As part of the POSHAN Maah celebrations under the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the Minister of State for Women and Child Development, Dr. Munjpara Mahendrabhai today distributed nutrition kits to beneficiaries at Pachgaon Village in Haryana. The minister also flagged off a ‘Poshan Rath’ (Chariot) from Amity University which will go along rural paths and spread awareness about proper nutrition and diet among rural women and children.
Dr. Munjpara also participated in a plantation ceremony wherein various nutritional plants were planted and visited an exhibition displaying interesting nutritive recipes and IEC material on POSHAN Abhiyan. A shapath or Pledge on POSHAN was also undertaken by all the participants. The WCD Minister of Haryana, Smt Kamlesh Dhanda and Principal Secretary, WCD, Govt. of Haryana Dr. G. Anupama along with other dignitaries graced the occasion.
Addressing the gathering, the Minister of State for WCD, Dr. Munjpara Mahendrabhai said that POSHAN Abhiyaan is Government’s effort to make a strategic shift towards malnutrition reduction and improved health, wellness and immunity through community engagement, outreach, behavioral change and advocacy via means of a Jan Andolan. He expressed happiness at the fact that men and women are equally and actively taking part in the upliftment of their well-being. The Minister said that this reflects the right kind of momentum needed for the success of the programme.
Dr. Munjpara said that for ensuring sustainable improvement in the nutritional status, all one needs to do is to look around as there is an abundance of nutrition-rich products around us. He further stated that establishing POSHAN Vatikas is a step towards ensuring that women and children have immediate access to seasonal and affordable fruits, vegetables and herbs through nutri-gardens planted at Anganwadis, Schools, Gram Panchayats, community lands and premises of various Government Ministries and Departments. The MoS said it is time to realize the potential of traditional wisdom and AYUSH practices to make sure that this knowledge of good nutrition practices is utilized for the betterment of community. Convergence of AYUSH dietary principles and practices with WCD’s efforts can do wonders and we are hopeful that it would bring the intended change in shift towards “Suposhit Bharat”, the minister stated.
The Minister exhorted that no child should have to deal with the hardships of severe malnutrition which further attracts other infections and diseases. Hence, not only is identification of severely malnourished children important but its proper treatment and management is crucial to take children out of this misery. He said that it’s important to understand that every child matters as they are the future of this country and all should make efforts to make the future brighter and healthier.
Talking about the recent allocation to the State of Haryana, the Minister said that around 2300 metric tons of rice fortified with iron, folic acid and vitamin B12 for the Supplementary Nutrition has been provided through Anganwadis this quarter. The Minister expressed confidence that with proper distribution, awareness and utilization, this will help aid in reducing anaemia and under nutrition and that the State will continue its efforts for improving nutritional status of its population, which is also manifested through State’s Nutrition Policy.
In conclusion, the Minister said that there is a need for joint efforts to tackle the menace of malnutrition in the country in the true spirit of “Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas” and only then can India actually achieve the goal of “Suposhit Bharat”.