India’s National Nutrition Mission was renamed POSHAN Abhiyaan (Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition) and was launched by the Government of India on 8th March 2018. As a flagship programme, POSHAN Abhiyaan aims to improve nutrition amongst children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers with specific targets on reducing stunting, anemia, under-nutrition and low birth weight. POSHAN Abhiyaan focuses on converting the agenda of improving nutrition through a Jan Andolan involving the Panchayati Raj Institutions/Village Organizations/SHGs etc. and ensuring wide public participation.
The seven pillars of POSHAN Abhiyaan are the ICDS (Integrated Child Development Scheme)-CAS (Common Application Software) usage to meet the objectives of the ICDS scheme, Capacity building exercises, Convergence between health and nutrition schemes, Innovations, Incentivising States and union territories, Behaviour change, IEC and Advocacy and Grievance redressal. POSHAN Abhiyaan aims to reduce stunting, undernutrition and low birth weight by 2% annually and anemia by 3% annually.
Activities under POSHAN Abhiyaan
These are activities planned to mobilize the nutrition officers, field staff and community through various activities throughout the year. Some of these include:
- POSHAN Maah: The Month of September is celebrated as POSHAN Maah across the country to ensure community mobilization and bolster people’s participation in improving the nutritional status of the community.
- POSHAN Pakhwada: POSHAN pakhwada emphasises on identification and celebration of healthy child, and integration of modern and traditional practices for a healthy India within the thematic areas around POSHAN MITRA (Modern, IT-based, Traditional and Regional Activities). It is held every year in the month of March for a fortnight.
- POSHAN Vatika: POSHAN Vatika or Nutrition Gardens encourages the community to local, seasonal produce for use by the community. The main objective of POSHAN Vatika is to ensure supply of nutrition through organically grown vegetables and fruits, to improve and create awareness about diet diversity in the community and provide different food groups to malnourished children, simultaneously ensuring that the soil remains healthy.
Events under POSHAN Abhiyaan
- Community Based Events (CBE): Community Based Events are held on the 8th & 22nd of every month in all Anganwadis across the country. The themes for these events include local festivals and rituals such as Annaprasan Diwas, Suposhan Diwas, celebrating coming of age–getting ready for preschool at Anganwadi centres, messages related to public health to improve nutrition indicators and reduce illness, among other activities.
- Village Health Sanitation Nutrition Day (VHSND): The VHSND day is conducted regularly on the 15th of every month in convergence with the Health department and the Gram Panchayat.
POSHAN Tracker App
The ‘POSHAN Tracker’ is a mobile-based application rolled out by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India on 1st March 2021 through National e-Governance Division (NeGD), MyGov as an important governance tool. The POSHAN Tracker is a job-aid to the Anganwadi worker for efficient delivery of services along with reflection of their efforts that promotes real time data with analytics.
Progress and achievements made under POSHAN Abhiyaan
- Under POSHAN Abhiyaan, all districts of 36 States/UTs have been covered for roll-out.
- State, District and Block level convergence meetings are held regularly in most of the States/UTs.
- Procurement of smart phones has been coordinated through the Government eMarketplace (GeM) Portal. States/UTs are at various stages of procurement of smart phones.
- A ‘Call Centre’ has been established for interventions and beneficiary feedback.
- Comprehensive Jan Andolan Guidelines have been prepared in consultation with all partners and released to States/UTs and have been implemented by the States/UTs.
- Mass Media Campaign has also been rolled out through Television and Radio. Song & Drama Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has been engaged to conduct nation-wide programmes.
- Under Incremental Learning Approach (ILA), functionaries are trained on thematic modules following the cascade mode of training of State Resource Group (SRG), District Resource Groups (DRGs) and Block Resource Groups (BRGs). So far, 21 ILA modules have been provided to the States/UTs that are being rolled out now.