Chennai: In a bid to dispel myths and spread awareness about breastfeeding, dietician Ramya Ramachandran, is organising an international conference in the city, tomorrow. The longtime resident of Postal Colony, West Mambalam, she spoke to News Today after the conference.
*What made you take up this sensitive issue?
I have counselled over 2,000 people so far. While meeting young women, I find most of them are not well informed about the importance of giving mother’s milk to infants.
They get varied data on this aspect and are misguided in most cases.
Having thought of this for quite some time, I founded a service organisation, ‘Nectar Integrated Health Services’ and conducted the first international conference on breastfeeding last year, with participation by dignitaries across the country and a good number of mothers.
*How did the first seminar go?
I single-handedly conducted the event at Savera Hotel, Mylapore, last year and was fortunate to have Dr J Radhakrishnan, former State Health Secretary, as the chief guest.
As a follow up to the event, many mothers and participating medical practitioners are doing their bit to spread the significance of breastmilk.
*How did you convince women to take part?
This year’s event at Hotel Savera is focused on birth to breastfeeding and transforming challenges into sustainable solutions.
Speakers at the conference will emphasis on transforming breastfeeding from a simple dispensable act to a medical heath necessity. We will have a data bank of the participants and will be in constant touch with them to spread the message.
*Few words about the second conference.
All India Mahila Congress, national general secretary Apsara Reddy, has consented to be the chief guest and also an award will be given to Priyanka Idicula, founder of Birth Village, Cochin, and Adhunika Prakash, founder of Breastfeeding Support for Indian Mothers group, for their stellar work in this field. The event will commence at 9 am.
*How do you manage the financial aspects?
When I took up this project, it was a Herculean task both in terms of financing and man management. With the blessing of my parents and whole-hearted support from my friends and well-wishers like Varsha, my first conference was a success. Now, I am breathing easy with many hands to join me in taking up the issue.
*What are your future plans?
A lot needs to be done in this regard, as not only women, but their husbands too, should be educated about this issue. I have varied plans to reach out to them through conferences, interaction sessions and visiting their places.
In our country, both awareness and practice of breastfeeding, needs to be stepped up and I am concentrating on how to synchronise both the activities and will be organising more seminars and interaction sessions in the coming days.
Ramya Ramachandran can be reached at 97890 41090.