Uttar Pradesh Government Fights Malnutrition In State By Involving 68,000 Self-Help Women Groups, Gives Them The Duty Of Providing Take Home RationIn a bid to solve the problem of bad quality ration or no ration reaching the beneficiaries, the Uttar Pradesh government has roped in 68,000 self-help women groups

New Delhi: To fight the malnutrition crisis such as wasting (low weight for age), stunting (low height for age), the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to rope in 68,000 self-help women groups and provide them with employment opportunities. The government has given these women the duty of providing nutritious Take Home Ration to the beneficiaries in their villages and blocks.

Take Home Ration is the government scheme under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) that targets children under 6 years of age and pregnant and lactating women. Through the scheme, the ration that consists of staple food such as rice, pulses, wheat, and oil is given to the beneficiaries for consumption at home. This is necessary for building the health of expecting mothers, new-born babies and children under the age of 6-years and build swasth (healthy) communities. Explaining the initiative to NDTV, Sujeet Kumar, Mission Director, Uttar Pradesh State Rural Livelihood Mission (UPSRLM) said,

The difference in this initiative is the fact that earlier the Take Home Ration service was being taken care of by a centralised body, through which different companies were providing the Take Home Rations which was then distributed by the Anganwadi workers. There were too many people involved in this system and off late, we started to get a lot of complaints regarding the quality and quantity of ration being supplied to the beneficiaries. Most of the time, the ration would never used to reach the beneficiary. So, we decided to break it down into a simple formula. In the whole of Uttar Pradesh, now Take Home Ration is procured locally within the village by the village people.

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Explaining further Mr Kumar said that the government has roped in 68,000 self-help women groups in the state for this initiative, with each group consisting of 10-12 women that helps in the distribution of the ration to 1.5 lakh Anganwadi Kendras (centres) in the state. Mr Kumar added,

Roughly, one self-help women group is able to distribute the Take Home Ration to two to three Anganwadi centres that have around 80-100 beneficiaries. So, overall, through this initiative, the Uttar Pradesh Government is being able to cover approximately 1.6 crore people. Basically, all the villages and blocks in the state have these self-help women groups who are employed by the government and they are now ensuring that the village people get the basic nutrition in right amount and quality.

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The principle behind providing take home ration is to fill in the nutrition gap and improve Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices among infants and young children and provide a good source of nutrition to the expecting mothers. As part of take home ration, products (ready to eat and ready to cook food), dry rations and hot cooked meals are provided.

Highlighting the benefits of this initiative, Mr Kumar said,

Women of a particular village or block have a special connect with their area people. By involving the village women in the fight against malnutrition and delivering the Take Home Ration, it will ensure that all the beneficiaries get their right nutrition at the right time as they will know their area well. Just like we know who lives in our neighbourhood, who has how many children, these self-help women group also know who are the beneficiaries, who needs this ration the most, who has a new-born baby or expecting mother. This ensures the delivery of ration smoothly.

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Explaining the chain and working process of this Take Home Ration system in Uttar Pradesh, Mr Kumar added that earlier this scheme was being run by the ICDS department completely, they used to send money for the ration to the centralised vendor, who further used to give it to the Anganwadi centres. He added,

Now the same money is being transferred to these self-help women groups of particular villages. These women manage the money, procure the food staples, pack it and then further deliver to the beneficiaries. Via this chain, the self-help women groups are able see some money as well. Roughly, the women are able to save Rs. 10,000-12,000 a month, which they take home as their profit. In simple terms, just like we manage our monthly house expense, get our rations, these women also have the duty to get the rations for the beneficiaries and deliver it to them in a particular budget. Since they are buying the materials locally the cost is less as a result they save money.

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Mr Kumar said that one of the major benefits of this initiative is that the state doesn’t need to spend an extra amount on audit teams who can ensure there is no loophole in the ration distribution system.

NDTV also spoke with a few of the women beneficiaries and self-help women group workers. Anu Devi, who is from self-help group ‘Jai Maa Kali’, from Mahila Gram Sanghathan added,

I am part of the self-help-group in my village, I am working as well as the beneficiary of the Take Home Ration scheme. Earlier, the food we used to get was of very low quality, plus the quantity was very less. Since the time the government has roped us in the procurement and distribution of the ration, both these problems have been resolved. Many times, the food also used to get infested by insects as the ration used to stay at filthy godowns. However, since we have taken over the task, we ensure the good quality of the food to reduce the burden of malnutrition in children of our block. We procure the staples like rice, pulses, wheat, milk and oil from our village only at the best possible price, then pack it up and distribute it to the village people. In winters, sometimes, we also make Panjiri for expecting women and give it to the beneficiaries. Our bond with village people is unique, they also listen to us and follow the same as they know we are one of them only.

Also Read: Uttar Pradesh Government And World Food Programme Join Hands To Provide Nutritious Take Home Ration

Roshni from Block-Dubepur, District Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh adds,

I am the President of Sheetla women self-help group. My group has been given the duty of distributing dry rations under the Take-Home-Ration Scheme. This work is managed by me and my group’s secretary Sona Devi together. We enjoy the work because on one hand, it adds to my family’s income and on the other hand, there will be availability of good and nutritious food for the women and children of our village. We are all happy to get this work.

