“Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food—Hippocrates.”
The government is celebrating September as a national nutrition month under Poshan Abhiyan. This program is the initiative of the Women and Child Development Ministry and NITI Aayog and also supported by eighteen other ministries, departments, and government organizations.
Its all Nutrition discussion in many Government websites and twitter this month, with various recipes and contests.
All about Nutrition:
Taking nutrition to grass root level is the mission of this plan and technology is being used for spreading awareness about it. According to the Prime Minister’s word we have to make it a Jan Andolan (a mass movement) in a tweet he urged people to take the message of improving the status of nutrition across the length and breadth of India.
The national nutrition week was started by the academic of nutrition and dietetics. The government of India started this program in the year 1982.
What is Poshan Abhiyan:
The Poshan Abhiyan or National Nutrition Mission is all about creating awareness of nutrition. It uses technology and a targeted approach to counteract stunting, undernutrition, anemia, lower the target across the board. it has taken an approach to target all the states, union territories, and almost 718 districts all over India so that we can get rid of malnutrition which is very much prevalent in Indian society.
The theme for the 2019 nutrition month was ‘Har Ghar Poshan Vyavahar, while this year it is ‘Eat Right, Bite by Bite’
For the better implementation of this program, they (government agencies) have recognized certain areas as key factors which are Antenatal care, optimal breastfeeding, Complimentary feeding, anemia, growth monitoring, girls education, diet, right age of marriage, hygiene, sanitation, food fortification.
It’s an irony that we are not a resources defiant country we have almost 8 months of sunny days still the standard of vitamin D is lower than many europian countries. Regarding this government started project “dhoop” which was an initiative to shift the morning assembly to the afternoon so that kids get exposure to sunlight which is a good source of vitamin D.
Malnutrition is not a problem of poor people the only disease like Anemia or other deficiency based disease is a big challenge for all, the “hidden hunger” which is often called the ‘disease of civilization’ is also stepping in India.
This is a condition where people are getting a sufficient amount of food but the food is lacking any nutritional value this is more related to fast food which is very popular among urban dwellers due to their fast lifestyle and instant availability of such food.
Data and Deficiency :
On one side India is one of the biggest producer of pulses, soybean kind of high protein crops the protein intake is also very low in the country.
Every third child in India is suffering from malnutrition, even the neighboring countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh surpass India in a matter of nutrition index.
The maximum number of malnutrition cases are found in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, and Meghalaya. According to the National family health survey, Bihar has 48.3 percent Uttar Pradesh 46.3 percent, children under malnutrition. When we talk about the whole of India the average ratio is 37.4 percent.
Global Nutrition Report:
According to the global nutrition report, India has the highest number of malnutrition cases in the world. It’s not like that India has not done any kind of progress in this field. In 2005-2006 the ratio of malnutrition cases in India was 48 percent which reduced to 38.3 percent in 2015-16, while in 2018 it has come down to 31 percent.
Not only this Anaemia is a big menace for India. Around 58.6% of children, 53.2% of non-pregnant women, and 50.4% of pregnant women were found anemic according to NFHS. Though we are having an anemia control program for 50 years it is yet to be brought under control.
Let’s have a look at changes India achieved in the last ten years:
The ratio of the seriously maltreated case has come down drastically in few years. The ratio of the underweight children has come down to 35.7 percent from 42 percent. While the anemia rate has come down to 58.5 percent from 69.5 percent.
But still, it cannot be termed as a very big change.
Nutrition and Mental Health:
According to the experts, the mental health of a child depends on the diet which is given to the mother.
Nutrition is not dependent on what you are eating or how much your eating. But it stands for how much nutritious elements you are consuming from your diet.
The number of minerals, protein, iron, calcium, sodium, vitamins, and other necessary components. These components in your diet play a very vital role in the overall development and functioning of your body.
Not just Deficiency but Awareness :
The public participation is very much important for this program for Nutrition. A lot of efforts were put on this matter in the last few years especially in our villages. It’s very much necessary to convert it into a mass movement from just public participation.
To enhance public participation in the nutrition program PM asked people to share their special recipes on an online platform. To encourage youth participation in this program meme competition and quizzes are going to be conducted all around the country.
Nutrition and Mann Ki Baat:
In his Mann Ki Baat karykram PM Modi suggested making a nutrition monitor in each and every class. It is just like a class monitor he emphasized the need for a nutrition report like an academic report card.
He quoted a Sanskrit phrase “Yatha Annam Tatha Mannam”. This means, mental and intellectual development is dependent on the kind of food we consume. Modi ji also mentioned about geographical variation in our country.
The plan is also seeking to revive the traditional nutrition methods of the country. Especially, lot of importance is on pocket-friendly nutrition so that the unprivileged section of society should not stay deprived.
Union cabinet minister Prakash Dandekar said “Gareeb ka khana sabse jyada poustik hai(poor man’s food is highly nutritious) here he is talking about traditional nutrition diets.