HEALTH, LIFE SKILLS AND WELL-BEING
Health and wellbeing are essential elements to increase and/or maintain employee performance, productivity, job satisfaction and engagement within the work environment.
Case Study – 1: Towards a healthier future
Jothilakshmi works at Atlas Export in Karur, Tamil Nadu. She lives with her husband and children in Karur and joined Atlas to meet the expenses of her children’s education.
She attended life skills training under Women in Factories conducted by the W4W team, which positively impacted the health of her family. Jothilakshmi attributes it to the change in their food habits, preparing a meal plan for the week, and cooking a variety of healthy snacks and food. She also packs it for lunch, for her children to take to school.
One of the teachers, who noticed her son Gokul bringing only healthy food, asked him how he manages to bring it every day. On learning that his mother adopted healthy food habits from a training programme in her factory, Jothilakshmi was invited to the parent-teacher meeting, to sensitize other parents on sending healthy food for their children. Jothilakshmi spoke about the positive impact of eating nutritious food on the health of her family.
After the meeting, the school sent a circular with a meal plan to the other parents, instructing them to send only healthy snacks and food to school.
Jothilakshmi says “By consuming healthy food and making it a habit, the health of my family has improved. I’m happy that other parents have also adopted this habit, which has transformed the eating habits of the children at school.”
Case study – 2: Changing habits for a better life
George works as a printer at Garden City Fashions Bangalore. His family includes his wife and daughter studying in high school. George was a chain smoker and would smoke up to two packets of cigarettes a day. Stress at work and his home was his excuse for smoking. When he was chosen by the W4W team to attend the Life Skills for Empowering Women (LIFE) programme as a Peer Educator, he was sceptical but attended it out of curiosity to see what the programme was about. The sessions changed George’s life.
The session on health made him realize that his smoking habit was affecting his health. The session on financial management made him think of how much money he was spending on cigarettes and how much he could save by reducing that habit. George has reduced his habit of smoking and plans to give it up completely soon.
He says, “The training programme opened my eyes. I reduced smoking from two packets to five cigarettes per day and plan to slowly give up the habit. Two packets of cigarettes cost Rs.200 a day. I realized it is an unnecessary expenditure. I can spend the money for my daughter’s education instead of it wasting money on cigarettes. A sacrifice I make now will help to build a better future for her.”
Case Study – 3: I love my Mother in Law
Sharada (name changed) is a sex worker, who underwent the life skills training programme at Swathi Mahila Sangha (a collective for women in sex work in Bangalore). Sharada never had a smooth relationship with her mother-in-law, and the conflicts
During the session on interpersonal relationships as part of the life skills training, the group was given an exercise to try at home. The trainer instructed the participants to say “I love you” to their family members. Sharada, who wanted to resolve her issues with her mother in law, went home that day and said, “I love you” to her. Sharada’s mother in law was shocked to hear these words from her daughter-in-law who would always fight with her. Sharada shared all that she learnt from the life skills programme and expressed her desire to build a good relationship with her and bury all past misunderstandings.
Sharada says, “Post the life skills training, I realized that we have one life and I need to improve my relationship with my mother in law. I respect her more and she understands me better. For this Varamahalakshmi Pooja (a festival to pray for peace and prosperity to ‘Lakshmi – the Goddess of Wealth’ in India) she gave me some money, but to me, it’s not just money, it’s her blessing.”
Case Study -3: Ability in Disability
Murugalakshmi works at Siba Flor, a company producing home decor. She is differently-abled, and would always feel depressed about being different. She would not eat well, or bother much about her health, and was plagued by an inferiority complex.
Murugalakshmi attended the Foundational and Advanced training under the Women in Factories programme by the W4W team and health team and it changed her life. The programme built her self confidence and self-esteem, and she realized that she was no different from others.
She began to eat well, stopped skipping her meals and shared lessons learnt about nutritious food with her family members. Murugalakshmi’s haemoglobin levels were low at 9, and after her mother included a lot of green leafy vegetables as part of their diet, it increased to 12. She imparted information on nutrition to the members of the Self Help Group that she is a part of, conducted a nutrition competition and also gave each member a prize to motivate them to sustain this practice
Murugalakshmi found a life partner who has accepted her for who she is. She began a new chapter in her life knowing fully well that she is the author of her life story.
She says, “Disability is only in the mind, it’s not physical. A woman’s life is not defined by just marriage and motherhood. I want to achieve a lot in life, and be an example to all.”
To more about our work and on our engagement with our programmes please visit us at https://cms.org.in/themes/wellbeing-for-workforce-w4w/