SODWAC was born when a group of concerned individuals in Bangalore came together to find ways to help rural women and children. The main concerns of SODWAC are to provide a forum for discussion and action on woman and child development, to improve the health of poor, rural women and children partly by spreading awareness of correct nutritional and sanitation methods; and to help educate these underprivileged sections.

Since 1990, when it was started as a registered society, SODWAC has been involved in a number of projects in Northern Bangalore and Anekal Taluk, notably a research project (1993-1998) funded by Russell Trust, Bombay, looking at low birth weight babies and the subsequent infant care.

Today, SODWAC is focusing on a number of villages in Anekal Taluk. In these villages, two workers from SODWAC work with the women on supplementary nutrition. They show them how to prepare low-cost, locally available nutritional supplements for pregnant women and infants. They also sell such supplements at a reduced price, and sometimes even provide additional food for children free of cost.

They also feed Anganwadi children and other young children whose parents may not send them to the Anganwadi. In addition, they give these children simple books and toys that they make themselves.

SODWAC’s way of working is simple and need-based. The Chandapur Panchayat and local Mahila Mandals put SODWAC in touch with different villages in their area, and two workers visit each of these villages in turn. Depending on the donations they receive, SODWAC tries to help the women and children in whatever way they need, be it a snack or lunch for children on a holiday, or an outing and meal once in a while.

They organize health camps now and then. At another level, SODWAC sometimes also sets up a fund for a child, giving the mother a lumpsum to use for the child’s needs, like books, clothes, or school materials. Similarly, women who opt for a family planning operation are sometimes given help – sometimes as simple as advice and sometimes extra feeding.

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