The third Rashtriya Poshan Maah (National Nutrition Month) is being celebrated this month to address the problem of malnutrition among women and children. It was started by Ministry of Women and Child Development with a target of bringing down stunting in children of 0-6 years of age from 38.4 per cent to 25 per cent by 2022. As per the last edition of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) in 2015-16, as many as 35.7 per cent of children under five years of age are underweight, 38.4 per cent are stunted (low height for age), and 21 per cent are wasted (low weight for height). According to experts, more children are becoming malnourished due to the deteriorating quality of their diet, interruptions in nutrition and other services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, this year, POSHAN Maah is focusing on two major activities at the grassroots level - identification and tracking of children with SAM (Severe Acute Malnutrition) and plantation drives to promote kitchen gardens or nutri-gardens to provide nutritional support to the poor families in rural areas. Here is how various states are celebrating POSHAN Maah 2020 by planting nutri-gardens and raising awareness among people about the importance of having a nutrient-rich diet.
In Punjab, kitchen gardens or nutri-gardens (poshan vatikas) are being planted by anganwadi workers and members of gram panchayats for promoting this year's POSHAN Maah theme ?Local for Poshan'. The picture provides glimpses of activities from Ferozepur and Sri Muktsar Sahib districts of the state.
In Assam's Kokrajhar district, POSHAN Maah is being celebrated by conducting plantation drives to promote nutria-gardens in all Anganwadi Centres.
Kitchen gardens are being developed at various locations in Andhra Pradesh on land allocated by the Panchayat Raj Department, according to the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
With an aim to address the challenges of malnutrition among children in a holistic manner, nutri-gardens are being set up at Anganwadi Centres to ensure availability of diversified vegetable for hot cooked meals and for promoting the habit of healthy eating among people, as per the information posted by the POSHAN Abhiyaan account of Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan on it's Twitter account.
Jammu and Kashmir is marking the POSHAN Maah 2020 by setting up nutrition gardens at various places in the rural areas in the upper belt region of the Union Territory.
In Uttarakhand, POSHAN Maah started with awareness programmes on setting up kitchen gardens. Currently, kitchen gardens are being established at Anganwadi Centres where nutrient-rich vegetables have been planted. A number of these gardens are also using Hydroponic technique of farming which is a system of growing crops without soil, often called soilless farming. According to the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Anganwadi workers in Uttarakhand are also encouraging people in rural areas to grow their own vegetables in their homes.
In Maharashtra, setting up of nutri-gardens has been undertaken by Maharashtra state rural livelihood Mission as a state-wide project under which about 92,000 kitchen gardens have been planted between June 25 to July 15 and more are being planted during POSHAN Maah.
As part of activities during the POSHAN Maah, nutri-gardens are being planted at Anganwadi Centre in North Sikkim district. Apart from that Anganwadi workers pay door-to-door visits to raise awareness abbout developing kitchen gardens around the theme 'Grow Organic, Eat Organic'.
In Telangana, the stakeholders at grassroot levels like Anganwadi workers, self-help groups, members of Panchayati Raj Institutions and officials of Women and Child Development Department are raising awareness about nutrition and promoting the concept of kitchen gardens throughout the state.
In Manipur, a series of vegetables and fruits plantation drives are being organised to mark the National Nutrition Month 2020. Apart from this, POSHAN Panchayats are also being conducted at gram panchayats at Potsangbam sector of Lamsang block, Imphal West with an aim to raise awareness among people about eating healthy.