To Tackle Malnutrition, Govt To Launch POSHAN Atlas To Map Local Crops And Foodgrains
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To Tackle Malnutrition, Govt To Launch POSHAN Atlas To Map Local Crops And Foodgrains

In a bid to eradicate malnutrition, the central government is developing an Atlas to map the crops and food grains grown in the country and promote nutritious protein rich food in local areas, the Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani said at the 5th National Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges on October 10 in New Delhi.

The Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister said that a humane solution has to be developed to tackle the menace of malnutrition in India and for this, the economic benefits of investing in nutrition should be propagated.

She quoted the World Bank Global Nutrition Report – 2018 which says that malnutrition costs India at least USD 10 billion annually in terms of lost productivity, illness and death and is retarding improvements in human development and further reducing childhood mortality.

POSHAN Abhiyaan, Modi government’s flagship program was launched to make the country malnutrition free by 2022. It aims at reducing stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and bringing down low birth weight.

POSHAN is an exercise for life, for all citizens and should not be limited to women and children, Smriti Irani further stated.

From the Mid-day Meal Programme in 1962-63 to POSHAN Abhiyaan in 2018, the Government of India has come a long way,” Dr Mrudula Phadke, senior adviser, National Rural Health Mission and UNICEF told The Logical Indian.

Sharing details of the Modi government’s flagship program, Dr Phadke said, “115 aspirational districts have already been targeted under the POSHAN Abhiyaan to scale-up nutrition-related activities and with the Modi 2.0 in action.”

“With the help of facility-based treatment for children with complicated Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) to community-based treatment for children with uncomplicated SAM, government initiatives like POSHAN Abhiyaan have helped tremendously in bringing down the malnutrition burden in the country,” Dr Phadke added.

During the POSHAN Abhiyaan month in September alone, 22 lakh programmes were held and 3.66 crore activities were organised in different parts of the country. Village Health, Sanitation and Nutrition Day (VHSND) programmes were also organised in 7.86 lakh places, the ministry said.

The states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Bihar have shown remarkable improvement and have successfully tackled acute malnutrition among children. However, it’s the state of Maharashtra that has caught the eye of the experts.

“Maharashtra is often cited as a success story for being the first state to create a State Nutrition Mission with a special focus on the youngest, the underprivileged and the most vulnerable population. The state has already managed to reduce stunting by 15 percentage points from 2006 to 2012,” Dr Phadke said.

“I am positive that we will be able to accelerate our efforts further in addressing malnutrition in India and additionally gear towards bringing SAM burden down,” she told The Logical Indian.

Also Read: ‘Malnutrition Is The Reason For 68 Per Cent Deaths Among Children Under 5’

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