The project KNOW DIABETES was formally inaugurated on 25th November 2008 by Dr. Anil Kapur, Managing Director, World Diabetes Foundation.

The solemn function held at NSS Girls High School Pandalam was presided over by Smt. Appinazhikathu Santhakumary, President of Pathanamthitta District Panchayath. A huge crowd of school children attended the function. Most Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrisostom Marthoma Valiya Metropolitan delivered the keynote address. A few publications and education materials related to the project were released during the function. They include a documentary DVD ‘Arogyanikethanam’, a hand book ‘Diabetes and other lifestyle diseases’, a monthly news letter ‘kNOw DIABETES’, education materials and certificates to the Health Educators and the Project Logo which were released and handed over to the concerned persons by the District Collector, Sri.P. C. Sanalkumar IAS, Sri. P. K. Kumaran Ex-MLA (Chairman Welfare Standing Committee, District Punchayath) Sri. Pandalam Sivankutty, (Chairman Mannam Memorial NSS Ayurvedic Medical College, Pandalam) District Medical Officer, Dr. Ishabai, Sri. G.Reghunath (President, Kulanada Grama Panchayath) and Ms. Astrid E HasselBalch, (Programme Coordinator, WDF) respectively. The mementoes for the backstage artists of the documentary were distributed by Smt. Nirmala Mathews, (Chairperson Health and Educat- ion standing committee, District Punchayath). Other dignitaries who attended the function include Sri. A. P. Jayan (Vice President, District Punchayath), Sri. N. G. Surendran (member District Panchay- ath), Smt. Radhamony, (Deputy Director of Education), Dr. V. P. Gangadharan, (Chief Onkologist Lakeshore hospital, Kochi), Dr. K. Ramankutty, (Professor, Achuthamenon Centre for Health Studies), Smt. Savithri Balan, (President Mallappuzhasseri Grama Punchayath), Sri. Sreekumar, (President PTA NSS HSS Pandalam), Smt. Ushakumari (Pricipal, NSS HHS Pandalam), and Smt. Renuka Devi (Headmistress NSS GHS Pandalam), Project Director Dr. G. Vijayakumar welcomed the dignitaries and Ms. Leena Simon, Programme Manager presented the project report.
The project is designed as an intervention programme. The strategy is to target the students and through them to address the community as a whole. The Project intends to create awareness about diabetes and to improve diabetes prevention among students nearing adolescence and their parents. The project as a whole is expected to cover about 3 lakhs students and about 2 lakhs parents within a period of five years. Students studying in classes V to XII will be given six hours of awareness classes, Yoga Training, Diet Counseling, Physical Training and a medical check up. Teachers and parents of the students will also attend the medical camps and seperate awareness classes will be conducted for them. More than 100 volunteers and about 5000 teachers will also get involved in this endeavour.

As the team reaches the school they get themselves divided into different groups and do various activities like preparation of the classrooms, setting the charts and models for the exhibition, taking the list of students and teachers etc. Then the classes on Diabetes and other life style diseases are conducted followed by yoga sessions, physical training sessions and the sessions for taking the anthropometric measurements. Seperate sessions are arranged for teachers. It is followed by the distribution of education materials which include handbooks and pamphlets. In order to make the classes interesting and lively the educators use folk songs and skits. After the classes the children are encouraged to present what they have understood from the classes. They present them through speeches and improvised performances.
Camps were conducted in 426 schools. 3377 teachers had their random blood sugar levels assessed. BP and anthropometric measurements were also recorded The teachers attended the awareness classes conducted in the schools. Camps were conducted in all upper primary schools, higher secondary schools, and high schools.All teachers who have attended the awareness classes were given the hand book - ‘Diabetes and other lifestyle Diseases’.
A review session was conducted on 7th & 8th of Feb 2009. About 250 students selected from the various schools participated in the compe- titions such as painting, drawing, essay writing, elocution, poster making, mie, skit, flagging the foods, monoact, quiz, mass drill & proje- ct presentation. The students were selected after preliminary select- ion at the school level. The Arts day was inaugurated by Smt. Nirmala Mathews (Chairperson, education &Health standing committee Pathanamthitta District Panchavath). Block & Grama panchayath members, Parents & teachers attended the function. Teacers also participated in the events.
On feb 8th a seminar on health awareness & education was conducted. Participants included District, Block & Grama panchayath office bearers and members. The chief guest of valedictory session was honourable minister of kerala state Sri. Mathew T. Thomas and was presided by smt Appinazhakathu Santhakumari, Dist. panchayat preside- nt. Sri. A. P. jayan Vice president, Dist. panchayat chairmen of various standing committees also delivered felicitations in the function. Hono- urable minister inaugurated the action plan for converting pathanamt- hitta dist into a diabetes controlled district. The Dist. block and grama panchayath authorities extended their cooperation in this endeavor.
Sri. K. K. Shaju, MLA Pandalam, inaugurated the model school scheme and also declared the Govt Higher secondary school Thottakonam as the first model school under the scheme. Sri. A. P. Jayan released the second and third issues of the news letters. Sri. P. K. Kumaran, Ex MLA inaugurated the kNOw Diabetes Counter at the hospital. Sri. Omalloor Sankaran, Development Standing Committee chairman of Pathanamthitta Dist Panchayath distributed the trophies, certificates and cash awards for the winners.
Towards the last part of the IInd year a review session titled ’Blue Circle 2010’was conducted in the last week of Jan 2010. Students and teachers from various school participated in competitions. The competitions included essay writing, elocution, drawing, painting, monoact, drama etc. As in the previous year the event received enthusiastic response
from the students. The general theme of competition was the prevention and management of Diabetes and other life style diseases. Trophies, certificates and cash award for the winners were distributed by the President of the Dist. Panchayath.
A major achievement of the project during the year 2009-10 was the warm welcome accorded by the Alappuzha district panchayath council for the project.The district panchayath council accepted the proposal to
implement the project in the district and made a part of the annual plan 2009-2010.The Health awareness and intervension project of the Alappuzha district was titled Health@School. During the first phase, the project activities were mainly organized in the government schools of the district.
For the project team it was a movement from the hilly areas of Pathanamthitta to the fields,lakes and the sandy banks of Arabian Sea. It was a thrilling experience for the project team to observe and study the vast difference in the behavior and dietary patterns of the people of the two areas .Because of the overwhelming support extended by the concerned authorities the team succeeded in achieving the target much earlier than expected. Within a period of two months from January 2010 the team conducted the awareness programmes in more than 65 secondary and higher secondary schools.