*Image credit, Youtube-Ministry of Women & Child Development Govt of India

Nobody has conducted any research on this vital issue in Jharkhand though it is the government of India’s flagship initiative.

In fact, POSHAN Abhiyaan has been instrumental in advancing nutritional outcomes for pregnant women, lactating mothers, adolescent girls, and children under 6 years of age in a comprehensive manner. 

Launched by Prime Minister, POSHAN (Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition), Centre claims that this Abhiyaan operates in a “mission mode” to combat the challenge of malnutrition across India. 

Is that so in Jharkhand? The state government does not provide authentic data obtained scientifically at the village block, district and state levels.

As per the data made available by the government of India, during the 15th Financial Commission period, Poshan Abhiyaan, the Anganwadi Services Scheme and the Scheme for Adolescent Girls were aligned under Mission Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2. to launch an integrated nutrition support programme aimed at strengthening content, delivery, outreach, and outcomes 

The focus remains on cultivating practices that foster health, wellness, and immunity against diseases and malnutrition.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development is celebrating the 6th Rashtriya Poshan Maah throughout September 2023. This year, the objective is to comprehensively tackle malnutrition through a life-cycle approach, the cornerstone of Mission Poshan 2.0. No such celebration was visible in Jharkhand.

Anchored in this approach, the focal point of Poshan Maah 2023 is to cultivate widespread awareness concerning critical human life stages: pregnancy, infancy, childhood, and adolescence. 

The aim is to foster nutritional understanding across India through a theme centered on "Suposhit Bharat, Sakshar Bharat, Sashakt Bharat" (Nutrition-rich India, Educated India, Empowered India).

This month-long event will witness concentrated efforts nationwide to enhance ground-level nutritional awareness through campaigns focusing on key themes around Exclusive Breastfeeding and Complementary Feeding. 

Activities like Swasth Balak Spardha (Healthy Child Competition) aim to instill a spirit of healthy competition for nutrition and overall well-being. Other initiatives would include 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. 

Additionally, the Jan Andolan movement under Poshan Maah will serve as an extended platform for a united celebration under the 'Meri Mati Mera Desh' campaign, commemorating the nation's journey of freedom and progress.

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 spread awareness about holistic nutrition. Encouraging nutrition-seeking behaviour at both the individual and community levels stands as a pivotal component in realizing the goals of the Abhiyaan. This objective continues to be pursued through Mission Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0.

To achieve this objective, Rashtriya Poshan Maah will be celebrated in collaboration with all stakeholders from the 1st to the 30th of September. Since the inception of the Abhiyaan, five successful Poshan Maah events have been held across the country, with enthusiastic participation from States/UTs as well as convergent Ministries and Departments. 

During the last Poshan Maah in 2022, more than 170 million sensitization activities were reported across key themes. To date, over 600 million activities have been carried out as part of Jan Andolan under Poshan Pakhwadas (March) and Poshan Maahs (September) each year.

Through an array of diverse activities, Poshan Maah 2023 aims to amplify community involvement on a large scale, harnessing the potential of Gram Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies to fulfil Honourable Prime Minister's vision of a Suposhit Bharat in the Amrit Kaal.

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