India Kicks Off the 6th Rashtriya Poshan Maah: A Holistic Approach to Eradicate Malnutrition

India Kicks Off the 6th Rashtriya Poshan Maah: A Holistic Approach to Eradicate Malnutrition
India Kicks Off the 6th Rashtriya Poshan Maah: A Holistic Approach to Eradicate Malnutrition

The Ministry of Women and Child Development is embarking on the 6th Rashtriya Poshan Maah, a month-long nationwide celebration taking place throughout September 2023. This year’s mission is to address the pressing issue of malnutrition by adopting a comprehensive life-cycle approach. Let’s delve into the key objectives, strategies, and notable activities of this vital campaign.

The primary goal of Poshan Maah 2023 is to raise extensive awareness about critical stages in human life: pregnancy, infancy, childhood, and adolescence. The overarching theme for this year is “Suposhit Bharat, Sakshar Bharat, Sashakt Bharat” (Nutrition-rich India, Educated India, Empowered India), aiming to promote nutritional literacy across India.

At the heart of this initiative is the Government of India’s flagship program, POSHAN Abhiyaan. This program, launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, operates in a mission mode to combat the multifaceted challenge of malnutrition. During the 15th Financial Commission period, Poshan Abhiyaan, the Anganwadi Services Scheme, and the Scheme for Adolescent Girls were streamlined under Mission Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0, creating an integrated nutrition support program focused on enhancing content, delivery, outreach, and outcomes.

The central focus of these efforts remains on cultivating practices that promote health, well-being, and immunity against diseases and malnutrition.

Throughout this month-long event, concerted efforts will be made nationwide to enhance grassroots awareness about nutrition through targeted campaigns. Key themes include Exclusive Breastfeeding and Complementary Feeding. Activities like the Swasth Balak Spardha (Healthy Child Competition) aim to instill a spirit of healthy competition promoting nutrition and overall well-being. Other initiatives encompass Poshan Bhi Padhai Bhi (Nutrition as well as Education), Improving Nutrition through Mission LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment), Tribal-Focused Nutrition Sensitization, and addressing Anemia through Test, Treat, Talk.

Furthermore, the Jan Andolan movement under Poshan Maah will serve as an extended platform for united celebration, exemplified by the ‘Meri Mati Mera Desh’ campaign, commemorating the nation’s journey of freedom and progress.

A comprehensive array of outreach programs, identification drives, camps, and home visits will be conducted at the village, block, and district levels, engaging diverse segments of the community to raise awareness about holistic nutrition. Encouraging nutrition-seeking behavior at both the individual and community levels remains a pivotal objective, furthered through Mission Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0.

To accomplish these objectives, Rashtriya Poshan Maah will be celebrated in collaboration with all stakeholders from the 1st to the 30th of September. Building upon the success of previous Poshan Maah events, this campaign seeks to unite States/UTs, convergent Ministries, and Departments in a collective effort to combat malnutrition. During the last Poshan Maah in 2022, over 170 million sensitization activities were reported across key themes. To date, over 600 million activities have been undertaken as part of Jan Andolan under Poshan Pakhwadas (March) and Poshan Maahs (September) each year, demonstrating the nation’s commitment to eradicating malnutrition.