A close look at the global goals of "Education for All" (EFA) and the "Millennium Development Goals"(MDG) set by the United Nations, reveals a patent shift in emphasis in the dynamics of development efforts in favour of strengthening nutritional and health status of students in order to enhance the aspects of quality and equity of education. Several studies have shown how nutrition and health play an important role in the learning process. Lack of adequate quantum of micronutrients affects brain development as also hinders the immune system. Inadequate personal hygiene and unsafe drinking water can result in a number of infections. Insanitary environments exacerbate the above woes. But these are precisely the adverse factors that usually affect students hailing from poor economic and disadvantaged social backgrounds. Again, such adverse circumstances affect the female students more directly and severely than the males mainly due to the cultural and traditional inter-generational gender gaps that one notices particularly among economically and socially disadvantaged groups. Disparities in learning skills often lead to emotional disturbances among the vulnerable students, which may in turn lead to several psycho-social problems.
TSN College caters mainly to students hailing from economically and socially marginalized groups. Females account for slightly more than a half of its student strength. The college has therefore started addressing the issues discussed above proactively with a view to enhancing the learning outcomes through a new initiative known as the "Health and Wellness Initiative". Its main components are:
1. Women's Welfare Centre: This will address the specific biological and health needs of female students. The centre will be equipped with certain basic amenities such as first-aid kit, furniture and other essential medicines that the female students may need. It will be open only to female students and select female staff members who will act as focal point for each academic block in order to facilitate meeting the specific needs of female students. A doctor will visit the centre once a week to attend to specific cases, to monitor the health register maintained at the centre, to train the concerned staff members and to provide general advice to students. As for the male students, a first-aid kit will be kept in the NSS room and a few male staff members will be trained to act as focal persons to facilitate such services.
2. Health Check-up: This will be on a regular and comprehensive basis. Health check-ups in educational institutions are nothing new. However, what is new in this effort will be its emphasis on regular follow-up and interventions based on their results. Information will be gathered from every student on a regular basis on aspects like vital health data, nutrition status, blood test results as also socio-economic profile. A "Medical Examination Record" will be maintained in the form of a card for each and every student, where such data will be recorded. As part of monitoring of such reports, any major medical issues detected will be referred for further investigations and treatment to a proper medical centre. Such health profiles will also contain family medical history, immunization schedule and life style issues.
3. Monitoring Health and Academic Progress: Variables from such health profiles, socio-economic profiles and life style profiles of the students will be correlated with their educational performance in order to isolate the problem areas and to explore if they could be addressed effectively. Such remedial steps may contribute to improving their educational outcomes. A copy of such profile would be handed over to each student at the end of the course. The focal persons at the wellness centre will provide individual counseling to parents or guardians of students with life style problems and provide guidance on the further steps that could be taken to address such problems.
4. Provision of Knowledge and Life Skills for Health and Wellbeing: Further support measures will be taken regularly to disseminate knowledge to the students on preventive and promotive health care, proper diet and nutrition, through lectures, workshops and skills training programmes. For example, recently the TSN College, in collaboration with the Food and Nutrition Board of the Government of India, organized a training programme on the proper preparation and preservation of nutritionally well-balanced food for the female students. Similarly, the college organized another talk by a psychologist on "mental health" to all the students on the occasion of the World Youth Day in August this year.
This initiative is considered unique for its features indicated above and it is hoped that it will contribute greatly to enhancing the students' educational outcomes as also in ensuring their personal wellbeing.
A report on wellness initiative must begin with the proverb Health is Wealth which in itself is a complete statement. Higher levels of well-being are associated with decreased risk of disease, better immune functioning, speedier recovery and increased longevity.
The month of July 2016 was observed as wellness month in our college. The details of activities are as follows:
|S.No||Date||Events||In association with|
|2||11.07.2016||Women's Safety||Women Safety & Security Cell|
|3||12 & 13.07.2016||Dental Camp||NSS|
|4||27.07.2016||Tree Plantation||BBA & NSS|
Studies suggest that hand washing promotion in schools can play a role in reducing absenteeism among primary school children.
In addition, UNICEF says improvements in hygiene must supplement access to water and sanitation, or children will continue to fall victim to easily preventable diseases like diarrhoea.
Activities are being organized around the world which aim to teach the importance of hand washing with soap especially to primary school children. This is a community outreach programme done by Wellness Initiative along with N.S.S. We conducted the programme for primary section students of Padma Adarsh Matriculation School, Vanianchavadi on 08.07.16. Demonstration was done by Mrs. S. Srividya, Convenor of Wellness Initiative and our students AlexPandian (II B.Sc Biochemistry) & Yuvarani (II B.Sc Biochemistry) also joined her. 102 students of primary sections were benefited by this programme. Sample Lifebuoy soaps were distributed to all the school students. Dr. Augustin Arokiaraj, Medical Officer of our college also co-ordinated for the hand washing programme. Posters related to Hand washing were also displayed in the school.
Your Eyes show the strength of your soul.
T.S.Narayanaswami College of Arts & Science always looks for the Students & Staff Wellness. One such activity was Eye Camp along with SANKARA NETHRALAYA conducted on 27th July 2016.
The programme was organized with the help of 10 optometrist, program coordinator and a secretary from SANKARA NETHRALAYA. Over 231 students have gone for Screening of their Eyes and taken opinion for further reference and benefited out of the same.
We conducted a free Dental Camp for our students in association with Shri Venkateswara Dental College and Hospital on 12.07.16 and 13.07.16. Dr. Shyam headed the camp along with 10 Dentists. 633 students were benefited through this camp. We organized the camp with the support of our N.S.S team.
The main objective of the camp is to provide basic dental health education to our students and motivate dental hygiene maintenance.