POSHAN Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission) is a flagship program of the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The Mission aims at improving the nutritional status of children from 0-6 years, Adolescent Girls, Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers in a specific time restrained manner during the next three years beginning 2017-18.
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The Abhiyaan aims to achieve convergence with various programs i.e., Anganwadi Services, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, Scheme for Adolescent Girls, Janani Suraksha Yojana, National Health Mission, Swachh-Bharat Mission, Public Distribution System, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
The UNICEF Head also mentioned that the current policies are majorly focused on pregnant mothers and lactating children, but the government also should make provisions about how to provide nutrition to growing children. He added that UNICEF will continue working with the government on initiatives like Swachh Bharat, Mission Indradhanush, vaccination policies, and Poshan Abhiyaan.
POSHAN Abhiyaan was launched by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan in March 2018. The scheme targets the objective to reduce the level of under-nutrition and other related problems by ensuring the convergence of various nutritional schemes. Under the scheme, stunting, under-nutrition, anemia and low birth rate are also major concerns.
It will judge and review the implementation of all such schemes and utilize existing structural arrangements of line ministries wherever available. Its bigger picture includes gradually making it more complex and wide of interventions supported by on-going World Bank assisted Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Systems Strengthening and Nutrition Improvement Project (ISSNIP) to all districts in the country by 2022.
It is a great deal for the Indian subcontinent, as the country is now representing a greater deal under the medical and health sectors. Unicef Representative in India Yasmin Ali Haque has made the following observations about the Poshan Abhiyaan:
Poshan Abhiyaan which focuses on reducing stunting, under-nutrition, and anemia in women and adolescents through direct cash transfers is a massive step towards eradicating malnutrition.
Poshan Abhiyaan has got global recognition for its effort to eradicate malnutrition.
Cash transfers under the mission provide additional support to the family income. Hence Poshan Abhiyaan is a massive step that realizes the need for eradicating malnutrition.
The whole issue of malnutrition requires concrete action starting from the grassroots level at households as well as the community level.
The first and the most important step for reducing malnutrition in India are providing sufficient nutrition to pregnant and lactating mothers. The child then automatically is at much less risk of being malnourished.
The recent development had been the entire month of September declared as the “Poshan Maah”. As per NITI Ayyog “The activities in POSHAN Maah focussed on Social Behavioural Change and Communication (SBCC). The broad themes were: antenatal care, optimal breastfeeding (early and exclusive), complementary feeding, anemia, growth monitoring, girls’ – education, diet, right age of marriage, hygiene and sanitation, eating healthy – food fortification. More than 12.2 Crore women, 6.2 Crore men and over 13 Crore children (male and female) were reached through the various activities undertaken during POSHAN Maah. It is worth mentioning that 30.6 Crore people were reached in 30 days. POSHAN Maah has given a major impetus to the Abhiyaan.”
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