The Invisible Indian woman

 

As we say health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (WHO).
I live in a country which is known to have deep rooted religious faiths and beliefs .Food and its juices or Rasas are perceived to be a divine nectar be it any religion or community .Food the way it should be eaten or served have a deep importance in our culture and tradition .Fasting & feasting have been synchronized to seasons, lunar and solar cycles.
Still even today as a nutritionist the biggest challenge I face is to educate people especially women to take their health that is their food and nutritional needs seriously .Women especially Indian women have the tendency to put the family first being depicted as the ultimate epitome of sacrifice .We in India need trained health professionals in urban, semi urban as well as rural areas .In case we thought that malnutrition is only the disease of the poor, obesity is also an imbalance and a form of malnutrition.
My concern is for the invisible Indian woman who cares so much about soaring vegetable prices ,her family’s monthly budget most important her child’s education .Its high time we realized the need for a proper health and nutrition counsellor who can help her channelize her energies ,her day to day activities ,her energy expenditure ,Human resources is the most important asset and it is not just the woman who heads a corporate firm or a woman who designs jewelry or interiors who is contributing to the society .My concern is for the invisible women who is silently toiled day in and day out to make her son an engineer ,a civil servant or even a scientist in some prestigious institute abroad and winning international recognition for India in spite of hailing from humble backgrounds .
In today’s times we are under a lot of stress, lifestyle changes, environmental factors all affect our health adversely and women are more vulnerable owing to the pressure of child bearing and child rearing in addition to looking after the family be it nuclear or joint it becomes utmost important to have proper health monitoring and nutrition counselling at an early stage as years of neglect amount to irreparable damages in the long run which medicines or pills cannot salvage not to forget the exorbitant medical expenses .The loss of a life is an irreversible and irreparable damage to the family and near and dear ones .The crux of the whole matter is that to educate the common man ,in this case the woman about the importance of a nutrition counsellor or a dietician ,A dietician is not just an added accessory which a celeb flaunts around ,though not naming anyone , a lot of them are not even qualified or have authorized permit to practice and its them who are actually spreading faulty diet practices without any scientific evidence or work .
In India unlike in the west the laws are not stringent and having many loop holes so it becomes easier for them to spread false facts and fads which are highly detrimental and dangerous to the person’s health and ultimately his or her life.
According to the global nutrition report (2016) it’s about going back to school, investing in child’s health and nutrition which will help them to take up challenges in future which in turn means taking care of the mother to see to it that she can provide such an environment to the child .The other challenge is to make the services available to them in a reasonable way ,the biggest let down for them is to see the exorbitant packages and aggressive marketing campaigns bordering on falsehood by private firms which makes this highly essential medical service a luxury which they ultimately choose to avoid .
Not realizing that this is very much a basic service which they need to indulge in coupled with timely medical examinations to check their vital parameters. We need truly qualified and dedicated professionals with a service mentality who can take the initiative of bringing the ordinary woman and her family to better facilities in terms of mental and physical health as food and psychology are directly co related .A holistic approach that is diet combined with exercise will be the best investment with rich dividends .This could lead to healthy and happy families and in a larger context a healthy citizens of a progressive society in turn leading to a progressive country . We need to cater mentally and physically to the common Indian woman the ordinary Indian woman who can be from the middle class or lower but who is in every sense a superwoman in her own rights and it’s her nutritional needs her mental and physical health, which we need to pay attention to as woman are the fulcrum of a society and the way a society treats its women show the level of progressive or regressive nature of the society .So India cannot develop unless and until we ignore and neglect the invisible woman ,the woman who ultimately gets lost in oblivion ,whose achievements and sacrifices are never applauded or recognized but despite all that ,the truth is this invisible woman is the real strength of our great country channeling it forward with her immensely silent but resilient strength .

Purnima Mahesh
Image sources: Google ,Instagram and I do not hold the copyright of the same 

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