WCD Min Concerned About Slow Implementation of Poshan Abhiyaan

The Women and Child Development Ministry has expressed concern over the slow roll-out of different activities under the Poshan Abhiyaan and urged states and union territories to ensure targets are achieved.

The Poshan Abhiyaan also called the National Nutrition Mission aims to bring down stunting of children in the age group of 0-6 years from 38.4 per cent to 25 per cent by 2022.

At the seventh meeting of the executive committee of the Poshan Abhiyaan held last month, WCD Chairperson Rabindra Panwar urged states to ensure timely utilisation of funds allocated to them as most states had poor utilisation in the 2018-19 fiscal.

Also Read: India Had World’s Highest Child Mortality Rate in 2015: Lancet

He also asked the states and union territories that they were required to carry out a detailed review, assessment and gap analysis on an urgent basis of the scheme, according to the minutes of the meeting.

The participants of the meeting included representatives from the NITI Aayog, the panchayati raj and new and renewable energy ministries and the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare.

Panwar also asked states and union territories to expedite the establishment of state project management units (SPMUs), recruitment and filling up of vacancies at the state, district, block and sector levels so that the programme can run smoothly.

He pointed out that gaps in procurement of devices in states and union territories under the Poshan Abhiyaan needs to be "plugged urgently".

They were directed to fast track the procurement of smart phones and growth monitoring devices (GMDs) so that field functionaries can efficiently deliver quality services. 

The chairperson reiterated that there is a need to focus on the capacity building component under the ICDS-CAS through the incremental learning approach (ILA) modules at all levels and as per the training schedule.  He emphasized that two community based events (CBE) and two ILAs per month at the block and sector level must be conducted on priority.

Also Read: How Do We Address the Alarmingly High Malnutrition Rate in India?

‘West Bengal Govt Refused to Adopt Nutrition Mission’: WCD Minister Irani

Recently, WCD Minister Smriti Irani in a written reply in Parliament had said "Odisha and West Bengal are yet to start implementation of the Poshan Abhiyaan".  Irani also said the West Bengal government has refused to adopt the nutrition mission and urged the TMC-led state government to do so maintaining a humanitarian approach despite political differences with the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.

The minister made the remarks in the Rajya Sabha during her reply to a Calling Attention Motion on malnutrition in women and children. The motion was moved by three members - JDU's Kahkashan Perween, Jaya Bachchan of the Samajwadi Party and Vijila Sathyananth of the AIADMK.

The Union Cabinet had approved the setting up of the Poshan Abhiyaan or National Nutrition Mission (NNM) with a three year budget of Rs 9,046.17 crore commencing from 2017-18.

The Poshan Abhiyaan aims to reduce malnutrition from the country in a phased manner, through a life cycle concept and by adopting a synergised and result oriented approach.

The programme also aims to ensure mechanisms for timely service delivery and a robust monitoring as well as intervention infrastructure.

The target of the nutrition mission is to reduce stunting in children (0-6 years), under-nutrition (underweight prevalence) in children (0-6 years) and Low Birth Weight at the rate of 2 per cent per annum and reducing anaemia among young children (6-59 months), women and adolescent girls at the rate of 3 per cent per annum across the country.

Also Read: Women’s Unaccounted Labour Behind Malnutrition in India: Study

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