Contrary to the assumption that everything goes back to being normal post childbirth, people often fail to acknowledge the massive changes that a woman goes through, physically and emotionally, during and after pregnancy.
Intending to impart greater awareness about pregnancy, post-birth care and nutritional needs for both mother and baby, Indian batsman Suresh Raina and his wife Priyanka have started the Gracia Raina Foundation.
The Foundation, launched in May this year, also plans on imparting skills to underprivileged mothers that would help them sustain a living.
The launch of the Foundation was made by the Rainas on the occasion of their daughter Gracia’s first birthday.
“The Gracia Raina Foundation is dedicated to creating awareness and working closely with mothers and children who require help ranging from physical to mental issues. 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,” Priyanka told The Asian Age.
Having worked with many NGOs that helped women from underprivileged background, Priyanka’s own journey through motherhood helped her comprehend the different phases a mother goes through during this period and, more importantly, their need for support.
“I feel very strongly about empowering women to make conscious decisions about their lives and make right choices. I want to create an ecosystem for women, so that we can all stand up for ourselves and help those less privileged along the way. The foundation is my way to give back to society,” she added.
With the goal of empowering, engaging and facilitating women towards a sustainable livelihood, Priyanka also talks about complications that young mothers and infants often face including maternal and neonatal mortality that could have been averted if timely awareness and guidance had been imparted. “We plan to work on three pillars- mental and physical wellness, knowledge and awareness, and empowerment,” she explained.
The Foundation plans to incorporate a self-sustainable development model aimed at providing support, education and empowerment for expecting mothers, young mothers and families. Research and field visits are also part of the agenda to gain insights on ground realities and interact directly the women the Foundation intends to benefit.
Envisioning partnerships and collaboration with governments, bilateral agencies, NGOs and the private sector, in areas like nutrition, policy, advocacy and communications, Gracia Raina Foundation hopes to make a difference in the lives of young mothers from underprivileged sections of society and their children.