Priyanka Chaudhary Raina, wife of ace cricketer, Suresh Raina and co- founder, Gracia Raina Foundation visited her alma mater close in Moradnagar, Ghaziabad, and adopted the education of five girls. This initiative is the latest activity under the Gracia Raina Foundation umbrella. The school is also starting a nutrition program. Almost 200 students are malnourished and the foundation will be working closely to ensure that their daily food requirements are meant.
Speaking on the occasion, Priyanka Raina had this to say, “It’s a lovely feeling to be
back here and meet with the children and teachers. Both Suresh and I decided to adopt
and sponsor the education of five girls and will look after their education, uniform,
schoolbooks, and clothing. Most of these girls are orphaned or have single parents
looking after them.”
The Jawaharlal Samark Kanya Inter College School was founded in 1964 by the
Women Welfare Association. The school looks after 1500 girls yearly. Most of these
girls come from rural and underprivileged backgrounds and do not have the means
to a rightful education. The school is funded through personal donations and is a
part of the Beti Bachao, Beti Pahdhao initiative. The teachers have dedicated
themselves and are personally involved with the girls and proudly state that some of
their girls have gone onto becoming state level boxing champions. While studies are
at the core, the girls receive an all round education and even go onto getting
admissions in colleges across the country.
The Gracia Raina Foundation is dedicated to creating awareness and work closely
with mothers and children who require help ranging from physical to mental health
issues and beyond. Under its umbrella, it covers a vast field and is driven to ensure
the well being of mothers and children while also providing them opportunities for
a sustainable livelihood. The Foundation will work with expectant mothers and
their families. In turn, the foundation provides them with opportunities for
sustainable livelihood and empowers women especially pregnant mothers to make
informed decisions about themselves and their children.
In the past, the foundation has been involved with initiatives such as PAALNA with
RED FM and The Delhi NCR Food Bank Network. The Raina’s also visited an NGO in
Chandigarh, Nanhi Jaan and collaborated with BIG FM to raise awareness for special
needs children. GRF plans to partner with the government, bilateral agencies, non-
governmental organizations, and the private sector, where they collaborate with
other organizations and work in areas such as mental wellness, discovery, integrated delivery, nutrition, family planning, childhood infectious diseases, policy
and advocacy, and communications.
Each year in India there are 1.34 million deaths of children aged under five. The
country accounts for more than a quarter (26 per cent) of the world’s neonatal
deaths. Mental health and wellness of pregnant women is a critical determinant of
the survival of these children along with the other clinical factors. However, there
are various clinical interventions being implemented by the government to address
the issue of newborn and child mortality and morbidity, but maternal mental health
issues have largely remained neglected. Various studies have documented the ill
effects of mental stress, depression, anxiety on adverse pregnancy outcomes.
It remains a fact that despite being in the 21st century, most pregnant women are not in
a position to make the decision for themselves and their children. The decision making
has largely remained in hands of others in the family. Financial constraints and
financial dependency on others during this period also adds to their low say in
decision making. The foundation aims to empower the vulnerable pregnant women
as well as their birth companions by providing them options for sustainable
livelihood options as well as providing them counseling and information on mental,
physical well-being and care during pregnancy and after with focus on nutrition,
child care, pregnancy care, family planning, thereby addressing such concerns and
providing overall wellness and mental health care for young and expecting mothers.
The foundation will work towards supporting the government and various NGO’s in
its noble mission of preventing maternal and newborn deaths and demonstrating a
unique model of maternal mental health through sustainable livelihood.