Bansidhar & Ila Panda Foundation (BIPF) Expands the Reach of Kanya Express – An Initiative To Combat Anaemia Among Adolescent Girls

Therubali : The Bansidhar and Ila Panda Foundation (BIPF) has today announced the expansion of its innovative mobile health van initiative, “Kanya Express” over a launch ceremony at Therubali, Rayagada. Kanya Express is aimed at addressing anaemia among adolescent girls.

Launched in 2021, Kanya Express has supported the government’s Anaemia Mukta Bharat (AMB) initiative, benefiting approximately 9,977 girls in 158 villages within Cuttack and Jajpur districts of Odisha. Achieving significant success in combating anemia in various regions of its operations, the organization has now extended the program to an additional 92 villages across nine gram panchayats of Therubali, Rayagada, a tribal-dominated aspirational district.

The Kanya Express mobile health van serves as a crucial tool in the fight against anaemia among adolescent girls. It conducts regular hemoglobin level checks, facilitates the distribution of Iron Folic Acid supplements and Deworming tablets through the government network, and educates girls about overall wellness. Additionally, BIPF provides them with seed kits to establish nutri-garden in their households, ensuring access to proper nutrition.

Sri Bhimsen Sabar, Sub-Collector, Rayagada graced the occasion as Chief Guest and flagged off the KANYA EXPRESS and said “it’s a welcome step. Literacy rate of Rayagada is as low as 50% and women literacy is around 30%. Through this Kanya Express Adolescent girls can be made aware on their health issues. He appealed to other corporates to have such initiatives”.

Sri. Lal Mohan Rout, CDMO, Rayagada, said “this program will supplement our program at grass-root level. He requested Frontline workers to extend their help to make the program a success”.

Speaking about the programme, Ms. Shaifalika Panda, Trustee & Founder CEO of Bansidhar and Ila Panda Foundation, said, “We are pleased to expand the reach of Kanya Express initiative to Therubali, Rayagada after witnessing a positive impact on the lives of adolescents in Cuttack and Jajpur.   Enhancing awareness among adolescent girls on anaemia-related illnesses, balanced nutrition, and reproductive rights can lead to benefits beyond health as it can also improve enrolment for higher education and continuity of education leading to a productive future.”

At the launch ceremony esteemed Govt Officials from district and block level Sri. Goura Chandra Pattanayak, OAS, BDO, Kolonara, Smt.BijayLaxmi Sahu, CDPO, Kolonara were present as honorable guests along with the Sarapanch, Samiti Members of Peripheral GPs, eminent localities, Opinion Makers and Social Workers, IMFA & BIPF team.

India’s anemia burden has surged alarmingly, with NFHS-5 (2019-21) reporting 57% of women aged 15-49 and 67% of children between six months and 59 months suffering from anemia.

Kanya Express employs a comprehensive approach to adolescent health, including regular hemoglobin checkups and Body Mass Index (BMI) assessments. Beyond addressing adolescent anaemia, the initiative promotes awareness about nutrition supplementation, personal hygiene practices, reproductive and personal rights, and responsible health-seeking behavior. These efforts align with the Millennium Development Goals of Zero Hunger, Good Health & Wellbeing, Quality Education, Gender Equality, and Clean Water & Sanitation.

BIPF remains dedicated to advancing the well-being and empowerment of adolescent girls and is confident that the Kanya Express initiative will continue to create a positive impact in the lives of young girls across Odisha.

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