“There’s a need for accepting responsibility for a person’s life and making choices that are not just ones for immediate short -term comfort. You need to make an investment, and the investment is in health and education.” This is one of the Buzz Aldrin quotes which reinforces the need of health and education in the society. “Health for all and Education for all” remains our national priority. While there’s still a long way to go before India is anyway near achieving that goal, there are indications that things are moving in the right directions. It’s a well known fact,”Good health supports successful learning as much as successful learning supports good health”. According to WHO “Health education is any combination of learning experiences designed to help individuals and communities improve their health, by increasing their knowledge or influencing their attitudes.”
Education for health begins with people. Motivation comes with in to contribute to the society. There are people who do charity. There are set of people who have gone two steps ahead, do an opportunity for young ones by creating a common forum for Educationists, Healthcare Professionals, Special Educators and Corporate Professionals bringing best international practices to all its members. That’s where I came across Mrs Anju Mehta,” a women of substance” who is passionate about bringing a change in the conventional education and healthcare practices in India. A visionary whose ultimate aim in life is to create a comprehensive learning environment that promotes academic excellence for our children, Mrs Anju Mehta along with other senior professionals from associated fields formed Education and Health International, a platform where professionals stand by the learning community from pre-school ages till their transition to high school stages. Head of operations at Educomp Solutions Limited and looking after the Professional Development of teachers at British Council India Working for the disadvantaged being very close to her heart,she runs her own NGO at Janakpuri Delhi and her last assignment was as the Chief Operating Officer at Sujaya Foundation in Mumbai. It was reunion of sorts when I got to know of her latest endeavour. Infact she has been a source of inspiration since I came in contact with her almost two decades ago, since then I’ve seen her graduating from being an educationist to a corporate professional and finally maturing as a philanthropist. While we were discussing on the issue, my obvious query was,”Why does Education Matter so much to Health?” She replied, ” It is a well known fact that education steers to better jobs and higher incomes, at the same time research proves that better-educated individuals live longer, healthier lives than those with less education, and their children are more likely to flourish”. My next question was, “ How do you intend to achieve it.” to which she replied,” We aspire to achieve our targets to Capacity Building and Life Skills trainings like teachers’ training in the areas of stress management, self motivation and goal setting, project based learning. Emphasis will be on child protection and abuse, decision making etc. We also train parents to make them smart and sensible enough to recognize signs of concern, Corporate professionals will be pooled in to make children aware of global challenges and moreover we would provide a platform to raise their voice through blogs, seminars and webinars etc.”
Education and Health International (EHI) endeavours to bring together education and health on one platform. It has been envisaged with a view to integrate the two as one compliments the other and school as an institution is the right place to begin such an effort. The promise to universal health and education is common to the Millennium Development Goals and the National Common Minimum Program. Further, the government has committed itself to make elementary education a Fundamental Right of every single child in the 6-14 years age group through the introduction of the 83rd Constitutional Amendment (GOI 2002). GROUND REALITY IN INDIA Inspite of efforts at the highest level, education and health remains an area of concern. The key indicators of Education in India refers to poor boys vs girls ratio, a high drop out rate at primary school stage, abysmally poor basic infrastructure, unacceptable teacher-children ratio and low literacy rate in rural India. All these coupled with malnutrition, hunger and poor health remain core problems which comprehensively affect attendance and performance in class. The added burden of home chores and child labour influence a large number of children, especially girls, to drop out of school. As regards the health is concerned, the key indicators are poor infant and maternal mortality ratio, low access to essential medicines, malnutrition, anaemia and poor health care infrastructure. With professionals from the area of education, health, special abilities education and technology EHI equips and empowers school teachers and professionals from all related fields through capacity building and life training skills The ultimate mission of EHI organization is to provide a healthy learning environment to all the children under its umbrella through empowerment of teachers with research-based teaching skills and at the same time enriching parents with awareness and helping tools, simultaneously motivating and supporting students to help themselves in the process of learning. EHI professionals stand by the learning community from preschool ages until they transition to high school stages. The beauty of this novel concept called EHI is to understand the requirements of individual establishments wherein Global practices are integrated with Indian values making it an enriching experience for both the Learner and the Learned. I wish the outstanding team all the best and best wishes to Mrs. Anju Mehta for her future projects. you can visit their website www.eduhealthinternational.com to know more about the organization .