Thanks to the efforts of Mrs. Anjali Schiavina- chairwoman of IWN Pondicherry and Managing Director of Mandala Apparels Pvt. Ltd.; this August, IWN (Indian Women Network) held a “Traning of Trainers” workshop at our Sharana premises with the aim to improve the knowledge and awareness of the industrial / organizational social workers about healthly living.

The goal was to enhance their capacity in taking up leadership roles and influencing other workers in a positive way and to equip them to plan, organize and conduct training for other workshops. IWN comes under the umbrella of CII (Confederation of Indian Industries).

26 women Participated in this workshop, 5 of whom were from different programs of Sharana. The other organizations / industries which participated were Satya Special School, Mandala Apparels, and 2 other industries in Pondicherry.

The session began with a welcome address from Mrs. Anjali. She Introduced the resource people who are from the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine- JIPMER, Dr Sonali Sarkar – Associate Professor, Dr Jayalakshmi – Assistant Professor, and Dr Ramya- Junior Assistant. She encouraged all the participants to learn and take back as much as possible from this workshop, to respect themselves as women and all the different caps they wear throughout their lives.

Mrs Anjali then called Dr Jayalakshmi to take over. After a quick icebreaker activity to introduce all participants to each other, and a short test to see the basic knowledge of the participants, Dr Jayalakshmi spoke about diseases and how they affect us, and elucidated the main factors which determine whether we are leading a Healthy Life or not. She went ahead and listed out the basic diseases in India today.

After a short tea-break, Dr Sonali Sarkar spoke about the life-cycle of a woman; from birth to post-natal care. She stressed on the fact that a woman’s health determines the health of the next generation; since she is a giver of life. Thus she stressed upon the importance of taking care of the health of the girl child in the family; as opposed to the normal situation within many Indian families where boys are taken care of, fed with more care than girls who are oft ignored in the process. Topics covered were; ante-natal care, post-natal care, child care and the importance of breast feeding and nutritious food.

During Dr Sonali’s session, Sharana’s staff Amala (social worker) and Lakshmi (health worker), already proficient in basic knowledge of women’s health, facilitated the group discussions among the participants, to help them better understand these subjects which are often tough to grasp in the first attempt.

Post lunch, Dr Ramya spoke about Breast and Cervical Cancer. One in 8 women suffer from breast cancer and one in 20 women suffer from Cervical Cancer. Most women who seek help from a doctor, have mostly already reached the last stages of cancer. In order to create awareness about this, the symptoms, clinical findings and the statistics on the same were covered.

Post the Cancer session, Dr Jayalakshmi spoke about general fitness and the importance of exercise for working women. So she covered the topic of prevention and management of diabetes, and hypertension in working women.The day ended with a feedback session and a short test to see the assimilation of the participants.

We hope to see all the 26 participants training other women and imparting confidence and self-respect to them. Thank you for organising such a wonderful program Mrs. Anjali. We truly hope this is one of many more to come.