Rashtriya Poshan Maah
The Government of India designated the month of September of every year as the POSHAN MAAH or National Nutrition Month. The Poshan Abhiyaan was launched with a broad gauge aim of Holistic Nourishment. Globally, it was first launched in 1973 by the American Dietetic Association to educate people on nutrition. In 1982, India launched the concept of National Nutrition Week for awareness towards nutrition. Rashtriya Poshan Abhiyaan was launched by the honourable PM on the International Women’s Day on 8th March 2018 under the Ministry of Women & Child Development. The word ‘Poshan‘ in Rashtriya Poshan Maah implies ‘Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition.
Difference between the ‘Poshan Maah’ and ‘Poshan Abhiyaan‘: POSHAN ABHIYAAN is a Government of India’s ‘National Nutrition Mission’ whereas POSHAN MAAH includes month-long activities under Poshan Abhiyaan. These activities are focused on prenatal care, optimal breastfeeding, girls’ education, hygiene, etc.
About the Poshan Abhiyaan:
- The aim of POSHAN Abhiyaan is to address malnutrition amongst young children (under 6 years of age).
- It also aims to improve nutritional outcomes for pregnant women and lactating mothers by focusing on prenatal care, diet and optimal breastfeeding.
- Month-long activities under Poshan Maah also focus on issues such as Right age to marriage, girls education, hygiene and sanitation, anemia prevention, etc.
- To ensure that children are not vitamin deficient, food fortification is also addressed.
- To promote changes in knowledge, norms and beliefs by the strategic use of communication. The activities organised are focused on Social and Behavioural change communication (SBCC). Also these activities are based under Jan Andolan guidelines.
Aim of the Poshan Maah 2022:
- The key focus in the year 2022 will be on “Mahila aur Swasthya” and “Bacha our Shiksha”. This aim will be attained on the grassroot level by gram panchayats as Poshan Panchayats.
- Importance of Rainwater harvesting will also be stressed.
- Women will be educated at Anganwadi centres.
- An activity ‘Amma ki rasoi’ was conducted to give importance to traditional dishes.
- Toy manufacturing workshops will be organised. This is done to promote the use of indegenous toys for teaching children at Anganwadi centres.
- An Activity called poshan vatika was organised focusing on tree plantation.
This National Nutrition Month Healthy boy/girl competition was held on 22nd September 2022. This is also known as Swasth Balak/Balika Spardha. This competition was organised by the Department of Child Development and Nutrition. The main objective of this competition was to raise awareness among people about a healthy lifestyle and good health. It also helps in improving the level of nutrition of Children upto the age of 5 years. Health checkups will also be provided to the children.
- Various other activities are organised in 2022 such as T3 camps (test, treat, talk), seminars, Ayush for anaemia, quiz recipe competition, awareness rallies, healthy competition etc.
- To tackle anaemia, the government has included staple food in various schemes and programmes.
- 12.77 lakh activities have been conducted in 2022 during poshan pakhwada, 7,18,149 activities for pregnant women on Ayush for anaemia, 5,03,411 on anaemia prevention and 56,168 webinar activities on anaemia.
The Poshan Tracker application is launched by the Government of India and Ministry of Women and Child Development. The Poshan Tracker helps to keep track of the nutrition value specifically of those who are suffering from Malnutrition. It gives a strengthening approach to build good health among women and children. It was started in March 2021 through the National e-Governance Division (NeGD).
Features of Poshan Tracker:
- The Poshan Tracker aligns with other ministries’ programs and systems. It keeps the track of deliveries by Anganwadi workers (AWWs), activities by Anganwadi centre (AWC) and provides management for lactating and pregnant women to improve their nutrition value.
- It keeps a record of all the activities of home deliveries such as hot cooked meals (HCM), take home ration (THR), vaccines for pregnant women and children etc.
- Children under this application are examined on a monthly basis by AWWs.
This app has several health indicators such as underweight prevalence, wasting, stunting etc are measured as per standards of WHO.
- It helps to keep records of attendance and have a facility of home visit alerts mostly for duty bearers.
Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0:
Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 is implemented under the Ministry of Women and Child Development during the 15th Finance commission period from 2021-22 to 2025-26. An integrated Nutrition Support Programme that walks on the guidelines of Poshan Abhiyaan. This scheme covers several problems such as Malnutrition in adolescent girls, lactating women, and children.
It helps in promoting the health and wellness of people under the mentioned categories: children between the age group 1-6 years, adolescent girls between the age group 14-18 years, pregnant women, and lactating women.
Components of Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0:
There are various programmes implemented as per the age groups of people to nurture and improve the health conditions of people. The programme according to the age groups of people are as follows:
- Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP) will provide nutrition support in the NorthEast Region (NER) and Aspirational districts to the age group of 6 months to 6 years, Pregnant Women and Lactating mothers (PWLM) and Adolescent girls of 14 to 18 years age group.
- Early Childhood Care and Education will provide education and care for children between 0-3 years of age group.
- Poshan Abhiyaan and Anganwadi Infrastructure is also included as a component of the upgraded scheme Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0.
Objectives of Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0:
- It contributes to economic development by improving the human capital of the country.
- It focuses on malnutrition of children, adolescent girls and pregnant women and improves their eating habits by taking several measures.
- It also makes people aware about their wellness and good health conditions.
- It applies various strategies and tactics to fight the deficiencies caused by Malnutrition or similar diseases.