Second Meeting of National Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges Under POSHAN Abhiyaan

Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India has organized second meeting of National Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges under POSHAN Abhiyaan on 24th July, 2018 in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog. Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Minister of Women and Child Development, Dr Virendra Kumar, Minister of State for Women and Child Development, Dr Vinod Kumar Paul, Member, Health & Nutrition, NITI Aayog participated in the meeting. Dr V. Saroja, Minister of Social Welfare, Government of Tamil Nadu and Anita Bhadel, State WCD Ministers of State of Rajasthan also participated. Secretaries/representatives of the line departments and secretaries/representatives of state government and DCs/DMs of 10 districts of India also participated.

The Government of India has set-up POSHAN Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission) which was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 8th March, 2018 from Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan. The program through use of technology, a targeted approach and convergence strives to reduce the level of Stunting, Under-nutrition, Anemia and Low Birth Weight in Children, as also, focus on Adolescent Girls, Pregnant Women & Lactating Mothers, thus holistically addressing malnutrition. POSHAN Abhiyaan aims to ensure service delivery and interventions by use of technology, behavioral change through convergence and lays-down specific targets to be achieved across different monitoring parameters over the next few years. To ensure a holistic approach, all 36 States/UTs and 718 districts will be covered in a phased manner by the year 2020. Never before has nutrition been given such prominence at the highest level in the country. During the half day meeting, Ministry of WCD has given the action taken report on the recommendations of the last meeting of the National Council.

As part of POSHAN Abhiyaan’s initiative to mobilize a peoples’ movement or Jan Andolan on nutrition, the Ministry of Women and Child Development has developed a caller tune and ring tone to popularize and create a connect with the Abhiyaan’s goal of Sahi Poshan Desh Roshan. During the meeting, the caller tune and ringtone of the POSHAN Abhiyaan was also released. The Ministry of Women and Child Development sought assistance from the Ministry of AYUSH for preparing the Yoga guidelines for (i) Adolescent Girls (ii) Pregnant Ladies (iii) Lactating Mothers and (iv) Children within 3-6 years of age. Ministry of AYUSH, in consultation with Ministry of WCD, has prepared these 4 protocol booklets of Yoga with the assistance of Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY) and the same was released during the meeting. Ministry of Women and Child Development has desired to get associated with NASSCOM Foundation. It was intimated that an MoU is likely to be signed with NASSCOM Foundation by Ministry of Women and Child Development for roll-out and implementation of POSHAN Abhiyaan across all 36 States/UTs by developing partnerships with corporates, social organizations and business houses for creating a Jan Andolan on Nutrition across the country.

During the meeting it was approved to include 32 new districts in the current year 2018-19 under POSHAN Abhiyaan by which it will saturate all the districts of the UTs which are left to be included under Phase-I and Phase-II. Also, the States where up to 5 districts have been left will also be included under POSHAN Abhiyaan. This will facilitate saturation of 8 new states/UTs. Now 23 states/UTs will be saturated. Ministry of Women and Child Development with the assistance of National Institute of Nutrition is in the process of developing on-line course for nutrition. Three of the modules were presented during the meeting. These courses are planned to be hosted independently by MoW&CD (POSHAN Abhiyaan) and National Institute of Nutrition portals. During the meeting in-principle approval of the guidelines for construction of anganwadi centers in urban areas/slums under aanganwadi services was also given. During the meeting, Dr Vinod K Paul, Member, Health & Nutrition, NITI Aayog presented the activities to be carried in the month of September, 2018 to celebrate as National Nutrition Month and this will be celebrated every year. – PIB

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