Vice President urges policymakers to keep welfare of children as top priority in development efforts

New Delhi: The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu today urged the governments and policymakers to keep the welfare of the children as top priority in their development efforts. He also called for citizens’ proactive participation in eradicating the scourge of malnutrition.

Addressing the gathering after releasing ‘POSHAN Anthem’ at an event organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development today, the Vice President said that adequate nutrition to every child must be the first step in ensuring a healthy nation. He described healthy population as a prerequisite for fulfilling nation’s economic and social development goals.

“Children are the future of nation and their health is a prerequisite for the development and prosperity of the nation. It is the responsibility of all to ensure that our children get the best childhood possible,” he added.

Shri Naidu appreciated the role of POSHAN Abhiyan in improving nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers. He also emphasized that activities such as POSHAN Abhiyaan must assume the shape of people’s movement to achieve the target of malnutrition free India by 2022. He called for establishing coordination among various agencies, departments of both central and state governments to ensure the best implementation of POSHAN Abhiyaan.

Calling Anganwadi Workers, Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) and Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANMs) as nutrition-warriors and change agents, Shri Naidu called for investing more in their training and capacity building.

Pointing out that malnutrition was a key domain that requires greater attention, the Vice President opined that there was an urgent need to bring in positive change in society towards aspects such as right age of marriage, hygiene and sanitation, eating healthy and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

The Vice President also sought the attention of policymakers and specialists and nutritionists on the crucial aspect of nutritional security and said that it was important to address micronutrient malnutrition in the country through supplementation, food fortification, and bio-fortification.

Maintaining that ensuring a nutrition-filled, healthy childhood for every child was the responsibility of all. Shri Naidu highlighted the importance of better use of technology (ICT) for real-time growth monitoring and tracking of women and children thus promoting well-being at all ages.

On the occasion, the Vice President appreciated all the participants of the Anthem competition and lauded the government for employing this innovative method and said that the anthem would play a key role in spreading the message of the Poshan Abhiyan (National Nutrition Mission). He also called for translating the Poshan Anthem in other Indian languages also to maximize its reach and impact.

At the end of the event, the Poshan Anthem was sung live by its lyricist Shri Pasoon Joshi and its composer Shri Shankar Mahadevan.

The Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister of State, Women and Child Development, Sushri Debasree Chaudhuri, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Women & Child Development, Shri Rabindra Panwar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Women & Child Development, Shri Ajay Tirkey were among the dignitaires present on the occasion.