New Delhi: The government’s national flagship programme, POSHAN Abhiyan (Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition), enters its sixth year in 2023. The programme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March 2018 aims at reducing undernutrition levels among children below six years of age, pregnant women, and lactating mothers.
The programme is annually celebrated in the month of September, with a different theme each year, primarily focusing on addressing malnutrition by ensuring convergence of various nutrition-related schemes and programmes.
Objective Of POSHAN Maah
The objective of the Poshan Maah is to ensure community mobilisation and bolster people’s participation for addressing malnutrition amongst young children, and women and to ensure health and nutrition for everyone.
✅Aim is to foster nutritional understanding across India through theme centered on "Suposhit Bharat, Sakshar Bharat, Sashakt Bharat"
— PIB in Odisha (@PIBBhubaneswar) August 31, 2023
Here are four things to know about POSHAN Abhiyan:
- POSHAN Abhiyan (National Nutrition Month) aims to strengthen efforts to end hunger and malnutrition.
- It focuses to improving the nutritional outcomes among children, adolescent girls, pregnant women, and lactating mothers by focusing on prenatal care, diet, and optimal breastfeeding.
- The Ministry of Women and Child Development plans month-long activities under Poshan Maah, focusing on issues such as the hygiene and sanitation, anaemia prevention, maternal and infant health, among others.
- There are 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’.
POSHAN Maah 2023 Theme
To accelerate its efforts towards improving nutritional rates among women and children, this year the government is focusing on key human life cycle stages—pregnancy, infancy, childhood, and adolescence—with the theme ‘Suposhit Bharat, Sakshar Bharat, Sashakt Bharat’ (Well-Nourished, Well-Read And Empowered India).
With the National Nutrition Programme, the government has been successfully conducting nutrition-based sensitisation across India for the last five years. In 2022 alone, more than 17 crore sensitisation activities were reported, according to the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD).
This year, the government will lay focus on promoting breastfeeding practices, Swasth Balak Spardha (a nationwide weight and height measurement campaign promoting the value of nutrition and good health of children below six years), Poshan Bhi Padhai Bhi (PBPB), improving nutrition through Mission LiFE, Meri Mati Mera Desh (a camapign to celebrate India’s soil and valour and commemorate India’s journey of freedom and progress), nutrition sensitisation among the tribal communities of India, and addressing the prevalence of Anaemia among women.
Activities For POSHAN Maah 2023
During the Poshan Maah, activities related to nutrition awareness will be carried out across the country upto the grass root levels. A list of some of the activities planned by the Ministry for POSHAN Abhiyan 2023 includes organising awareness camps for dietary diversity, i.e., moving from Breastfeeding to Complementary feeding. The Anganwadi children will perform skits on the significance of nutrition for mother and child. Besides, there will be an exclusive Swasth Balak Spardha growth measurement drive conducted in the urban slum areas.
Additonally, there will be awareness drives and sessions held on healthy dietary practices, such as including Millets in the diet. The centre will also organise Anaemia camps for adolescent girls (14-18 years) in northeastern states and in Special Action Group (SAG)-linked districts in India.
The release stated,
Officers of the states and Union Territories are directed to enthusiastically organise these activities and encourage larger community participation by leveraging Gram Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies and support the Prime Minister’s vision of Suposhit Bharat.
Malnutrition and Anaemia among women and children are major problems in India. As per the Global Hunger Index 2022 report, the prevalence of undernourished in the population stands at 16.3 per cent, child stunting is at 35.5 per cent, child wasting is at 19.3 per cent and child mortality rate is 3.3 per cent.
About the status of Anaemia in the country, nearly 67 per cent of children (6-59 months of age), 59 per cent adolescent girls, and nearly 52 per cent of pregnant women are anaemic. Mitigating these two life-cycle issues remains the core objective of POSHAN Abhiyaan. Every year, the programme comes up with a range of efforts to improve the integration of nutrition interventions into existing health platforms through various strategic measures.
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 – theLGBTQ 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 currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) 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, fightmalnutrition, 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 likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.