- Goal of National Nutrition Week is to create a healthy nation: Dr Vardhan
- Nutrition Week is important to raise awareness of nutrition: Dr Vardhan
- National Nutrition Week is celebrated on the first week of September (1-7)
New Delhi: The first week of September is observed as National Nutrition Week in India with an aim to raise awareness on the importance of nutrition for better health. The National Nutritional Week was started in 1982 by Food and Nutrition Board. On this occasion, the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan urged everyone to take the pledge to eat right and progress towards a healthy nation. He tweeted in Hindi,
#NationalNutritionWeek has started. Its goal is to raise awareness on the importance of nutrition for better health, which has an impact on national development. Let us all take this opportunity #EatRightIndia Raise awareness of nutrition by giving it the form of a mass movement. We should not forget that #Health is the central point of nutrition. The goal of National Nutrition Week is to create a healthy nation. Nutrition is the main theme of life, health and development for the present and successful generations.
हमें यह नहीं भूलना चाहिए कि #Health का केन्द्रीय बिन्दु पोषण है।राष्ट्रीय पोषण सप्ताह का लक्ष्य एक स्वस्थ राष्ट्र बनाना है। वर्तमान और सफ़ल पीढ़ियों के लिए जीवन, स्वास्थ्य और विकास का मुख्य विषय पोषण है ।#NationalNutritionWeek @MinistryWCD @MoHFW_INDIA pic.twitter.com/PseGU6m8S1
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) September 1, 2020
As part of Nutrition Week Initiatives, the Ministry of Women and Child Development organised a conference, where it urged States and Union Territories (UTs) to focus on the initiative of Nutri-gardens in Anganwadis. The states and UTs were also told to promote the importance of breastfeeding and awareness around Severe Acute Malnutrition, in the Poshan Month activities.
Secretary, @MinistryWCD also urge the States/UTs to focus on the initiative of Nutri-gardens in each Anganwadi Centre, the importance of breastfeeding and tackling the problem of SAM (Severe Acute Malnutrition) children during the celebration of #POSHANMaah2020 this year. pic.twitter.com/mAhcNfvvif
— Ministry of WCD (@MinistryWCD) August 31, 2020
The nutri-gardens or kitchen gardens will help enhance the knowledge of children regarding nutritional aspects of vegetables and harmful effects of junk food, an official statement from the Ministry of Women Child Development read.
The ministry has directed each Anganwadi to have nutri-gardens and make children spend time growing vegetable and fruits. The statement reads,
The proposed Nutrition Garden would help in addressing issues such as malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies among children. In addition to the nutritional aspect, these gardens would also pose as experimental learning for the children.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi too, on his monthly radio show Mann Ki Baat, urged everyone to focus on the nutritious quality of their food intake and increase awareness about the same. He said,
We have a maxim – ‘Yatha Annam Tatha Mannam’ which means our mental and intellectual development is directly related to the quality of our food intake. There is a need to increase awareness of Nutrition.
The Current Status of Nutrition In India
India is one of the world’s largest food producer of items like milk, pulses, and ranks as the second largest producer of rice, wheat, sugarcane, groundnut, vegetables, fruit and cotton, as per the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Despite the status, 14 per cent of India population is undernourished, according to ‘The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, 2020’ report.
The report states 189.2 million people are undernourished in India and 34.7 per cent of the children aged under five in India are stunted (too short for their age). It further reports that 20 per cent on OF India’s children under the age of 5, suffer from wasting, meaning their weight is too low for their height.
And the crisis of coronavirus has further worsened these conditions and India’s poor and hungry are being affected the most, the study highlights.
Poshan Abhiyan And Nutrition Month
In 2018, Ministry of Women and Child Development launched the Poshan Abhiyan.
Under the Poshan Abhiyaan, the government set goals to reduce child under-nutrition (stunting and underweight) and low birth weight by 2 per cent a year, and anaemia across age groups by 3 per cent, and create a mass movement for good nutrition in the country. The target of the Abhiyan to achieve a malnutrition-free India by 2022.
To meet the targets and create a discussion around nutrition in the country, along with the National Nutrition Week, the entire month of September in the country is marked as Poshan Maah or Nutrition Month.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. 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 highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. 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 become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.