Malnutrition in India has scarred the lives of millions of children. It is a problem which has been impacting children since ages and in these times of Covid-19 pandemic, it is only set to aggravate and more children and mothers can face the brunt of this debilitating condition. Helping children, pregnant women and lactating mothers fight malnutrition is a core aspect of our work and therefore Save the Children plans and executes comprehensive interventions in various parts of India to address issues related to nutrition.
With an aim to drive community mobilisation and involve community members at the ground-level (children, parents, Anganwadi Workers and other frontline workers and others), every year the month of September is celebrated as Rashtriya Poshan Maah across the country. The Poshan Abhiyaan was launched in March 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Government of India’s flagship programme to improve nutrition security for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers with an objective to achieve Holistic Nutrition.
We are right there in the middle of the communities to drive home the importance of good nutrition and facilitate nutrition security for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children.
A snapshot of how our efforts have been taking shape in various parts of India:
In the Gaya district of Bihar, Save the Children in coordination with District Health Administration and Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) has initiated a month-long campaign on Poshan Maah. This is a Mobile Van campaign which is being executed across our intervention area in Gaya with messaging on nutrition for pregnant women, young children and adolescents.
- We have also installed a Poshan Paramarsh Kendra at the CDPO Office at Manpur, Gaya. It was inaugurated by the CDPO Manpur and ADM-Manpur.
- Counselling Centre at CGC-Manpur, Gaya where community members are being sensitized on Infant and Young Child Nutrition and adolescent anaemia
- Children too are being engaged through fun activities such as drawing competitions
- Dedicated sessions for adolescent nutrition have been organised
ICDS and Save the Children team reached the deep forests to orient Pregnant and Lactating Women (PLW) from Internally Displaced Population (IDPs) groups on pregnancy care, importance of breast feeding and diet diversity as part of Poshan Maah initiatives. Pregnant women and children have also been enrolled for Take Home Ration support.
Our Delhi team is observing Poshan Maah with a range of activities including a plantation drive, awareness rallies and slogan-writing competition about nutritive food for pregnant women. These events have been organised in Save the Children’s intervention areas in North and South-East district of Delhi during 1st to 4th September 2021. The activities were conducted involving Anganwadi workers, helpers and ASHAs.
Mothers and adolescents were made aware about the importance of right nutrition and breastfeeding for young children. Plantation drives were conducted to promote kitchen gardens. Screening of under-5 children (growth monitoring) is being done in project intervention area. A total of 57 children have been screened so far. Approx. 850 community people have been reached as of 15 September.
Orientation of Anganwadi Workers on Nutrition has been conducted during Poshan Maah, in Gumla, Jharkhand along with numerous awareness drives.
In Gurugram, our teams organised an educative exhibition demonstrating various ways in which mothers and community members can improve children’s nutrition status. We set up an awareness booth which was also visited by Smt. Kamlesh Dhandha, Minister of State for Women and Child Development, Govt. of Haryana.
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