New Delhi: On March 8, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition (POSHAN) Abhiyaan which is also known as National Nutrition Mission. The government’s flagship programme is to improve nutritional outcomes for children under 6 years of age, pregnant women and lactating mothers. The aim of POSHAN Abhiyaan, celebrated annually in the month of September, is to address the challenge of malnutrition in a mission mode. This year, India is celebrating the fifth Rashtriya POSHAN Maah.
Each year the government sets a theme to concentrate efforts towards the common goal of good nutrition for women and children. This year, the objective is to trigger Poshan Maah through Gram Panchayats as Poshan Panchayats with a key focus on “Mahila aur Swasthya” (Woman and Health) and “Bacha aur Shiksha” (Child and Education).
To take the message of good nutrition and its pivotal role to every nook and cranny, various activities will be undertaken throughout the month of September. As per the official press release by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, intensive awareness and education activities will include sensitisation drives, outreach programmes, identification drives, camps and fairs with a special focus on pregnant and lactating women, children below six years and adolescent girls, in order to realise the vision of ‘Swasth Bharat’ (healthy India).
The press release stated,
At the Panchayat level, awareness activities will be conducted by local functionaries under the guidance of the concerned District Panchayati Raj Officers and CDPOs. Poshan Panchayat Committees will work closely with field-level workers (FLWs) – Anganwadi Workers, ASHAs, Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANMs) – to support problem solving and enabling service delivery through Anganwadi Centres (AWCs), Village Health and Nutrition Day (VHNDs), and other relevant platforms to ensure all pregnant and lactating women, children below six years, and adolescent girls receive basic Integrated Child Development services.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development has planned certain activities to inculcate nutritious food in everyone’s diet and promote health-seeking behaviour. Some of the activities are:
- Identifying land for Nutri-Gardens or Poshan Vatikas at or near Anganwadi Centres
- Focusing especially on the importance of rainwater conservation among women at Anganwadi centers and on traditional foods in tribal areas for healthy mother and child
- Arranging ‘Amma ki Rasoi’ or Grandmother’s Kitchen of traditional nutritious recipes at a state level. Making extensive efforts to link traditional foods with local festivals during the month
- Organising a national level toy-creation workshop to promote the use of indigenous and local toys for learning in Anganwadi Centres
The release stated,
In the fifth Rashtriya Poshan Maah, the aim is to convert Jan Andolan (people’s movement) into Jan Bhagidari (people’s partnership) to fulfill the Hon’ble PM’s vision of a Suposhit Bharat (well-nourished India).
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.