It is an Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition or POSHAN Abhiyaan or National Nutrition Mission, is Government of India’s flagship programme to improve nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
- It is launched by the Prime Minister on the occasion of the International Women’s Day on 8 March, 2018 from Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan, the POSHAN (Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition) Abhiyaan directs the attention of the country towards the problem of malnutrition and address it in a mission-mode.
- NITI Aayog has played a critical role in shaping the POSHAN Abhiyaan. The National Nutrition Strategy, released by NITI Aayog in September, 2017 presented a micro analysis of the problems persisting within this area and chalked out an in-depth strategy for course correction.
- It is implemented by the ministry of women and child development along with Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare etc.
- With the overarching aim to build a people’s movement (Jan Andolan) around malnutrition, POSHAN Abhiyaan intends to significantly reduce malnutrition in the next three years.
- The mission has a target to reduce stunting, under nutrition, and low birth weight by 2 per cent per annum and anemia among children (of 6-59 months) and women/adolescent girls (15-49 years) by 3 per cent annually.
- It would also strive to achieve reduction in stunting from 38.4% (NFHS-4) to 25% by 2022 (Mission 25 by 2022).
- It will be implemented in three phases: 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20. 315 ‘high burden’ are to be covered in the first phase, 235 in next and the remaining in last.
For implementation of POSHAN Abhiyaan the four point strategy/pillars of the mission are:
- Inter-sectoral convergence for better service delivery
- Use of technology (ICT) for real time growth monitoring and tracking of women and children
- Intensified health and nutrition services for the first 1000 days
- Jan Andolan
- NNM as an apex body will monitor, supervise, fix targets and guide the nutrition related interventions through the life cycle concept.
- Mapping of various schemes contributing under malnutrition
- ICT (Information and Communication Technology) based real time monitoring system.
- Incentivizing states/UTs for meeting targets
- Incentivizing Anganwadi Workers (AWW) for using IT based tools and eliminating the need for registers
- Measurement of height of children at Anganwadi Centres
- Social Audits to track the health progress of the children
- Setting-up Nutrition Resource Centres
As a part of its mandate, NITI Aayog is required to submit implementation status reports of POSHAN Abhiyaan every six months to the PMO. The first bi-annual report was prepared and presented at third National Nutrition Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges (which is housed within NITI) in November 2018.
The task of implementation of POSHAN Abhiyaan is to be carried out through the Technical Support Unit (TSU) established at NITI Aayog which, in addition to the M&E, will also provide research, policy and technical support to the Abhiyaan.
- Month of September 2018 was celebrated as Rashtriya POSHAN Maah. The activities in POSHAN Maah focussed on Social Behavioural Change and Communication (SBCC). The broad themes were: antenatal care, optimal breastfeeding (early and exclusive), complementary feeding, anaemia, growth monitoring, girls’ – education, diet, right age of marriage, hygiene and sanitation, eating healthy – food fortification.
- More than 12.2 Crore women, 6.2 Crore men and over 13 Crore children (male and female) were reached through the various activities undertaken during POSHAN Maah.
- It is worth mentioning that 30.6 Crore people were reached in 30 days. POSHAN Maah has given a major impetus to the Abhiyaan.