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Need for implementing holistic nutrition through POSHAN Scheme to tackle Cerebral Palsy

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Mrs. Vandana Agarwal, Director, Narayan Seva Sansthan

In spite of various schemes and plans to prevent undernourishment in India, a recent report by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 2019 stated that 1 in 3 children under 5 are undernourished or overweight. To overcome this, families below poverty line must be granted about 35 kg of food grains per month at subsidized rates after implementation of “Antyodaya Anna Yojana” (AAY) for prohibiting hunger crisis in India. Not only Malnutrition represents the underweight and thin but also represents height below the average for their age which deals into lack of proper nutritional habits with post-natal care.  

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated that 14.5% of our population is undernourished where alleviating hunger in India requires more complex strategy and big corporate initiatives can help where the prevalence of Hunger can be eradicated before 2030. There are reports which suggested the change in the food consumption process where sugary products, Junk food and irregularities in food consumption take place where food contains a negligible nutrient value.  

In a recent case of 9 year old Musami Dali who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy came to Narayan Seva Sansthan at Udaipur for the treatment with her family, where the doctors from our team pointed out a major problem of undernourishment in her family. National Food Security Act provides significant options for the pregnant mother, lactating mothers from 6 months to 14 years to get nutritious food. Even though, under nutrition data is highly uncontrolled and increasing drastically day by day. The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 4 stated in the report that Rajasthan 36.7% of children less than 5 years of age are rerecorded underweight in 2015-16.

There are multiple steps initiated by the Central government for the eradicating the malnutrition crisis in India by proposing schemes like Holistic Nutrition or POSHAN Abhiyaan or National Nutrition Mission to improve healthful results for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the POSHAN Abhiyaan on the occasion of the International Women’s Day on 8 March 2018 from Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan.

POSHAN Abhiyaan is a mission which has been converged by multiple ministries to attain a malnourished free India by 2022. With an aim to provide and develop a holistic plan which is adequate for children, pregnant women and mothers, offering nourishment to reduce malnourishment and stunting in various districts across India, the government introduced the POSHAN Abhiyan. According to the Global hunger index 2019 it was stated that India ranked at 102 positions out of 117 countries. According to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)s zero hunger section, it was stated that Rajasthan scored 35 including 22 worst performed states like Union territory and states like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat Madhya Pradesh enlisted in the report released by NITI Ayog. In the report, Top performer for zero hunger is Goa scored 76 and Chandigarh 73. 

Mrs. Vandana Agarwal, Director, Narayan Seva Sansthan said, “Cerebral Palsy is related to birth, pre-natal care and post-natal care, this calls for more concern and care in new mothers or mothers during their delivery and before they give birth to a normal child. The POSHAN Abhiyaan targets to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, anemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls), and low birth weight by 2 per cent, 2 per cent, 3 per cent, and 2 per cent per annum, respectively. It targets to bring down stunting among children in the age group 0-6 years from 38.4 per cent to 25 per cent by 2022.”

In the recent campaign running by NSS to nurture new 25 nutritionally affected areas as a part of the campaign against malnutrition and nutritious food in Udaipur, Rajasthan. So that, Prevention of Malnutrition Campaign to be served nutritious food to target the POSHAN (Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition) in a mission-mode. Rajasthan government is also implementing rapidly POSHAN scheme in Rajasthan for fighting against undernourishment.

Narayan Seva Sansthan has worked on the principle of helping the differently abled and the weaker section of the society through campaigns such as corrective surgeries of over 4 lakh conducted to reduce disability prejudices every day. The Narayan Seva Sansthan has also urged the society through efforts and campaigns on reduction of malnourishment in the society and support child and mother nourishment through various campaigns.

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