Source: Screengrab of POSHAN Abhiyaan, Representational purpose only
The Government of India is celebrating September as a POSHAN Maah under POSHAN Abhiyaan. According to the official document, there are eight key themes for Poshan Maah – (i) Antenatal Care (ii) Optimal Breastfeeding (Early and Exclusive), (iii) Complementary Feeding (iv) Anemia (v) Growth Monitoring (vi) Girls – Education, Diet, Right Age of Marriage (vii) Hygiene and Sanitation (viii) Eat Healthy – Food Fortification.
POSHAN Abhiyaan is a flagship programme to improve nutritional outcomes for children, adolescents, pregnant women and locating mothers by leveraging technology a targeted approach and convergence. As an Integrated Dashboard for monitoring progress has been created, the tagline of the National Nutrition Month has been named as Har Ghar Poshan Tyohar. The National Nutrition Month is aimed at reaching every household with the message of Nutrition.
It is interesting to note that the Ministry of Women and Child Development renamed the National Nutrition Mission (NNM) as the PM’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment in May 2018. Before delving into the detail, there is a need to shed light on the POSHAN Abhiyaan and its modus operandi. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi launched the National Nutrition Mission and Pan India Expansion of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) covering all 640 districts in India at a mega event held in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan.
A Snapshot on Poshan Abhiyaan:
Source: POSHAN Abhiyaan
The National Nutrition Mission (NNM) is started with a three year budget of Rs.9046.17 crore commencing from 2017-18. According to the Press Communiqué, the NNM is a comprehensive approach towards raising nutrition level in the country on a war footing. It will comprise mapping of various Schemes contributing towards addressing malnutrition, including a very robust convergence mechanism, ICT based Real Time Monitoring system, incentivizing States/UTs for meeting the targets, incentivizing Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) for using IT-based tools, eliminating registers used by AWWs, introducing measurement of height of children at the Anganwadi Centres (AWCs), Social Audits, setting-up Nutrition Resource Centres, involving masses through Jan Andolan for their participation on nutrition through various activities, among others.
Sensitisation of the line Ministries, States/UTs and District level functionaries and partners on various aspects of the National Nutrition Month is advocated.
The Line Ministries under the Mission:
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW)
Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD)
Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (MoAYUSH)
Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoH&UA)
Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MoI&B)
Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA)
Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) and
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
Another point is worthwhile to mention that the government is mentioning the behavioural changes. It is evident that the government is converging on a series of interventions to deal with the menace of malnutrition in India. Inspired by the Swachh Bharat Mission, the Union Government is trying to do something gigantic and mammoth at the national level. As the General Election 2019 is approaching, the top leadership is willing to launch such massive interventions so that they can list it during the election campaigns and grab the attention of the masses.