Collective efforts needed to check child mortality due to malnutrition: CM Sarma
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma ceremonially launched the month long celebration of ‘Rastriya Poshan Maah 2021’ in a programme held at the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra here on Wednesday.
MONTH-LONG 'RASTRIYA POSHAN MAAH-2021'
GUWAHATI: Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma ceremonially launched the month long celebration of 'Rastriya Poshan Maah 2021' in a programme held at the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra here on Wednesday.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that while there is no shortage of food in the country and there is a proper distribution system of food items at the Anganwadi Centres, it is very unfortunate that children are dying of malnutrition in India. Stressing on collective responsibility, he said that all involved in the sphere of child health must put united efforts to check the mortality of children due to malnutrition. The Chief Minister added that children dying of malnutrition have a direct link with the socio-economic condition of parents, which calls for extensive awareness generation. He further advocated for drafting a well thought out plan to address the issue of malnutrition and generating awareness in society.
Pointing out that the Social Welfare, Health & Family Welfare and also the Education Department must work in unison, the CM also urged the personnel of ASHA and Anganwadi centres as well as teachers to take the message on the importance of nutritional food for health and also about government schemes and initiatives in this regard to the grassroots.
Further, stressing the need for development of favourable environment for children at the Anganwadi Centres, the Chief Minister called for geo-tagging of all AWCs to identify the infrastructural gaps. He said that the government has made provision of Rs 750 crore for infrastructure upgradation and new construction of 3000 AWCs in the current budget. This would also include 800 AWCs in tea garden areas. The crèche facility will be included in AWCs at tea gardens in future, he informed.
Chief Minister Sarma also urged the officials of Social Welfare Department to execute their responsibilities with utmost commitment so that children are not deprived of nutritional food.
Social Welfare Minister Ajanta Neog in her speech said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the 'Rastriya Poshan Abhiyaan' on March 8, 2018, in a bid to address the issue of malnutrition in children and women. The Minister said that the department would celebrate the current month with focus on five activities, which include identification of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (NAM) among children, popularizing yoga among children and pregnant women, supplying food parcel having nutritional value, plantation at AWCs, school campus and panchayat offices and awareness generation through 'Poshan on Wheels'.
The Minister also informed that the government would celebrate the 'PM Matru Bandana' scheme from September 1 to 7 under which the first-time pregnant women would be provided Rs 5,000 in three installments, stated a release.
Coinciding with the Programme, the Chief Minister also took part in an 'Annaprasanna' ceremony wherein he fed a few children with nutritional food. The CM also planted saplings on the occasion besides flagging off three awareness vehicles named 'Poshan on Wheel'.
While Director of Social Welfare Bibhas Modi delivered the welcome speech, the programme was also addressed by Agriculture Minister Atul Bora. MP Queen Oja and Principal Secretary of Social Welfare Department Mukesh Sahu were also present during the programme, added the release.