Self Help Groups and their federations of DAY-NRLM, MoRD participating actively in Rashtriya POSHAN Maah 2020 to improve awareness on health and nutrition issues across the country
New Delhi: September month is celebrated as Rashtriya POSHAN Maah each year to give momentum to convergence and behaviour change efforts as envisioned under the POSHAN Abhiyaan (2018), Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment to reduce undernutrition in adolescents, pregnant and lactating mothers and children.
To celebrate this year’s Rashtriya POSHAN Maah, all the necessary advisories and guidance informing the themes to be focused upon, activities, etc. were issued by Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, to state missions. A video-conference on 7th September, 2020 was also held under the chairpersonship of Joint Secretary, MoRD with all State Missions to discuss and plan the POSHAN Maah activities. In line with the national themes of POSHAN Maah i.e. identification and tracking of children with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and plantation drive for promotion of kitchen gardens, state missions have been undertaking the following activities.
i. Active participation of SHGs members and their federations wherever the situation is conducive and with adequate precautions like safe distancing, wearing mask and hand wash and or use of sanitizers, as per the COVID-19 guidelines.
- Organizing group meetings at SHG and its federations to discuss issues focussing on breastfeeding, complementary feeding, sensitize community on importance of early identification of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in children for increasing immunity of children aged 0-24 months during COVID-19, promotion of nutri-gardens and other relevant issue pertaining to state.
- Community cadres participate in events organized by Departments of Health, Department of Women and Child Development and other Departments e.g- VHSND, online discussion, webinars on key themes etc.
- Promotion of nutri-gardens in households of SHG members and awareness generation in convergence with MGNREGS in a campaign mode.
- Encouragement to handwashing with soap, use of mask and social distancing in daily routine.
- Dissemination of key messages using technology platforms e.g. Whatsapp and online discussion platforms to share audio-visual material and any other virtual medium (social media like twitter/facebook) for activity promotion.
With guidance and support from national mission, all state missions are observing POSHAN Maah with full vigour and in compliance with COVID-19 protocols. Activities like Webinars, POSHAN rallies, POSHAN rangolis, POSHAN pledges, recipe competitions, sensitization, promotion of nutri-gardens, convergence meetings etc. have been initiated on ground by the state missions and communities are participating actively to make this POSHAN Maah a success and take this opportunity to further reinforce the messages related to health, nutrition, sanitation etc.
Adopting “Dashasutra” strategy in 2016, Food, Nutrition, Health and WASH (FNHW) integration has become an integral part of the objectives of the Deendayal Antodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) under Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD). To improve the status of Health, Nutrition, Sanitation etc. of the Self-Help Group (SHG) members under DAY-NRLM and their families, state missions are undertaking initiatives for integrating these issues in SHG’s agenda and activities in selected geographies. Further, to support POSHAN Abhiyaan and encourage behaviour change, state missions have been actively participating in events like POSHAN Maah and POSHAN Pakhwada under POSHAN Abhiyaan across the country.
Events like Rashtriya POSHAN Maah provide an opportunity to fast track DAY-NRLM’s efforts to percolate key messages in an intensified manner to the intended beneficiaries and to fortify convergence among key stakeholders across all administrative levels. During POSHAN Maah 2019 Mission organized 11.39 lakh activities with 16.39 crore participants (as per Jan Andolan portal). Mission in close coordination with Ministry of Women and Child Development, nodal Ministry for POSHAN Abhiyaan, has undertaken activities for ongoing POSHAN Maah 2020.
States have been urged to diligently follow the COVID-19 prevention protocols and maximally utilize the technology platforms for disseminating key messages and reaching SHGs and their families. State missions have identified the nodal person, developed action plan, identified activities, percolated the guidance to districts and blocks and are now converging with relevant departments (WCD, Health, PRI and others) across levels (district/block) to better plan, coordinate and organize the POSHAN Maah events.