Rashtriya Poshan Maah: Sensitising mother and child on nutrition
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Sep 19: In keeping with the dreams of the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, to boost the nutritional values of every child in the country, Nagaland is observing the flagship ‘Rashtriya Poshan Maah’ with the sole aim of disseminating the importance of nutrition among mother and child.
In Dimapur too, a programme was organised which was attended by the Brand Ambassador of Poshan Abhiyaan, officials from the district administration and the central government and others at Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS), Diphupar.
“According to a United Nations report, 36% of children in India have stunted growth,” said Prof. Alongla Aier, Brand Ambassador of Poshan Abhiyaan- a prime minister’s overarching scheme for holistic nourishment under the ministry of women and child development.
A ‘food mela’ was also organised as part of the programme. While advising the students to maintain a healthy food habit, the brand ambassador said that the stunted growth rate of children is due to the inadequate nutrition provided to mothers and their child. She has attributed malnutrition as one of the main reasons why the country is still lagging behind though it has made progress in other aspects.
“You are the beneficiaries of Poshan Abhiyaan,” Aier addressed the students of EMRS, who were from classes VI-X. She urged the students to follow balanced diet and develop a love for the nutrition available in the organic food.
“If proper nutrition is not made available, the immune system is weakened and one’s highest potential is not reached and fails to live life to the fullest,” said Aier. Deputy Commissioner (DC), Dimapur, Sushil Kumar Patel, who was guest of honour, spoke briefly on how critical Nagaland is amongst other states under the national nutrition mission.
He informed that one in every two women in the country is anaemic whereas one in every three children and a staggering 37 survivors out of 1000 births is malnourished.
“Under this scheme (Rashtriya Poshan Maah), the government has concern for a comprehensive plan to work for the health aspect of not only children but also pregnant women and lactating mothers,” Patel said.
“Organic food or tribal food is logically good for health which can bring down the infant mortality rate (IMR) greatly,” the DC commented adding that if nutritious food is provided to the mother, the infant will also be healthy.
Deputy Director from Ministry of Tribal Affairs, GOI, Biswas Behari Panigrahi, who was also present at the event, said that national nutrition mission aims to bring all deprived children and mothers under the coverage of the mission. He added that the mission aims to cover 10 crore beneficiaries mainly children and lactating mothers from 2017-2020.
He further said that in line with the mission, a cleanliness drive is also being held from Sept. 15 to Oct. 2, where villages, districts, school and college students would be sensitised about cleanliness for improvement of health and the eco system.
Biswas also informed that the central ministry has stopped using plastic mineral water bottles and use paper cups instead.
“Children are the ambassadors and the change agents,” he proclaimed and appealed to all the students to take the message forward by sharing with families.
It must be noted here that according to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) as per May 2018, stunting prevalence in India is high (38.4%) and varies considerably across districts (from 12.4% to 65.1%).
239 of the 640 districts in India have stunting levels above 40% and 202 have prevalence of 30–40%.
High‐stunting districts are heavily clustered in the north and centre of the country, it is reported further stating that inter-district differences in stunting are strongly explained by a multitude of economic, health, hygiene, and demographic factors.