care in the school and community, thus bringing about behavioral change and social transformation.

The child’s education will have an integrated holistic approach, that each may develop into a healthy wholesome human being, healthy in soul, mind, body, and social relationships. The children will learn an ecological model of health promotion to address the complex interaction of environmental, health, and social factors.  Sex education and adolescent health care will empower them with right knowledge and incentives to right behavior.

The principal plays the key role of leadership; the teachers exercise their creativity in planning and implementing the activities with the help of the chosen student leaders. They are supported by doctors, nurses, and social workers as resource persons. Seminars were conducted to introduce the concept of SHP in six schools. A total of eight administrators, two hundred eight teachers, seven thousand two hundred (7200) students and fifty-three (53) other staff totalling seven thousand five hundred and nine (7469) participants have been sensitized and trained from Sept. 12 to Dec 7, 2019. This program is the first step in the initiation of the recently introduced “Fit India Movement,” a national health program by the Government of India.