‘Mass movement against malnutrition’: PM Modi’s appeal in ‘Mann Ki Baat’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his latest monthly radio broadcast, ‘Mann Ki Baat’, urged people to take part in the efforts to eradicate malnutrition in the coming ‘nutrition month’ in September
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday exhorted that the fight against malnutrition should be a mass movement. In his monthly radio broadcast, ‘Mann Ki Baat’, the PM said the month of September is celebrated as Poshan Maah and all efforts should be made to ensure that nutritional deficiencies are eradicated.
“The month of September is dedicated to festivals as well as a big campaign related to nutrition. We celebrate the Poshan Maah every year from the 1st to the 30th of September. Many creative and diverse efforts are being made all over the country against malnutrition. Better use of technology and also public participation has become an important part of the nutrition campaign,” he said.
Listing some of the initiatives being taken by the government, he said from providing mobile devices to millions of Anganwadi workers in the country, to launching a Poshan Tracker to monitor the accessibility of Anganwadi services are being done. “In all the aspirational districts and the states in the North East, 14 to 18 years old daughters have also been brought under the purview of the Poshan Abhiyaan. The solution to the malady of malnutrition is not limited just to these steps – in this fight, many other initiatives also play an important role,” the PM said.
Poshan Abhiyaan was launched by the PM in March 2018 in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan with the aim to address nutritional deficiencies among adolescent girls, pregnant women, lactating mothers and children from 0-6 years age. Through the use of technology and community involvement it seeks to reduce the level of stunning, under-nutrition, anemia and low birth weight in children.
He also shared examples from the ground on how community level interventions are being carried out to eradicate malnutrition. He referred to the Project Sampoorna, which is being run in Bongai village of Assam to fight against malnutrition. “Under this project, the mother of a healthy child from an Anganwadi centre meets the mother of a malnourished child every week and discusses all the nutrition related information. That is, one mother becomes a friend of another mother, helps her and teaches her. With the help of this project, in this region, in one year, malnutrition has been eradicated in more than 90 % children,” the PM said.
The PM also cited the example of the Jal Jeevan Mission, which aims at providing piped water to all as an initiative that will have a huge impact in making India malnutrition free. “Efforts for social awareness play an important role in tackling the challenges of malnutrition. I would urge all of you in the coming nutrition month, to take part in the efforts to eradicate malnutrition,” the PM said.
The PM also referred to the Har Ghar Tiranga campaign that saw people hoisting the national flag at their residences and citizens participation in the campaign this Independence Day showed the collective might of the nation.
“On this special occasion of Amrit Mahotsav and Independence Day, we have seen the collective might of the country… There has been a sense of realisation. Such a big country, so many diversities, but when it came to hoisting the tricolour, everyone seemed to flow in the same spirit. People themselves came forward, becoming the vanguard of the pride of the tricolour. We had also seen the spirit of the country in the cleanliness campaign and the vaccination campaign. We are getting to witness the same spirit of patriotism again in the Amrit Mahotsav,” he said.
Think about it…the importance of water and water conservation has been explained in our culture thousands of years ago. When we see this knowledge in today’s context, we are thrilled, but when the nation accepts this knowledge as its strength, then their power increases manifold. You will remember, in ‘Mann Ki Baat’, I had talked about Amrit Sarovar four months ago. After that, the local administration got active in different districts, voluntary organisations came together and local people connected… – and lo & behold, the construction of Amrit Sarovars has become a mass movement. When there is a deep feeling to do something for the country, realise one’s duties, concern for the coming generations, then the capabilities also get added up and the resolve becomes noble.
On campaigns becoming mass movements, the PM also made a reference to the water conservation initiative that he referred to earlier. He said Amrit Sarovar campaign has begun to take shape and people from Warangal in Telangana, Mandla in Madhya Pradesh and Lalitpur in Uttar Pradesh, among other places, have created infrastructure for water conservation under the campaign.