To ensure that all children receive a healthy, well-balanced diet, the following projects were undertaken:
Milk and Ghee Project
The most striking observation during our inaugural visit to SKSN in 2002 was the poor nutritional status of almost all the 370+ children boarding there. It did not take us long to find out the reason. Their daily diet was limited to wheat and lentils and did not include any milk or dairy products. Polio Children’s premier project (2002) was to fund a ’Milk and Ghee Project’ that ensured that every child received a glass of milk and a teaspoonful of ghee (clarified butter).
Funded at a cost of $8100, the most immediate and tangible result was a 60% reduction in minor ailments. After the first year, the Dairy Farm Project wholly met the school’s needs.
Dairy Farm Project
Started in September 2003 following the successful outcomes of the Milk and Ghee Project, the aim was to provide the students vocational training in animal husbandry and dairy farm management in addition to ensuring a reliable supply of milk and milk products.
Funded at a total cost of $55,250, the project remained viable until the escalating cost of fodder in draught-stricken Rajasthan forced it to close 5 years later.
SKSN is located on the fringe of the Thar Desert and is no stranger to long periods of drought. For example, having received virtually no rain for the previous 5 years, SKSN and it’s surrounding area was officially declared a drought area by the state government in 2003. There were times when even drinking water was in short supply in an area where temperatures in summer often soar beyond 42oC (108oF).
Installation of a generator by Polio Children made it possible to bore a tube well and construct a water storage tank. Funded at a total cost of $10,000 a source of regular and reliable supply of this most basic of human needs was created for the children at SKSN.