Every year from 1 to 7 September, the National Nutrition Week is celebrated in India, to generate mass awareness about the need for pursuing nutrition and inculcate habits of healthy eating.
National Nutrition Week 2021: Theme
This year’s theme for National Nutrition Week is ‘Feeding Smart Right from Start’. The union government has launched a programme for disseminating accurate information to generate public awareness tapping into seminars and workshops. It focuses on informing about the benefits of a nutritional diet, from the stage of birth by driving various initiatives.
National Nutrition: The Approach
In a bid to address the problem of malnutrition in the country, including the stunting and wasting in the children of age group under 5 years of age, the government implements several schemes and programmes such as Anganwadi Services, Scheme for Adolescent Girls and Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana under the Umbrella Integrated Child Development Services Scheme as direct targeted interventions. It has also set up POSHAN Abhiyaan, which aims to prevent and reduce the prevalence of stunting, underweight and anaemia among children (0-6 years) and reduction in the prevalence of low birth weight in the country through ‘Jan Andolan’ involving Panchayati raj institutions/village organizations, among others.
E-governance for Nutrition Management
The government has taken further measures to strengthen nutritional content, delivery, outreach, and outcomes with a focus on developing practices that nurture health, wellness and immunity to disease and malnutrition. It has also taken steps to improve nutritional quality and testing, strengthen delivery and leverage technology under the Poshan Tracker, a robust ICT-enabled platform, to improve governance with regard to real-time monitoring of provisioning of supplementary nutrition for prompt supervision and management of services.
National Nutrition: Standards and Practice
The government has advised states and union territories to ensure that the quality of supplementary nutrition conforms to prescribed standards and regulations laid down under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and also to promote the use of AYUSH systems for the prevention of malnutrition and related diseases. A programme to support the development of Poshan Vatikas at Anganwadi centres to meet dietary diversity gap leveraging traditional knowledge in nutritional practices have also been taken up.
National Nutrition: The Budgetary Support
Mission Poshan 2.0, an integrated nutrition support programme, has been announced in the Union Budget 2021-22. The government has allocated around (RE) Rs 17, 852.31 crores and spent approximately Rs 14,790.96 crore during 2020-21 on nutrition-related schemes or programmes to curb childhood malnutrition, stunting and wasting.