Bibhas Chandra Modi The development of a country and malnutrition are directly related. It means that it is imperative to explore the significance of nutrition in the economic and social development of an individual and the country. POSHAN Abhiyaan is a multi-ministerial convergence mission with the vision to ensure the attainment of a malnutrition-free India.
The mission aims at holistic development and adequate nutrition for pregnant women, mothers and children by improving the utilization of Anganwadi Services and the quality of Anganwadi Services delivery. There are several schemes directly/indirectly affecting the nutritional status of children (0-6 years of age) and pregnant women and lactating mothers. Despite these, malnutrition and related problems are high in the country.
There is no dearth of schemes, but a lack of synergy creation and scheme linkage with each other to achieve a common goal is there. POSHAN Abhiyaan through robust convergence mechanisms and other components would strive to create synergy. POSHAN MAAH: Initiating momentum to POSHAN Abhiyan, 'National Council on India's Nutrition Challenges' on 24th July 2018 decided to celebrate the month of September as Rashtriya POSHAN Maah.
During this month activities related to nutrition awareness will be carried out by all the states/UTs up to the grassroots level. During the POSHAN Maah, activities related to nutrition awareness will be carried out across the country up to the grassroots levels. The implementing departments and agencies like the women and child development department through Anganwadi workers and the health and family welfare department through ASHA, and ANM, will carry out the activities and spread the message of holistic nutrition throughout the month to ensure a healthier future for women and children, as per a government statement.
The POSHAN Maah intends to achieve the holistic goals of POSHAN Abhiyaan with swiftness in a harmonized manner. The impact created in the communities is indispensable. It encourages community awareness and ownership towards a mass movement to reduce malnutrition and initiate a healthy lifestyle.
A month-long engagement of the communities along with the frontline workers also develops baseline cognizance towards the government services and their availability. POSHAN MAAH 2022 in Assam To ensure community mobilization and bolster people's participation in addressing malnutrition amongst young children, and women, the state of Assam, like every year, has geared up for this year's POSHAN Maah with a distinct accumulation of themes and activities which will not only focus on the goals of POSHAN Maah but also ensure community participation and ownership. The key themes of this year's POSHAN Maah are "Mahila and Swasthya", "Bacha and Shiksha- Poshan Bhi Padhai Bhi", "Gender Sensitive water conservation and management" and "Traditional Foods for women and children in tribal areas".
The state has designed a series of activities that will be rolled out throughout the month in alignment with the proposed themes. The emphasis is on focusing on village-level institutions to activate Jan Bhagidari through POSHAN Panchayats. On the 1st Sept 2022, POSHAN Maah was launched by hon'ble Chief Minister of Assam Dr Himanth Biswasa Sharma by flagging off vehicles named "Pusti Rath'' this vehicle Would visit every district and provide the benefit drop-off facility to the NRC (National Rehabilitation Centre)-discharged children.
This would sensitize the community on the use of NRCs and get appropriate timely medical care for malnourished children. Similarly, district-level launches are also planned involving public representatives to create mass awareness. In line with this year's theme, a new concept named "POSHAN Panchayats' is planned in all the districts.
In Assam, POSHAN panchayats will be organized targeting three main beneficiaries. Mahila Panchayats are expected to mobilize and sensitize women at the community level on the various nutrition issues, healthy diet, appropriate feeding practices, anaemia issues among women and sensitization on the locally available iron-rich foods. These panchayats are also expected to empower women and encourage women's participation in community meetings and make decisions on nutrition and hygiene for the family.
Community Panchayat is expected to encourage community participation for mass awareness, and ignite a dialogue on nutrition at the community level. In these community panchayats a local PRI member will also be invited for the discussion on how to organize better nutrition care for the respective community. Kishori Panchayat are expected to encourage adolescent girls to speak out about their health and hygiene practices, improve their awareness of menarche, menstrual hygiene, and anaemia during the adolescent period.
POSHAN Vatika -Assam and its population reside in our agriculture and our diverse flora and fauna. This initiative aims to create apprehension towards the importance of plantation, the importance of various medicinal plants, locally available vegetables, fruits etc. Thereby, the State government aims to generate it through the support of the Dept of PNRD, Ayush, Agriculture, Education, Health & Family Welfare, Environment & Forest & other partners, Krishi Vigyaan Kendra.
Activities as such plantation drives, and identifying land for the garden at the Aganwadi centres will be focused on this activity. Promotion of Wellness through Yoga & Ayush-Targeting pregnant women, school-going children, adolescent boys and girls, Aganwadi workers, Aganwadi helpers and children of all age groups, the government aims to encourage yoga sessions in the AWCs and households. Encouraging other AYUSH practices to be followed which are proven to improve overall nutrition and bolster immunity in AWCs.
T3 Anaemia camps -With the convergence from the health dept anaemia screening camps will be organized to test and treat adolescent girls in tea garden areas across Assam. The working module of these camps will focus on three broad areas, focusing on adolescent girls in the age group 14-18 years: TEST- with the help of a digital haemoglobinometer. TREAT- with iron-folic acid tablets (IFA) and referral.
TALK -: Counselling beneficiaries on healthy lifestyle measures, increased iron levels in the body and foods rich in iron, protein and vitamin C. Recipe competition -Targeting pregnant women and lactating mothers, the food diversity of our state will be focused through recipe competition, with a special focus on tribal food habits, locally available nutritious food, iron rich recipes with locally available fruits and vegetables. Screening on SAM identification and distribution of nutritious food- The State government aims to create an awareness drive, block-wise identification of SAM children and referral of these children to the NRCs for medical management.
It will also focus on the early identification of SAM in the communities. The women and child development department, Assam and POSHAN Abhiyaan, Assam observed one week of awareness on exclusive breastfeeding from the 1st of August 2022 to the 7th of August 2022. And, one week of awareness on complementary feeding from the 8th of August to the 14th of August 2022.
With this massive awareness campaign, we are hoping that the right nutrition message goes to the community and ensures healthy individuals, healthy families, a healthy community and a healthy country. Thereby I request people to participate in large numbers in this campaign and join hands toward malnutrition-free Assam. .