The month-long Poshan Maah kickstarted in Cachar district with its formal inauguration by IAS Keerthi Jalli Deputy Commissioner, Cachar at her office campus on Tuesday (8/9/2020).
Earlier, a district-level convergence meeting on “Poshan Maah” was held to chalk out the plan of action for the observance of the nutrition month.
The meeting was organised by the District Social Welfare department in collaboration with the District Administration
and was presided over by Deputy Commissioner, Keerthi Jalli.
The entire month of September will be celebrated as the “Rashtriya Poshan Maah”. This year’s theme is “A step towards kuposhan mukt Bharat” (A step towards Malnutrition free India).
The purpose of celebrating the Poshan Maah is to take the message of nutrition to every nook and corner of the country especially grass root level and to focus on the detection of SAM (severely acute malnourished) children, antenatal care, optimal breastfeeding, complementary feeding, reduction of anaemia, girls’ education, diet, right age of marriage, hygiene and sanitation, treatment and prevention from infection in children.
The main objective of Poshan Maah is to bring about mass awareness and change in the mindset of the people towards the importance of good health, hygiene and good food practices during the adolescence period. The first 1,000 days of a child, importance of complementary foods along with mother’s milk, food diversification, consumption of IFA tablets and calcium are given prime importance.
Timely growth monitoring of children below 5 years, immunization of children and pregnant mother and nutrition and health education are given equal importance.
At the outset, a pledge was administered by Deputy Commissioner Jalli to the officials of concerned departments.
Jalli requested all the line departments to work in tandem and make the Poshan Maah a grand success. She requested the Environment and Forest department to distribute plant and saplings on the occasion.
Jalli also instructed the Health Department to make field visits with the Social Welfare department and find out the SAM (severely acute malnourished children) and moderately malnourished children etc.
The Deputy Commissioner also instructed the PHE department to converge with the Health Department in mining hilly areas for chemical testing of drinking water.
Jalli also instructed the DRDA, the nodal department, to start a plantation program as they have already taken up plantation drive under MGNREGA.
Planning Officer, Ruli Dolagaphu urged the stakeholders to provide indigenous food like “Murior ladoo”, dry fish and low-cost vegetables like carrot, pumpkin etc to pregnant women and lactating mothers.
The representative of the Joint Director of Health Services said that IFA tablets and calcium tablets will be provided to pregnant women and lactating mothers.
Inspector of Schools, Semina Yasmeen Sara Rahman said that they will host online essay competition among students.
“Poshan Vatika” will be set up at each CDPO level and kitchen garden at “Adarsh Gram”.
The meeting was also attended by District Social Welfare Officer, Saswati Shome, District Coordinator (Poshan) Nurul Hasan Choudhury and other officials.
India is home to 46.6 million stunted children, a third of the world’s total as per the Global Nutrition Report 2018. Nearly half of all under-5 child mortality in India is attributable to undernutrition. With 36.4% of children under 5 years of children stunted and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) as high as 48 according to National Family Health Survey, Assam is one of the bottom five states of the country where child malnutrition is still prevalent. Hence, such a step by the District Administration will not only educate the masses regarding malnutrition but will also help to some extent in eradicating this issue.