Uttar Pradesh Government Fights Malnutrition In State By Involving 68,000 Self-Help Women Groups, Gives Them The Duty Of Providing Take Home Ration
Roshni along with other women packing take home rations for distribution in her village block

Explaining other initiatives these self-help group women are undertaking to tackle the problem of malnutrition in the state, Mr Kumar said that in their recent past surveys it has been highlighted that each Anganwadi in Uttar Pradesh has at least two severely wasted children. He said,

To tackle this issue, we have asked all self-help women group to keep a track of such children and give them double the ration supply, sometimes also give them extra nutritious food as per the government standards so that they can reach the healthy weight. Apart from the ration, we have guided the groups to take special care of such homes via daily visits, keeping a track of their weight and educating their families about following a good nutritious diet, sometimes we also provide them with supplements, if needed.

Along with these services, in Uttar Pradesh, the self-help women group are also responsible for educating families in their block about breastfeeding practices, initiating breastfeeding within one hour of the childbirth, exclusive diet for the new-borns and motivating the women of the house to grow their own vegetables in their backyard through poshan-vattikas or nutri-kitchens.

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 (WaterSanitation 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 pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

17,59,54,708Cases
5,81,66,715Active
11,39,84,189Recovered
38,03,804Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 193 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 17,59,54,708 and 38,03,804 have died; 5,81,66,715 are active cases and 11,39,84,189 have recovered as on June 14, 2021 at 3:36 am.

India

2,95,10,410 70,421Cases
9,73,15853,001Active
2,81,62,947 1,19,501Recovered
3,74,305 3,921Deaths
In India, there are 2,95,10,410 confirmed cases including 3,74,305 deaths. The number of active cases is 9,73,158 and 2,81,62,947 have recovered as on June 14, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

59,08,992 10,442

1,58,617 167

56,39,271 7,504

1,11,104 2,771

Karnataka

27,65,134 7,810

1,80,856 10,961

25,51,365 18,646

32,913 125

Kerala

27,28,239 11,584

1,23,433 6,478

25,93,625 17,856

11,181 206

Tamil Nadu

23,53,721 14,016

1,49,927 12,146

21,74,247 25,895

29,547 267

Andhra Pradesh

18,09,844 6,770

85,637 5,780

17,12,267 12,492

11,940 58

Uttar Pradesh

17,02,624 452

8,986 820

16,71,852 1,221

21,786 51

West Bengal

14,61,257 3,984

17,651 1,403

14,26,710 2,497

16,896 84

Delhi

14,31,139 255

3,466 144

14,02,850 376

24,823 23

Chhattisgarh

9,86,963 459

13,677 1,405

9,59,969 1,858

13,317 6

Rajasthan

9,49,684 308

7,441 959

9,33,421 1,260

8,822 7

Odisha

8,51,782 4,469

51,681 3,309

7,96,799 7,733

3,302 45

Gujarat

8,20,321 455

10,249 614

8,00,075 1,063

9,997 6

Madhya Pradesh

7,88,183 274

4,251 524

7,75,380 780

8,552 18

Haryana

7,65,861 339

4,661 525

7,52,208 821

8,992 43

Bihar

7,17,215 487

5,312 389

7,02,411 868

9,492 8

Telangana

6,03,369 1,280

21,137 996

5,78,748 2,261

3,484 15

Punjab

5,87,903 956

12,981 1,083

5,59,360 1,980

15,562 59

Assam

4,59,497 2,167

41,373 3,272

4,14,173 5,403

3,951 36

Jharkhand

3,43,458 154

3,395 571

3,34,979 723

5,084 2

Uttarakhand

3,36,879 263

4,633 388

3,25,311 644

6,935 7

Jammu And Kashmir

3,07,412 774

15,081 1,203

2,88,145 1,965

4,186 12

Himachal Pradesh

1,98,550 237

4,777 625

1,90,382 855

3,391 7

Goa

1,62,468 420

4,882 175

1,54,658 581

2,928 14

Puducherry

1,12,528 402

5,331 414

1,05,513 809

1,684 7

Chandigarh

61,110 54

520 20

59,798 71

792 3

Manipur

59,852 530

8,499 211

50,379 726

974 15

Tripura

59,321 235

5,170 382

53,531 610

620 7

Meghalaya

41,906 305

4,623 248

36,550 547

733 6

Arunachal Pradesh

31,282 134

2,885 302

28,252 434

145 2

Nagaland

23,644 82

3,502 131

19,689 208

453 5

Ladakh

19,561 17

658 88

18,706 105

197

Sikkim

18,414 157

3,553 230

14,580 387

281

Mizoram

15,364 97

3,549 111

11,748 203

67 5

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,463 1

78 17

10,381 18

4

Lakshadweep

9,209 34

576 39

8,589 72

44 1

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,261 18

110 11

7,025 29

126

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