Meghalaya govt gears up to address malnutrition issues
SHILLONG: With the state facing serious malnutrition issues, Meghalaya government is stressing on advocacy by line departments and public participation to eliminate malnutrition from the state in sync with the central government’s target.
In this connection, conference on Poshan Abhiyaan and Rashtriya Poshan Maah (National Nutrition Month) was organised by the Social Welfare department on Thursday.
Addressing the Press, Commissioner and Secretary, Social Welfare Department, T Dkhar said the conference of Poshan Abhiyaan was being held at the state level. He informed Poshan Abhiyaan was a Jaan Andolan or people’s movement launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to eliminate malnutrition from the country.
“In our state we are facing serious issues on nutrition such as anemia, problem of stunting and wasting. This programme aims to promote nutrition aspect,” he said.
He added, “It is a public participation in a sense that all the communities will have to be involved in the programme and make awareness about the importance of achieving the nutritional aspects.”
Dkhar said the line departments would advocate the growing concern of improving malnutrition through awareness campaign throughout the state which will go up to the village level.
The programme will be observed throughout the month, Poshan month starting by this month. The Prime Minister has set a target throughout the country on improving nutrition by 6 per cent and the target year is 2022.
“Each year the states are expected to achieve a target of 2 per cent on nutrition. On eliminating anemia and underweight conditions, the country has set a target of 9 per cent for the year 2022. That means every year the state will have to achieve at the rate of 3 per cent each year. That is a big challenge for the state and that is why today we have a conference with all the line departments,” he said.
He added activities had already been set in the districts, block, village level and all key functionaries had been activated and the key feature of the programme is public participation.
“The conference also came up with a plan to felicitate the district which is achieving a faster rate of results/targets. The district will be given the best award. The team at the village level comprising ASHAs, ANMs, Anganwadi workers who achieve the set target will get an award of Rs 1, 50,000,” Dkhar said.
He added, “The programme will continue for three years. Since the PM is monitoring the programme through video conferencing, the report from the state will go weekly by dashboard. The dashboard is already activated by the line departments. We expect the programme to be successful in the state also.”
According to Dkhar, the state government through the Poshan Abhiyaan programme has taken steps by constituting all the committees at the state, district, block and village level where all the line departments – social welfare department, Health and Family Welfare department, Community and Rural Development department, Public Health Engineering, Education department and social organizations are requested to involve in the programme for the well being of children.