Poshan Abhiyaan for a Malnutrition Free India




India has been making significant investments in achieving food and nutrition security through structured public-funded programmes. In fact, India entrenches the right to food in its Constitution. Article 47 of the Constitution mandates the State to raise the level of nutrition of its citizens. India’s flagship nutrition programme-the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme was launched on October 2, 1975 to take this directive forward. The scheme, which is still in operation, is one of the world’s largest community based programmes. Its beneficiaries include children up to the age of 6 and pregnant and lactating mothers. The aim of the scheme is to improve the health, nutrition and education of the beneficiaries. Thereafter, the National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013 was put in place to provide “food and nutritional security…by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices…” (Jamuda 2019). India’s steady march towards achieving food and nutrition security continues with the launch of POSHAN Abhiyaan or National Nutrition Mission (NNM) in March, 2018. The Abhiyaan will synergise governmental bodies and key sectors of the economy, resulting in reshaping the nutritional landscape of India. POSHAN Abhiyaan aims to reduce stunting (height-to-age ratio) by 2 per cent each year, under-nutrition by 2 per cent per year, anaemia in young children, women and adolescent girls by 3 per cent per year and low birth weight by 2 per cent per year.


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