IIHMR University conducts a stakeholder consultation on Transforming Food & Nutrition Security in Rajasthan

Jaipur: With the Government of Rajasthan taking some steps to focus on nutrition security and food security, IIHMR University Jaipur conducted a stakeholder consultation on ‘Transforming Food and Nutrition Security in Rajasthan’. The consultation was conducted at IIHMR University Jaipur in cooperation with Coalition Food & Nutrition Security. The objective of this consultation was to seek advice on proposed policy workshop on the subject next month with regards to specific areas related to food and nutrition security and suggest names of organizations and stakeholders those should be invited for it. Further it was discussed whether there should be a state chapter of the Food and nutrition Coalition. Organizations such as EKJUT, ACF, Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti shared their insights during the stakeholder consultation. In total 06 organizations participated in the stakeholder consultations and shared their insights to create a sustainable model on nutrition in the state and imbibe these at all levels.

Dr. DK Mangal, Dean Research, IIHMR University Jaipur said, “The Coalition for Food & Nutrition Security, India is a group of policy and program leaders committed to fostering collaboration and evidence based advocacy for improved programs to achieve sustainable food and nutrition security. Through the stakeholder consultation we tried to connect with partners who have been creating value through their nutrition programs not just at the bottom of the pyramid but also at all levels. The preparatory stakeholder consultation was conducted to get a feedback on their work to highlight key factors that led to the success of their programs that could ideally add up to the success of the overall nutrition program.
Keeping in view the creation of the democratic decentralization set up in rural and urban areas for the program and service delivery, the stakeholder consultation seminar recognized paramount important of the institutional arrangement at district and sub-district level where Mr. Basanta Kumar Kar, CEO, The Coalition for Food and Nutrition Security (CFNS) shared insights of Pratapgarh and Sikar in Rajasthan keeping in mind indicators such as Anaemia, Water and Sanitation, Gender issues, Health access, Feeding practices which contribute to nutrition habits.
Mr. Basanta Kumar Kar expressed that, “In Sikar Rajasthan about 48.8% children between the age of 6-59 months, about 32.9% non-pregnant women and 32.1% pregnant women between the age group of 15-49 years are Anaemic. In all 32.8% women between the age groups of 15-49 years are Anaemic. In Pratapgarh 75.8% children between 6-59 months, 64.1% non-pregnant women and 46.6% pregnant owmen between the age of 15-49 yrs are Anaemic. In total 63.3% women in Pratapgarh between the age group of 15-49 yrs are Anaemic. In Sikar about 61.2% households use improved sanitation, whereas Pratapgarh had 15.1% used improved sanitation. In Sikar 4-6% children in total children between 6-23 months receive an adequate diet whereas those receiving adequate diet in Pratapgarh between 6-23 months were only 0.8%. In Sikar 27.7% children <3yrs breastfed within one hour of birth and in Pratapgarh were 30.1%. In Sikar, 67.8% children <6months were exclusively breastfed and Pratapgarh saw 44.7%. In total Sikar had 4-6% breastfeeding children between 6-23 months which received adequate diet whereas Pratapgarh saw only 0.9% children. Comparative data of Sikar and Pratapgarh reiterates the fact that malnutrition is a multi- sectoral issue. Socio- cultural practices related to feeding and availability of safe water, hygiene practices of care givers and overall sanitation plays important role.”
Dr. Sudhir Verma, Former Chairperson, Board of Revenue, Government of Rajasthan said, “The 2016 Global Nutrition Report of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) indicates that one the high priorities of humankind should be ending malnourishment. The most important intention to conduct this preliminary round of stakeholder consultation on “Transforming Food & Nutrition Security in Rajasthan”at IIHMR University Jaipur was to get a feedback from all the organizations who have been substantially contributing at the bottom of the pyramid which have been working towards imbibing or creating awareness on nutrition. These organizations have been working in the direction to promote and create an awareness on consuming fortified food or food which has complete nutrition with a balanced diet that helps in generating good health and quality life.”
Mr. Basanta Kumar Kar, CEO, The Coalition for Food and Nutrition Security (CFNS) concluded by sharing recommendations following the institutional arrangements at the district level which should include, Leadership at Zilla Panchayats, To have Grievance redressal mechanism at the district level as per National Food Security Act mandate, need for improvement of Municipal Institutions and manpower for strengthening food and nutrition delivery mechanism, empowering supervisors and extension officials at ICDS sector to lead the coordination of nutrition and food security services at district level. He further emphasized on strengthening local Gram Panchayats that must play a lead role on matters of food and nutrition program, implementation and their service delivery. Adequate budget provisions and capacity building measures at the local government level for nutrition and food security and involvement of volunteers to spread nutrition awareness at the household level for social behavior change and address the chronic issue of exclusion and gender disparity.
Organizations shared innovative ways in which they have impacted to imbibe nutrition in food and as a healthy lifestyle amongst various communities at the bottom of the pyramid. Feedback was taken on topics that were shared by various organizations such as Changing Social Behaviour which is an an innovation from Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti (BGVS), Mobilising Communities to Empower Women for better nutrition by EKJUT sharing evidence in Jharkhand, The Power of Women Empowerment and Community Empowerment for better Nutrition Outcomes by ACF were shared.
Present at the consultation were, Dr. Sudhir Verma, Former Chairperson, Board of Revenue, Govt. of Rajasthan who chaired the session. The Consultation was Co-chaired by Dr. SD Gupta, Chairperson, IIHMR University Jaipur. Mr. Basanta Kumar Kar, CEO, The Coalition for Food and Nutrition Security (CFNS) and Ms. Sharmistha Chakraborty, Manager, Membership Engagement, Knowledge Management and Communication CFNS.