New Delhi – Three hundred school children will participate in a week-long city-wide poster-making competition in selected schools throughout the city beginning today, organized by HRIDAY and Arogya World on the dual occasion of Children’s Day and World Diabetes Day (WDD). On account of this year’s theme for WDD, ‘Diabetes Education and Prevention’ the children will be creating posters with the message that ‘Diabetes Can and Must be Prevented with Exercise and Healthy Eating’. World Diabetes Day is observed on November 14 every year to increase general awareness on the dangers of diabetes, which has become a major global health concern. India being world’s “diabetes capital”, it has become imperative to inform people, especially children regarding the dangerous effects of diabetes. Indians get the disease at least 10 years earlier than their western counterparts. With 50% of Indians being younger than 25 years, India has an alarming proportion of the world’s diabetes problem. The cases of childhood diabetes have increased three-times in last 30 years as a result of societal influences and changing lifestyles.
Today, the event was held at Salwan Public School (Afternoon), Old Rajender Nagar where around 70 students participated in the competition with full zest and zeal and designed creative posters to draw public attention to this very important cause.
“Though, India is the diabetes capital of the world, there is clear evidence that people can protect themselves from diabetes by eating a healthy diet and by being physically active throughout the day. It is especially important to protect children and adolescents as the behaviors get etched at an early age and health promotion in schools provides a conducive environment to adopt healthy lifestyle practices, which can have a lasting and lifelong effect on individuals and their families” said Dr. Monika Arora, Senior Director, HRIDAY
“Every year we mark World Diabetes Day with special activities in India. With winning posters to be displayed in the schools, this year’s activity, the poster making competition, is an effort to mobilize the entire school community behind diabetes prevention through healthy living”, said Dr. Nalini Saligram, founder & CEO of Arogya World.
“Young children can grasp issues and further use art to convey clear and concise messages like role of healthy diet and physical activity in diabetes prevention. By involving children in such competitions, the message can be spread to a much larger audience as the children take the message home and tell their friends and family about it.” said Ms. Shalini Bassi, Head, Programmes, HRIDAY
“Students must be educated and made aware about issues which can positively influence health and prevent non-communicable diseases like diabetes. Such programmes play a proactive role in ensuring that children opt for a healthy and active lifestyle” said Ms. Ranjana Sharma, Teacher coordinator, Salwan Public School.
“Our school is a health promoting school and is actively involved in conducting various health activities. By organizing competitions like this, related to health complications like diabetes, enhances the knowledge of students in creating awareness about this disease and its various complications” said Mokshita Batra, a class 6 student from Salwan Public School.
HRIDAY (Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth) is a Delhi based voluntary organization comprising of health professionals, social scientists and lawyers, engaged in advocacy and research aiming to promote health awareness and informed health activism among youth and community in India. HRIDAY has been working on health promotion and non-communicable diseases (NCD) prevention and aims to increase the awareness and adoption of healthy living habits among school children, youth and the community. The programme commenced in June 1992, as a response to India’s health transition, wherein altered habits were leading to a rising burden to heart disease, diabetes, cancers and other disorders which are linked to the life-style (www.hriday-shan.org).
Arogya World is a US based non-profit organization striving to change the course of chronic disease, one community at a time. In India, AROGYA World is following a three-pronged approach to prevent diabetes through prevention and advocacy in schools, workplace and the community. (www.arogyaworld.org). In addition to schools-based education on diabetes awareness and prevention taking place in 6 schools in Delhi, Arogya World is currently implementing a mobile health diabetes prevention program throughout India. The Delhi schools poster competition is supported by an educational grant from Salesworth India Pvt. Ltd. (www.arogyaworld.org).