New Delhi, May 15th, 2017: Cricketer Suresh Raina and his wife Priyanka Chaudhary Raina announce the launch of the- GRACIA RAINA FOUNDATION (GRF), dedicated to the aid of underprivileged mothers across the country. Both Suresh and Priyanka have chosen to announce the foundation on their daughter’s birthday.
The Gracia Raina Foundation is dedicated to creating awareness and work closely with mothers and children who require help ranging from physical to mental health issues and beyond. Under its umbrella, 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. The Foundation will work with expectant mothers and their families. In turn, the foundation provides them with opportunities for sustainable livelihood and empowers women especially pregnant mothers to make informed decisions about themselves and their children.
Speaking on the occasion, Priyanka Raina added this regarding the mission of the foundation, “Gracia Raina Foundation aims to provide support and effective solutions to ensure maternal and newborn wellness by implementing a self-sustaining model. The idea is to empower, engage and facilitate women by enhancing their capabilities. Our model is one of creative collaboration, creating a supportive environment for all women.”
The Foundation aims to deliver a development model for young mothers via its various social impact endeavours. The Foundation also aspires to build partnerships between businesses, NGOs, and individuals with diverse perspectives and resources to address and solve critical issues affecting individuals and communities, from combating the effects to improving the lives of women.
Priyanka has already been involved with initiatives such as PAALNA with RED FM and The Delhi NCR Food Bank Network. She has also visited an NGO in Chandigarh, Nanhi Jaan and collaborated with BIG FM to raise awareness for special needs children. GRF plans to partner with the government, bilateral agencies, non-governmental organisations, and the private sector, where they collaborate with other organisations and work in areas such as mental wellness, discovery, integrated delivery, nutrition, family planning, childhood infectious diseases, policy and advocacy, and communications.
Suresh Raina added, “This is a something very personal to me and my wife and to announce it on our daughters birthday is very special. My wife has been working towards this and has put in a lot of time and effort and I fully support her endeavours. With this foundation, we hope to shed light and help women & babies across the country.”
Each year in India there are 1.34 million deaths of children aged under five. The country accounts for more than a quarter (26 per cent) of the world’s neonatal deaths. Mental health and wellness of pregnant women is a critical determinant of the survival of these children along with the other clinical factors. However, there are various clinical interventions being implemented by the government to address the issue of newborn and child mortality and morbidity, but maternal mental health issues have largely remained neglected. Various studies have documented the ill effects of mental stress, depression, anxiety on adverse pregnancy outcomes.
It remains a fact that despite being in the 21st century, most pregnant women are not in a position to make the decision for themselves and their children. The decision-making has largely remained in hands of others in the family. Financial constraints and financial dependency on others during this period also add to their low say in decision making. The foundation aims to empower the vulnerable pregnant women as well as their birth companions by providing them options for sustainable livelihood options as well as providing them counseling and information on mental, physical well-being and care during pregnancy and after with focus on nutrition, child care, pregnancy care, family planning, thereby addressing such concerns and providing overall wellness and mental health care for young & expecting mothers.
The foundation will work towards supporting the government and various ngo’s in its noble mission of preventing maternal and newborn deaths and demonstrating a unique model of maternal mental health through sustainable livelihood.