Indian youth be healthy so that each one of them can realize their full potential.
To develop innovative materials and train teachers to implement Comprehensive School Health Programs in schools across India.
Our Comprehensive School Health Program (CSHP), developed by Tarang Health Alliance, was implemented for Class 6 students in three Delhi NCR schools in 2020-2021 and in six schools in 2021-2022. In both these years, there was a statistically significant improvement in Health Behavior & Knowledge of the students as determined by questionnaires given to the students before and after the last class of the year. All teaching was online due to the pandemic. This academic year (2022-23), the program was implemented in thirteen schools in Delhi NCR and Chandigarh tristate area with about 2600 students. All teaching was offline and the final data was collected in March 2023 and will be analyzed soon.
In 2023-24, our program will be implemented in about 22 schools with CSR funding support from Lal PathLabs Foundation, These schools are in Delhi NCR and Chandigarh area.
Our Comprehensive School Health Program consists of:
1. A health education curriculum which includes Physical, Mental and Social Health.
2. Health Education for Class 6 & 7 students utilizes our Workbook "On the way to being Healthy". We aim for at least forty hours of health education during the academic year. About 10 of these hours are allocated to Life Skills.
3 We train the teacher for at least 8 hours on the Health Education Curriculum. Each teacher receives the Teacher Training Manual.
4. One hour of Parent Engagement sessions conducted every 1-2 months for the parents of the students being taught in each school. These sessions can be online or offline.
Delhi/Canon City, Colorado (USA)-based public health evangelist Dr. Rahul Mehra is the founder-promoter of Tarang Health Alliance (THA, estb.2016), a non-profit promoted with the mission to develop innovative content and train teachers to implement THA’s comprehensive health education curriculum — covering physical, mental and social well- being — in schools countrywide.
Dr. Rahul Mehra was recently appointed India’s national representative to the UNESCO Global Health and Education programme which produces and shares knowledge to improve the health of children and youth worldwide.
Newspeg. Empowered by CSR (corporate social responsibility) funding and a grant from the Rotary Foundation, last June after training their teachers, THA introduced online health education programmes for class VI students of three schools — Bluebells International School, Raghav Global School and Soami Nagar Model School — in the national capital.
“We are studying the impact of the programme on health knowledge and behaviour in Bluebells International which will be evaluated at the end of the academic year after completion of a minimum 40 hours of health education. Moreover, monthly parent engagement meetings are being conducted during which we provide healthy nutrition, physical activity and mental health advice to parents,” says Mehra.
History. An alum of India’s premier IIT-Kharagpur with a Ph D in bio-medical engineering awarded by New York University, USA, Dr. Rahul Mehra has over three decades of experience as a research scientist in the medical industry and academia (Medtronic Inc, Minneapolis, Montefiore Hospital, Bronx, Brooklyn VA Medical Center and Manhattan College, New York) and has registered 75 patents in his name.
Direct talk. Mehra attributes the low longevity (average 69 years) of Indians — significantly lower than of China, Sri Lanka and even Bangladesh — to unhealthy lifestyles and practices. “Healthy lifestyles need to be developed from childhood. Therefore, THA’s goal is to make health education mandatory in all K-12 schools. Over the past five years since I promoted THA, I have invested substantial time in deeply researching educational pedagogies, health education in the US and India, and have also published four student workbooks and teacher manuals for class VI-VII children in our pilot project. I am delighted the National Education Policy, 2020 proposes that health education is included in school curriculums,” says Dr. Rahul Mehra.
Future plans. Looking ahead, Mehra has ambitious plans for THA. “First, we plan to write student workbooks and teacher manuals for classes K-XII, then scale up our programme and develop a financially sustainable model. To begin with, we intend to work with CBSE and Delhi government schools and gradually with schools affiliated with other education boards. For training teachers, our plan is to certify them on health education as well as explore the possibility of starting our own teacher training institution,” says Dr. Rahul Mehra, clearly an individual with focused vision.
Indian cultural evening: a community fundraiser for our NGO in 2019.
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