Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani on Monday said that within the next 15 days, the ministry will announce a new set of competence guidelines for tackling malnutrition under the Poshan Abhiyan programme for the states to follow.
The guidelines are being made in consultation with other ministries such as AYUSH, Health and Agriculture, and nutrition experts, said the minister.
“We have been looking at the programme as an economic package. Instead of looking at it like that, the right approach is to make the child the centre of the programme,’’ the minister said in a webinar with senior officials from states.
As a part of Poshan Maah or Nutrition Month, observed in September, the Ministry has launched a number of initiatives, including the creation of a “poshan kosh’’ or a database that will help in tackling malnutrition in the country. It is also pushing the development of kitchen gardens, and has proposed that these be set up first at Anganwadi centres and community land to cater to the local population.
Referring to the significance of Poshan Maah, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Monday, “#POSHANMaah2020 starts today. Let us undertake efforts to reach out to people across the length and breadth of India and spread awareness on eradicating malnutrition. This will help our Nari Shakti and Yuva Shakti.”
Home Minister Amit Shah said in a tweet that this Poshan Maah, the government will focus on an intensive campaign for the holistic nourishment of children with severe acute malnutrition. “To further strengthen this scheme, let us all take a pledge & contribute towards a malnutrition-free India,” he said.
“The Prime Minister’s mention of Nutrition Month in Mann ki Baat highlights the importance of nutrition. His stress on an Atmanirbhar Bharat and Vocal for Local has prompted us to look and indigenous solution and this is why we are now collaborating with the AYUSH Ministry to look at how malnutrition can be tackled,’’ said Secretary, Women and Child Development, Ram Mohan Mishra.
He added that the ministries of Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Agriculture, Health, among others, were contributing to the knowledge bank for Poshan Abhiyan. The Ministry has also started the process of surveying and identifying children suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition.